The king of ‘Carnival Time’: Meet the man behind the Mardi Gras anthem

The king of ‘Carnival Time’: Meet the man behind the Mardi Gras anthem

The Cases-Picayune is marking the tricentennial of New Orleans with its ongoing 300 for 300 endeavor, working by means of 2018 and highlighting 300 people who’ve made New Orleans New Orleans, that features genuine work commissioned by | The Cases-Picayune with The place Y’Paintings gallery. At current: musician Al “Carnival Time” Johnson.

The icon: Al “Carnival Time” Johnson.

The legacy: Some people depart legacies in books or work or massive buildings. Others’ legacies are embodied in sweeping insurance coverage insurance policies that revenue hundreds and hundreds. Al “Carnival Time” Johnson’s legacy pours out of jukeboxes, enhance bins, nightspots and every avenue band potential between Twelfth Night time time and Fat Tuesday. That’s on account of, with “Carnival Time,” which he wrote and recorded in 1960 for Ric Data, Johnson created a straightforward, strutting music that can get people transferring and capable of get collectively. They can’t help themselves. Like sturdy drink, it has an aftereffect: “Carnival Time” invades one’s thoughts for days on end and stays there.

The artist: Queen Hope Parker.

The quote: “We tried to get the music out for Carnival the yr sooner than, nonetheless the band couldn’t get it collectively. You see, I was on a regular basis instructed that to be good you wanted to be completely completely different. Correctly, ‘Carnival Time’ was so completely completely different that the musicians had a tricky time collaborating in it.” — Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, in a 1989 interview with The Cases-Picayune

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


“Carnival Time” has joined the pantheon of bizarre Mardi Gras songs that everyone has heard at least 83,000 events. Others on this group embrace Professor Longhair’s “Go to the Mardi Gras” and “Large Chief,” and the Hawketts’ “Mardi Gras Mambo.”
The music is certainly catchy, nonetheless has anyone paid consideration to the lyrics? They make little sense. The first verse, for example, talks of two burning buildings and gives a command to throw a baby from a window “all on account of it’s Carnival ti-i-ime.”
Backing Johnson on the recording have been Lee Allen and James Rivers on horns and, on piano, Mac Rebennack, larger commonly known as Dr. John, in step with the New Orleans music historian Jeff Hannusch.
Johnson wrote and recorded “Carnival Time,” nonetheless he retained no rights to it on account of he was unaware of copyright regulation. Years later, after he wanted to work as a cab driver to make ends meet, a federal courtroom dominated in his favor, and rights to his legendary music reverted to him.
He has his private website online with the URL of – what else? –
Although “Carnival Time” is Johnson’s greatest hit, it’s hardly his solely music. Others embrace “Ole Time Talkin’,” “I’ve Achieved Flawed,” “Lena,” “Mardi Gras Strut” and, in 2013, “It’s Large Bowl Time.”
Johnson’s dwelling throughout the Lower ninth Ward was destroyed by 2005’s Hurricane Katrina and the accompanying floodwaters. He wrote “Lower ninth Ward Blues” in regards to the travails he and a whole bunch of others endured, and he moved into the Musicians’ Village.
He reigned as king of the Krewe du Vieux in 2005, and he was named “King for Life” of the Goodchildren Social Help and Pleasure Membership.
In 2007, Johnson was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

Be the first to comment on "The king of ‘Carnival Time’: Meet the man behind the Mardi Gras anthem"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.