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Music Medley: Okra Man

Photo of Mr. Okra by Miranda H., via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo of Mr. Okra by Miranda H., via Flickr Creative Commonsok

Hi everyone,

Here is another music medley from Confetti Park. And in this episode, you will hear lots of songs about fresh fruits and vegetables. In the radio version of this program, we listen to a story about our recently departed dear Mr. Okra. (You can listen to the story here: Mr. Okra Sells Fresh Fruits and Vegetables by Lashon Daley)

Mr. Okra passed away this week, and he was one of the last of the New Orleans street vendors. Mr. Okra sold fresh fruits and vegetables from a brightly painted pickup truck that traveled slowly throughout New Orleans’ neighborhoods. His voice rang out over his loudspeaker affixed to the roof of the truck: “I have oranges! I have bananas!” When people heard him coming, they could step out their door and buy their fresh produce for the week.

The Confetti Park Players are so fortunate and grateful to have had Mr. Okra sing with us on our first album. He recorded a special song with us. You can listen to the entire track.

Now for the full playlist of this episode:

First up is one of my favorite tunes, that first came out in 1984 and is surely as classic a Louisiana song as any. I tell you what, I defy anyone of any age, kids or adult, to listen to the song and not feel like a kid when the chorus comes on. This particular version features two patriarchs of Louisiana culture……Doug Kershaw and Fats Domino. This song is Don’t Mess with My Toot Toot.

We will also here Satisfied ‘n Tickled Too, by Jeremy Lyons from his Silly Goose Music CD, which features more beautiful Americana classics created with children in mind. There is a beautiful Cajun lullaby called Raisins & Almonds sung by Nancy Tabb Marcantel, and Watermelon Time, by Ted Lindsay of Mooringsport, La., leading the Confetti Park Players in an homage to ripe summer fruit.

Then we hear a trio of songs about bananas……

  • Oh Dego – Leroy Etienne of St. Martinville as featured on the National Park Service’s Songs Of The Lower Mississippi Delta.
  • Anna Banana – Johnette Downing of New Orleans, pied piper of Louisiana
  • Yes We Have No Bananas – the fabulous Louis Prima

Kids, go check out Mr. Louis Prima on YouTube… he is a jazz trumpeter from New Orleans who had the energy of a kid, and a style like no one else.

Well, we’ve talked about banana, watermelon and other fruits. And so now We play Mr. Okra, singing a song in his own voice. Mr. Okra…. we love you. We will miss your call. Thank you for sharing your voice with us, for sharing good food with us, and for making the world a better place.

Support for Confetti Park comes from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation and Music Rising at Tulane University.

Mr. Okra and Katy Ray.

Mr. Okra and Katy Ray.

 

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