Professor Longhair

Blues, Musical Artist

1918 – 1980

53

Who was Professor Longhair?

Henry Roeland "Roy" Byrd, better known as Professor Longhair, was a New Orleans blues singer and pianist. Professor Longhair is noteworthy for having been active in two distinct periods, both in the heyday of early rhythm and blues, and in the resurgence of interest in traditional jazz after the founding of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

The music journalist Tony Russell, in his book The Blues – From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray, stated "The vivacious rhumba-rhythmed piano blues and choked singing typical of Fess were too weird to sell millions of records; he had to be content with siring musical offspring who were simple enough to manage that, like Fats Domino or Huey "Piano" Smith. But he is also acknowledged as a father figure by subtler players like Allen Toussaint and Dr. John."

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Born
Dec 19, 1918
Bogalusa
Also known as
  • Roy Byrd
  • Roy "Bald Head" Byrd
  • Profesor Longhair
  • Roland Byrd
  • Fess
  • Henry Roeland Byrd
  • Roy "Baldhead" Byrd
Ethnicity
  • African American
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Died
Jan 30, 1980
New Orleans

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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"Professor Longhair." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 11 Aug. 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/roy_baldhead_byrd>.

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