Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Royal Street Bachelors

Recently, I was contacted by Harold Grant’s daughter—how fantastic is that? She gave me this information about The Royal Street Bachelors and her father, Harold. I am so grateful at her generosity!

“The group of Jack McVea, Herb Gordy, and Harold Grant lasted for about 25 years as The Royal Street Bachelors. My dad past away in 1985. I am so pleased that someone is recognizing these guys finally! I hadn't looked at a picture of him in 15 years. Thank you so much! The original Bachelors are in the Panavue photo below with the little boy dancing in front. The Banjo player of that picture got cancer and my father filled in for him while he was sick. He eventually passed away and they gave my dad the job. With the job came the six string banjo that originally belonged to some famous guy in New Orleans. The guy in the first group gave the banjo to my father with the promise that he would donate it to the Music Museum in New Orleans. It’s really funny that 25 years later my dad passes away of the very same thing that the first guy had. We always said the banjo was cursed! I guess the banjo went where it was supposed to go because i don't see it in any more Bachelor pictures. Oh yes! The little boy was fired for throwing matches in the dressing room.”

Shirley also informed me that Herb Gordy was related to Berry Gordy, the famed Motown Mogul. Thanks again, Shirley, for contacting me giving some info on this very favorite musical group from New Orleans Square.

A recent picture of the Bachelors in their semi-permanent home, located in the French Market restaurant:

See more Royal Street Bachelor (both recent and vintage) photos at my website.


Major Pepperidge said...

That's a nice tribute to Ms. Grant's father and the Bachelors! So great that she could share that info about the group.

That last photo is interesting, the costumes look more like something you might find in a contemporary New Orleans club, instead of looking "vintage".

Jim said...

Thanks Dave for this post. Some of my most cherished memories as a Disneyland character (70's and 80's) are the times that I spent in New Orleans as Brer Bear. Many of my sets included dance numbers with the Royal Street Bachelors. I was always humbled by the talent, professionalism and graciousness of Jack, Herb and Harold. We shared the break area on the 2nd floor past the blue staircase which gave us the opportunity to get to know the guys better. They did the background music for New Orleans Square, and listening to it all these years later takes me back to those very special times.

Dad.. said...

So very cool to get that kind of insight on the bachelors from such a close source! Cracks me up to hear what that kid got fired for. LOL!

Chiana_Chat said...

Great post. Among many other things, Jack McVea played at the first Jazz At The Philharmonic concert, with no less than the great Illinois Jacquet, the great Nat King Cole on piano and the great Les Paul on guitar. That's a lot of greats! It's on CD. iirc, Harold played guitar on at least a few early 50s sessions the great John Coltrane also played in when he was up and coming. A great little group, overqualified to put it mild but they didn't go unappreciated.

Anonymous said...

Like Jim, I too spent many a day around NO Square, in my case working Pirates early/mid 70s. That got me out quite a bit on crowd control giving me a chance to listen to the guys. What a class group they were. I took them for granted...but cherish the memories now. Who knows, I probably "saw" Jim doing his BB dance too.

Anonymous said...

I lived down the street from Mr grant. Sure do miss the family. Best Wishes Shirley. Shawn Cable