2015 Ponderosa Stomp
Music History Conference

October 1st & 2nd 2015 AC Hotel by Marriott

The Ponderosa Stomp Music History Conference will take place October 1st - 2nd at the AC Hotel by Marriott at 221 Carondelet St. in New Orleans.

The conference will feature musicians, historians and musicologists tackling all kinds of music history topics.

Admission to the Conference is $20 per day, per person. This small fee gets you the whole day’s line-up of panels, discussion, lunch, and admission to the record show.


  • Thursday, Oct. 1

    • 11:00 – 11:45
      Hook and Sling: The Scram Records Story
      Featuring Al Scramuzza and moderator Neil Pellegrin
      Presented by Bent Media

      WWOZ disc jockey and vinyl aficionado Neil Pellegrin chats with the legendary New Orleans crawfish king Al Scramuzza, whose 1960s Scram label under the direction of pianist Eddie Bo churned out funk, soul, and R&B by artists such as Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Sonny Jones, Mary Jane Hooper, Benny Spellman, and Curley Moore, culminating in Bo’s own national smash “Hook and Sling.” Scramuzza also carved a place in local history with his late-night kitschy commercials advertising his Seafood City emporium on North Broad and St. Bernard.

    • 12:45 – 1:45
      When Linda Gail Met Cindy Lou: Two Extremes of Swamp Pop
      Featuring Gene Terry and moderator John Broven

      Swamp-pop pioneer Gene Terry details the characteristics of the distinct south Louisiana Cajun/Creole music style he helped create, which has been dubbed “Fats Domino meets the fais do-do.” Moderating the discussion is the British music expert who coined the term “swamp pop,” John Broven, author of South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous and Rhythm and Blues in New Orleans.

    • 2:00 – 2:45
      That’s Cool, That’s Trash
      Featuring P.F. Sloan and moderator Todd Abramson
      Presented by Shout Factory

      Los Angeles singer, songwriter, and guitarist P.F. Sloan recounts his unsung journey through rock ‘n’ roll history as a member of the Wrecking Crew and his role in helping create 1960s classics such as “Secret Agent Man,” “Eve of Destruction,” and “California Dreamin’.” Sloan is interviewed by WFMU disc jockey Todd Abramson, the former talent booker at Maxwell’s, the famed Hoboken, N.J., nightclub.

    • 3:00 – 3:45
      Walk a Mile in My Shoes
      Featuring Willie Hightower and moderator Red Kelly

      Influenced by gospel music and Sam Cooke, powerhouse soul vocalist Willie Hightower scored a national hit with “It’s a Miracle” on Capitol and the Muscle Shoals-cut “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” for Fame, but hasn’t always enjoyed the recognition his towering talent deserves — until now. Music archaeologist and blogger Red Kelly interviews Hightower about the highs and lows of his long career.

    • 4:00 – 4:45
      Wish You Would
      Featuring Billy Boy Arnold and moderator Jason Hanley

      Chicago blues patriarch and harmonica boss Billy Boy Arnold has played with practically everyone in the genre, learning his first licks from harp master Sonny Boy Williamson and backing Bo Diddley on his seminal Chess hits, as well as cutting his own blistering blues sides for Vee-Jay. Interviewing the blues icon is Dr. Jason Hanley, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Director of Education.

    • 5:00 – 6:00
      Story Of A Jazz Man: A Tribute to Harold Battiste
      Featuring Chuck Badie, Jesse McBride, and moderators David Kunian and John Swenson
      Presented by Mike Humphrey/Keller Williams Realty

      The indelible legacy of the recently deceased jazz musician, composer, producer, and educator Harold Battiste is discussed by some of his closest compatriots and disciples: Bassist Chuck Badie, a charter member of Battiste’s pioneering black-owned record label All For One; and pianist Jesse McBride, who now leads the band Battiste started, The Next Generation. Moderators are music documentarian and disc jockey David Kunian and music journalist and book author John Swenson, whose work has appeared in publications such as Offbeat and Rolling Stone.

    • 6:15 – 7:15
      Rockin’ Across the Rio Grande
      Featuring Jim Oertling, Royce Porter, and moderator Michael Hurtt

      Texas has been a breeding ground for rockabilly pioneers, and Sweetwater native Royce Porter is one of them. Jim Oertling, though born in Louisiana, grew up in San Antonio and absorbed its rich mix of musical traditions, from conjunto to country and western. Musician and musicologist Michael Hurtt, who is currently at work on a book about Detroit’s Fortune Records, interviews the duo.

  • Friday, October 2nd

    • 10:30 – 11:15
      Tales of Beale Street and the Chitlin’ Circuit
      Featuring Howard Grimes and moderator Preston Lauterbach
      Presented by Design Science

      Now 74, Stax and Hi Rhythm Section drummer Howard Grimes has seen it all during his long career backing R&B and soul giants such as Al Green, Ann Peebles, Rufus Thomas, and Otis Clay. The Memphis native talks about his years working with producer Willie Mitchell, the Hodges brothers, and the Hi Rhythm Section in an interview by Preston Lauterbach, author of The Chitlin’ Circuit and the Road to Rock ‘n’ Roll and Beale Street Dynasty.

    • 11:30 – 12:15
      Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On
      Featuring J.M. Van Eaton and moderator Robert Gordon
      Presented by My Colleague, LLC

      As a member of The Little Green Men, drummer J.M. Van Eaton laid down the hellacious beats behind a slew of Sun Records stars such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Billy Lee Riley, Roy Orbison, and Johnny Cash. Van Eaton will reflect upon his long career with Grammy Award-winning writer Robert Gordon, the author of several books including It Came From Memphis and the filmmaker behind documentaries such as Johnny Cash’s America.

    • 1:00 – 2:00
      From Motown to God’s Salvation
      Featuring Brenda Holloway, Mable John, and moderator Ann Powers
      Presented by Shout Factory

      Soul-music divas and former Motown labelmates Brenda Holloway and Mable John talk about their experiences working with Hitsville USA kingpin Berry Gordy and legends such as Smokey Robinson and Ray Charles, plus their post-Motown forays into gospel music and religious ministry. NPR Music critic and correspondent Ann Powers presides over the discussion.

    • 2:15 – 3:00
      Hey Baby Ke Pa So
      Featuring Augie Meyers and moderator Joe Nick Patoski
      Presented by Sundazed Records

      The unforgettable Vox organ of Augie Meyers has graced countless records, from the Sir Douglas Quintet to Bob Dylan to the Texas Tornados. The San Antonio legend reminisces about his lifelong friendship with the late Doug Sahm as well as Texas’ rich, ethnically diverse musical traditions. Interviewing Meyers is Joe Nick Patoski, who has written biographies on Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughan and has released a documentary on Sahm titled Sir Doug & The Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove.

    • 3:15 – 4:15
      Talk About West Side Soul
      Featuring Rudy T. Gonzales, Little Henry Lee, Rudy Palacios, Manuel “Bones” Aragon, Jack Barber, and moderator Ed Ward
      Presented by El Westside Sound

      Some of the legends of San Antonio’s West Side soul scene of the 1950s and ‘60s rap about their pioneering roles in developing their city’s unique blend of Tex-Mex R&B: Rudy T. Gonzales of Rudy and the Reno Bops, along with former members of Sunny and the Sunliners, the Laveers, and the Royal Jesters, including Little Henry Lee, Rudy Palacios, and Manuel “Bones” Aragon; and original Sir Douglas Quintet member Jack Barber. The moderator is veteran music writer Ed Ward, rock ‘n’ roll historian for NPR’s “Fresh Air” and a founder of Austin’s SXSW music festival.

The Ponderosa Stomp 2015 Music History Conference would not be possible without support from:

AC Hotel by Marriott, Louisiana Travel Services, Bags Unlimited, Inc., Sundazed Records, Mike Humphrey/Keller Williams Realty, Design Science, Bent Media, Gulf South Travel Services, WWOZ, Shout Factory, and Bud Rip’s, Horn’s Restaurant, Katie’s Restaurant, French Truck Coffee, Midway Pizza, Juan’s Flying Burrito, Green Goddess Restaurant, Crêpe Nanou Restaurant, Zara’s Lil’ Giant Supermarket & Po-Boys, and The Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.