Professor Longhair (Born Henry Byrd; aka Roy Byrd)
December 19, 1918 – January 30, 1980
Professor Longhair was a New Orleans rhythm and blues pianist and singer whose career spanned some thirty years. Longhair was a street hustler before turning his focus on playing the piano professionally in the late ’40s. He made several albums throughout his career, mostly considered among the best of the New Orleans genre. He was also a crowd pleasure at the most respected music festivals in the world, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Newport Jazz Festival and the Montreux Jazz Festival. Longhair suffered a heart attack and died while asleep. He was 61 years old.