BACKSTORY: 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. Did you know that Herb Gordy is the cousin of Motown’s Berry Gordy? Oh yes! The little boy was fired for throwing matches in the dressing room.”
Thanks again, Shirley, for contacting me giving some info on this very favorite musical group from New Orleans Square.
My dad was Bill Cooper, the Tuba (sousaphone) player in the pictures of the Royal Street bachelors from Dec 1968, he also appears in the Delta ramblers photos. When the Pearly Band was not in Fantasyland with big buttons on their costumes, they moonlighted in New Orleans Square as the Delta Ramblers and occasionally sat in with the Bachelors as pictured. He always raved about how much he enjoyed his time with these wonderful gentlemen! Other band members shown in the December 1968 photo include Jack Martin on Sax, Pete Lofthouse on Trombone, and Charlie Lotus on drums. I think the trumpet player MIGHT be Art DePew, but can't confirm that one. Thanks for the beautiful memories as I'm approaching the 2nd anniversary of my father's passing.
Thanks Leslie! This kind of inside information is fantastic and makes these old photos so much more meaningful.