Remembering Uncle Lionel

On Sunday, "Uncle" Lionel Batiste passed away at age 80 or 81 of cancer. It's tempting to say that he was an "only in New Orleans" sort of figure - someone who was beloved for being himself. His musical career dates back at least to the 1950s, when he played bass drum with the Olympia Brass Band (coincidentally, I was watching 1973's Live and Let Die on Saturday night; does anybody know if he was in the second line scenes? I thought I saw him.), but he is best known musically as the bass drummer for the Treme Brass Band.

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