Ah, New Orleans music, there is nothing quite like it and that is a good thing. It's unique and too much wouldn't be good for human consumption. There are many famous and not-so-famous artists to come out of Nawlins and they have created a lasting legacy of truly stand-out-in-the-crowd music. Here is what I am talking about.
Fats Domino- great artist who is underrated in my opinion, but that may be because he doesn't really seek the limelight.
The Fat Man (1949)- What did New Orleans know almost 10 years before the country knew it?
Aaron Neville- His family, the Nevilles, are synonomous with New Orleans music (he is, I think, a 3rd generation musician in that family, along with his brothers). One of the greatest falsetto voices.
Spaceman- great mockup of the 50's space monster genre in the movies and how he, as a good New Orleans citizen, would deal with the situation. You can hear the NO marching bands in this song.
Professor Longhair- The 'Fess! His style of piano playing has influenced so many others behind him, many great musicians, that he is considered one of the fathers of New Orleans piano music.
Big Chief- Nobody had ever heard the pattern that Fess played in the opening lines of one of his most famous songs. As Alan Toussaint put it, you could hear the band dancing down the street in his piano.
Dr. John- If there is no Professor Longhair, then there is no Dr. John. Period. Marc Rebenack started out playing guitar in the 50's but a girl shot him in his hand and he turned to piano and a new name and a legend is born. He hit national fame with his song Such A Night and Iko Iko but his true talent shines in his Mac's Boogie.
James Booker- One-eyed and little known but he made up for it in his flamboyance both on the piano and in real life. You never knew what you would get at a James Booker show, it could be a Chopin piece thrown into the middle of a song or an anti-CIA rant.
Gonzo- 1960 it's his famous organ solo piece. It's also where Hunter S. Thompson came up with the term "gonzo".
Alan Toussaint- Great New Orleans piano man, influenced by Professor Longhair as well. He had a band in the 70's that had a huge hit, Southern Nights, and then he turned producer collaborating on some rather important albums over the years. Many consider him a national treasure.
Southern Nights- This was a famous mainstream song back in the 70's (I can remember a version of this song on the radio sung by a woman). This version is magical.
Ernie K-Doe- You know his famous song Mother In-Law, it was quite the hit in the 50's and played for years on the oldie stations. I love this guy's voice.
I Cried My Last Tear. This is a "typical" doo-wop song but you can still hear the New Orleans style in the piano and the pace of the song.
Shirley and Lee- A high school group, Shirley and Lee rose to fame with their doo-wop styled music. Admittedly, Shirley's voice is a tad too high but Lee's voice is perfect for the NO sound.
Let the Good Times Roll- this is the original song which has since been morphing into many other versions since but it is THE saying in New Orleans so it's not surprising this song has many different versions.
That's it, darlin'.