“Professor Longhair was the guardian angel of the roots of New Orleans music.”
—Malcolm “Dr. John” Rebennack
Henry Roeland “Roy” Byrd, better known as Professor Longhair, was an influential musical talent in early New Orleans rhythm and blues. This collection of photographs and memories documents Professor Longhair’s entanglement in New Orleans music and popular American music in general. Along with vintage photos are short essays chronicling his impact on performers and music professionals including Robert Parker, Charles Connor, “Hungry” Williams, Jerry Wexler, Malcolm Rebennack, Wardell Quezergue, Art Neville, and Alvin Batiste. Excerpts from articles published around the world round out this fascinating glimpse into the mystique surrounding this notable musician.