Irving Banister Sr. RIP, GoFundMe campaign launches to defray funeral costs

The New Orleans guitarist Irving Banister, Sr., best known for appearing on record with a who’s who of New Orleans R&B stars including James “Sugarboy” Crawford (“Jock-a-Mo”) and Danny White (“Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye”) as well as being an influential bandleader passed away on December 15.

His death has not been widely reported, as the family needs to raise funds to help defray the funeral expenses. A GoFundMe campaign has been established. Donations can be made here. All funds go directly to his family, which includes his wife, Big Queen Littdell Banister and his son, Spy Boy Irving “Honey” Bannister, Jr., both of the Creole Wild West.

Irving Bannister, Sr. was a member of the house band at the famed Dew Drop Inn on Lasalle Street when it was both a proving ground for up and coming musicians and an after hours spot for touring Black artists during the segregation era. Many musicians including some that are still alive including Walter “Wolfman” Washington and Ernie Vincent credit Bannister with influencing them based on his unique style of playing.

In the early 1950s, he was a member of Crawford’s famed Cane Cutters right out of high school. The first version of Bannister’s long-running band, the All-Stars, featured numerous well-known local players including bassist George Porter, Jr. and keyboardist Eddie Bo beginning in the early 1960s.

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