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It’s good to be loved
September 24, 2008 6:37 PM   Subscribe

In the French Quarters of New Orleans you are very likely to come across various street entertainers. Grampa Elliott is one such performer.
Elliott Small has had a smattering of recordings over the years like the 1976 Malaco record discussed here
Since that time no record lables have produced any of his work that I can find. He spent his time performing on street corners in the Quarter until Katrina, some people feared the worse, but he turned up on Royal street in 2005 no worse for wear. Here is a story by Rick Bragg of the NYT

Grandpa Elliot & Stoney B.

Born in New Orleans, Grandpa Elliot began his career over 50 years ago, tap dancing on Bourbon Street, and now plays harp and sings harmony on Royal and Toulouse. He joins Chicago “Blues Man” Michael Stone (a.k.a. Stoney B.) and is oftentimes accompanied by Oscar Castro on guitar. Together and singularly, they form formidable singers and musicians, playing everything, as Grandpa puts it, “From A to Z.”

It was Stoney who gave Grandpa his nickname (“He’ll give you a nickname too”) and adopted the role of “a nervous, oblivious, snatched off the Nervous Ward and set right down here” bumbler who, with Stoney’s virtuosity on standard blues renditions, is transformed into a perfect savant.

Elliot has “done some recordin’ in (his) younger years” with “I’m A Devil and Girls Are Made For Lovin”. He loves the French Quarter and is saddened by the changes that he’s seen. But he maintains his mantra: “To keep me out you’d have to chain me to the outside.”
posted by nola (6 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I am visiting NOLA at this very moment. I will make a point of looking for Grandpa Eliot this week on Royal and Toulouse. Thanks for this!
posted by Heretic at 6:51 PM on September 24, 2008

Glad he's alive. Nice story.
posted by nickyskye at 7:38 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

Hey, cool post, nola. Props to street musicians!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:11 PM on September 24, 2008

Yeah, gramps is a good guy. My girlfriend tried to do makeup on one end of Royal for a while, Grampa was on the other end. He always recognized us, always said hi.

Jesus, I miss my old neighborhood.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:58 PM on September 24, 2008

whoo-hoo! the evening spent listening to grandpa elliot and stoney b is one of my all-time favorite travel memories. thanks for letting me get cozy with the memory.
posted by ms.jones at 9:47 PM on September 24, 2008

I will never forget hearing clarinetist Doreen Ketchens play and sing at the French Market during the French Quarter Festival this past April. Here's a street performance.
posted by planetkyoto at 7:14 AM on September 25, 2008

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