How one New Orleans businessman sparked a music revolution

How one New Orleans businessman sparked a music revolution

The Events-Picayune is marking the tricentennial of New Orleans with its ongoing 300 for 300 enterprise, working by way of 2018 and highlighting 300 people who’ve made New Orleans New Orleans, that features distinctive work commissioned by | The Events-Picayune with The place Y’Paintings gallery. Within the current day: businessman and music promoter Frank G. Painia.

The icon: Frank G. Painia.

The legacy: Frank Painia was a barber first, nevertheless he was moreover a businessman. So, not prolonged after opening his barber retailer on LaSalle Highway inside the late 1930s, he started growing. First bought right here a bar, then a lodge that will turn into typically often known as the Dew Drop Inn, the home away from residence for quite a few black musicians visiting the then-strictly segregated Crescent Metropolis. Names like Ray Charles, Little Richard, Ella Fitzgerald and B.B. King would lay their heads there when in town for stay reveals. Then, sometimes as not, they could unwind with post-concert jam lessons on the Dew Drop’s music hall, added in 1945. Phrase rapidly obtained out, and from the 1940s by way of the 1960s, the Drew Drop earned a nationwide reputation as city’s ultimate after-hours hotspot for black and white music followers alike, segregation authorized tips be damned. The licensed end of segregation in 1964 would finally spell the tip of the Dew Drop, which stopped web internet hosting musical acts spherical 1968. Nonetheless by then, its place in New Orleans’ musical historic previous — as an incubator of native experience and one amongst its most memorable musical meccas — would already be cemented.

The artist: Jeremy Paten.

The quote: “(It) was like residence. In precise truth, it was residence. The … Dew Drop is the place I used to reside once more inside the day. Walter (‘Wolfman’ Washington) and I every did. It was the place. All individuals would come to metropolis, and we may be the first to see them. It was good days spherical that time. Wasn’t making no money, nevertheless you didn’t have a lot to pay for.” — musician Johnny Adams, in a 1994 interview with The Events-Picayune

Uncover additional of Paten’s work on-line at WhereYart.internet and in particular person on the The place Y’Paintings gallery, 1901 Royal St.


Frank G. Painia was born in Plaquemine in 1907.
When he was in his late 20s, Painia moved to New Orleans and opened the Central Metropolis barber retailer that will develop to turn into the Dew Drop. That was spherical 1934, in response to a 1973 story in The States-Merchandise.
As a sideline, Painia moreover reserving black acts at golf gear spherical metropolis — being optimistic to e guide them lodging on the Dew Drop on the similar time.
He was all about growing his enterprise. “Every six months, Daddy would have some sort of innovation,” his son, Gerald Painia, talked about in that 1973 story. “He made it higher and higher, greater and better.”
In 1952, actor Zachary Scott (“Mildred Pierce,” “The Southerner”) and his partner had been amongst 9 people arrested on the Dew Drop Inn for “consuming in a Negro establishment” in violation of segregation authorized tips. Painia was moreover arrested for allowing serving them.
It might not be the one police raid on the Dew Drop. In February 1964, a fed-up Frank Painia filed a federal lawsuit in opposition to city, Mayor Victor Schiro, District Authorized skilled Jim Garrison, Police Superintendent Joseph I. Giarusso and others, tough segregation as unconstitutional. The Civil Rights Act ended licensed segregation later that yr.
Little Richard wrote the music “Dew Drop Inn” as a tribute to the nice situations had there.
Painia died July 15, 1972, at Touro Infirmary after a chronic illness. He was 65.
The lodge and barbershop continued to operate until 2005’s Hurricane Katrina shuttered it for good.
Painia’s grandson, Kenneth Jackson, launched an effort to revive and reopen the Dew Drop as a tribute to city’s music historic previous and the placement’s place in it, nevertheless the financial burden has to this point saved that from occurring.
In 2010, the Louisiana Landmarks Payment acknowledged the Dew Drop In as one among many metropolis’s most important endangered buildings.

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