Hundreds of family members, friends, fans and fellow musicians gathered in New Orleans Monday (July 8) to bid farewell to rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Dave Bartholomew.
A trumpet-shaped flower arrangement stood next to the open casket at the music-filled service at St. Gabriel the Archangel Church, The Times-Picayune/ The New Orleans Advocate reported . Musicians who came to pay their respects included Robin Barnes, Kermit Ruffins, Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, Charles Moore, Irvin Mayfield, Ivan Neville and Dr. Brice Miller, the newspaper reported. Many played in his honor.
Bartholomew was 100 when he died June 23 in a suburban New Orleans hospital.
Along with Fats Domino, Bartholomew co-wrote and produced classics including “Ain’t That a Shame,” ″I’m Walkin’” and “Let the Four Winds Blow.”
Bartholomew was a trumpet player since childhood and a bandleader and arranger before World War II. He befriended Domino in the late 1940s and they collaborated on dozens of hits that captured Domino’s good-natured appeal, made him one of rock’s earliest stars and made New Orleans a popular music center.
Al “Lil Fats” Jackson evoked Domino with a rendition of “Blue Monday” during the visitation, the newspaper reported, and Jon Cleary sang “Someday.”
Despite the restrictions of segregation, Bartholomew rose to become a pop music icon, said the Rev. Tony Ricard, who led the funeral mass and joined in the spirited dancing on the church steps as the crowd followed the casket outside afterward.