The Spirit of New Orleans Is in Its Music For many music fans, it has been hard to hear the dramatic stories coming out of New Orleans and not consider the city's rich culture. The city is steeped in music, a heritage that folklorist Nick Spitzer, who evacuated the day before Katrina hit, continues to celebrate on the air.
NPR logo

The Spirit of New Orleans Is in Its Music

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4839549/4839562" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
The Spirit of New Orleans Is in Its Music

The Spirit of New Orleans Is in Its Music

The Spirit of New Orleans Is in Its Music

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4839549/4839562" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Fats Domino, in a 1956 photo. Bettmann/Corbis hide caption

toggle caption
Bettmann/Corbis

Songs of New Orleans

Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans? [Live]

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4839549/4839709" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Louisiana 1927

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4839549/4839711" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

When the Levee Breaks

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4839549/4839713" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Walking to New Orleans

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4839549/4839715" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Right Place, Wrong Time

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4839549/4839717" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

For many music fans, it has been hard to hear the dramatic stories coming out of New Orleans and not think about the city's rich cultural heritage. New Orleans is steeped in music, from the street parades of Mardi Gras to smoky blues bars and the brass bands that march in jazz funerals.

The flooding sparked by Hurricane Katrina has resonated on several levels with folklorist Nick Spitzer, host of the roots-music program American Routes on public radio. Spitzer and his family evacuated the day before the storm hit — his home and office are both in New Orleans.

For nearly two weeks, Spitzer has been producing a post-storm version of his show from member station KRVS in Lafayette, La., where he is staying with friends.

And as he has watched conditions in New Orleans grow increasingly desperate, Spitzer has kept on playing music — much of it devoted to his beleaguered city. He shares some of his selections with Melissa Block.

Purchase Featured Music

Buy Featured Music

Album
16 Most Requested Songs
Artist
Louis Armstrong
Label
Sony

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Buy Featured Music

Album
Very Best of Aaron Neville
Artist
Aaron Neville
Label
A&M
Released
2000

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Buy Featured Music

Album
Fat Man Sings [EMI]
Artist
Fats Domino
Label
EMI

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Buy Featured Music

Album
The Very Best of Dr. John
Artist
Dr. John
Label
Rhino

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?