By Louisiana State Museum

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Presented by Cabildo, Louisiana State Museum and the Ponderosa Stomp Foundation, this exhibit is a major addition to the Foundation’s annual spring conference on American roots music at the Cabildo.

Unsung Heroes was co-curated by Dr. Ira “Dr. Ike” Padnos, a New Orleans physician who founded the festival in 2001 to celebrate the contributions of pioneering artists from the late 1940s onward, and will include many items from his personal collection. Among the show’s highlights are Clifton Chenier’s royal crown; James Black’s drum set; Fats Domino’s piano; Louisiana blues legend Lazy Lester’s harmonicas; Earl Palmer’s drum; Dave Bartholomew's trumpet; a Shirley & Lee concert poster from 1955; a sign from Famer Cosimo Matassa’s historic J&M Record Studio (where Fats Domino, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Dr. John, and others cut groundbreaking sides) and a sampling of rare 45 and 78 rpm records.

The Ponderosa Stomp Music Foundation’s conference will feature two days of interviews with rock ’n’ roll legends like Dale Hawkins and Cowboy Jack Clement, panel discussions, and a film series. The foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to “celebrating the legacy, revitalizing the careers and preserving the history of the architects of American music.” For program information, visit

Founded in 1906, the Louisiana State Museum collects, preserves and interprets Louisiana’s rich cultural heritage from pre-historic times to the present through more than 450,000 objects and works of art. The Museum is part of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. For more information, visit

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