[Dixielandjazz] Historical OKOM site - song history

Tim Eldred julepjerk at surewest.net
Fri Mar 19 19:52:20 PST 2004

>From the nola.com website:

Monday March 29, 2004

By Wayne Knabb 
Staff reporter 

A jazz landmark for almost a century and the former home of one of New Orleans' early black social and charity clubs continues to stand empty and in disrepair in Central City. 

The green-trimmed building with a white stucco facade at 1913 Harmony St., the former home of the Bulls Aid and Pleasure Club, sits at the end of Eighth Street, its windows and doors boarded up. 

A rusting sign of Elks Lodge 595 stands near the curb. It was once an Elks Winter Lodge. 
"I painted it the last time it was painted and had it up and running, but it didn't last," said State Sen. Diana Bajoie, who over the years has shown an interest in the two-story, wood frame structure. 

She said she remembers that when she was a child, the spacious, two-story building was a meeting place. 

"A lot of those who were interested in the building have died," she said. 

No one accepted economic development money when it was available to restore the building, she said. State Attorney General Charles Foti, when he was Orleans Parish criminal sheriff, helped clean up the building, but there were not enough resources to fully restore it, she said. 

>From 1920 until the late 1930s, the building was the home of the Bulls Aid and Pleasure Club, an early black group in the city which did charitable work and conducted parades, said Jack Stewart, a jazz historian and member of the New Orleans Jazz Commission, which is developing the New Orleans Jazz Historical Park. A bull was its mascot, Stewart said. 

The club's parade used to march in front of The Times-Picayune building on Lafayette Square, where the editors would judge it, Stewart said. 

Their parades were the inspiration for "South Rampart Street Parade," by New Orleans drummer Ray Bauduc, who performed in Bob Crosby's "Bobcats" band when it came to the Roosevelt Hotel, Stewart said. 

The building was an active place in its heyday, he said. It was a place for meetings and a neighborhood bar, he said. 

"Hopefully someone will take this up. It will be a big historic loss if someone doesn't," Stewart said. 

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