Snooks Eaglin, 1936-2009
Singer and guitarist Snooks Eaglin passed away February 18th in New Orleans. His Smithsonian Folkways album New Orleans Street Singer was originally released in 1959 and reissued in 2005 with 7 previously unreleased tracks. Recorded by folklorist Harry Oster after he heard Eaglin performing on the streets of the French Quarter, New Orleans Street Singer was selected for the book 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die.
Eaglin, also known as "the human jukebox" for his wide and varied repertoire including electric blues, rock, jazz, and country, lost his sight as a child before teaching himself to play guitar. He went on to play and record with many other New Orleans musicians, including Professor Longhair, the Wild Magnolias, and Alan Toussaint. In recent years he was a regular performer at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.