He never made the pop charts under his own name. Most rock encyclopedias afford him, at most, a paragraph or two. But as an artist, producer, songwriter, arranger, and bandleader, Dave Bartholomew of New Orleans was a key figure in the transition from the jivin’ jump and big-band sounds of the ’40s to the rhythm & blues and rock & roll of the ’50s.
“If Dave Bartholomew were never to play another note,” wrote New Orleans music historian Jeff Hannusch in I Hear You Knockin’, “he could sit back and bask in the knowledge that he was very much responsible for shaping today’s music.”
Photography: Kevin Mazur, WireImage