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Wardell Quezergue, New Orleans Bandleader and Arranger, Dead at 81

Known for arranging numerous '60s hits

Wardell Quezergue

Wardell Quezergue, a highly regarded New Orleans bandleader, arranger and producer who contributed to numerous rhythm and blues hits, died August 30 in Metairie, La. He was 81 and the cause was congestive heart failure.

Nicknamed “The Creole Beethoven,” Quezergue (pronounced ka-ZAIR) was involved in many of the biggest 1960s hits to emerge from New Orleans, including the Dixie Cups’ “Chapel of Love” and “Iko Iko,” Robert Parker’s “Barefootin’,” Earl King’s “Trick Bag,” Professor Longhair’s “Big Chief,” Dorothy Moore’s “Misty Blue,” King Floyd’s “Groove Me” and Jean Knight’s “Mr. Big Stuff.” In later years he worked on albums by Dr. John and the Neville Brothers.

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