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Tommy Ridgley is a real New Orleans legend, having remained active as a popular lead singer and bandleader for almost 50 years following his 1949 Imperial Records debut.

With a style based on the genre of jump blues that preceded the emergence of rhythm & blues in the early 1950s, he was well-suited to pleasing audiences in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf South as a bandleader, R&B stylist, and serious blues belter.

And uniquely among New Orleans R&B legends, Tommy Ridgley remained upbeat and enthusiastic throughout the entirety of his life, cutting what some critics regard as his very best recordings in the 1990s before his passing on August 11, 1999.

How Long? is a unique achievement in that recorded legacy, because Tommy Ridgley was involved in each and every creative aspect, from start to finish.

“This is the first time I’ve built an album up from scratch,” Ridgley told New Orleans music historian Jeff Hannusch. “Not only did I write most of the material, but this is really the first time I had a direct hand in the production.”

This is a stone-cold classic of certified R&B roots, a rocking masterpiece complete with upbeat blues and plaintive ballads, bursting horn charts and swaying vocal choruses, pounding rhythms and intimate lyrics, plus razor-sharp solos from both sax and guitar.

The result is a classic recording that fully embodies that glorious era of the late 1940s and early 1950s when almost all of modern popular music was just being born.

 
   

 

 

HOW LONG

BAD LUCK

YOU ARE THE LADY

THE WAY I FEEL ABOUT YOU

ABOUT MY PAST

I LOVE YOU YES I DO

I’M GONNA CROSS THAT RIVER

YOU MEAN EVERYTHING TO ME

ALL WRAPPED UP IN YOU

I DON’T WANT NOBODY ELSE

OOH POO PAH DOO

 

     

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