Wardell Quezergue died today, at the age of 81. Amongst the giants of NOLA’s R&B/funk community, Wardell wasn’t necessarily as influential as Allen Toussaint nor as prolific as Eddie Bo but he was as quintessential a shaper of NOLA’s R&B sound as anyone, and easily one of the most successful, based on a handful of mega-hits he had his hand in.1

Some of my favorite songs out of NOLA have the Wardell touch upon them, so much so that it was ridiculously easy to just pull them immediately out of my mental rolodex in order to whip the following together:

Wardell Quezergue Tribute Mix2

This only scratches the surface of his greatness; explore away.

  1. No question, May 17, 1970 was one of the most fortuitous days in his career, when a single session yielded two of his greatest hits – King Floyd’s “Groove Me” and Jean Knight’s “Mr. Big Stuff,” both arranged by Wardell (the latter also produced by him).
  2. (P)roduced