Peter Badie

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Peter "Chuck" Badie (born May 17, 1925) is a New Orleans jazz bass player. Born in New Orleans, he grew up in Mahalia Jackson's Carrollton neighborhood. His father was a prominent jazz saxophone player who played with the "Eureka" and the "Original Olympia" brass bands. (His father played with Percy Humphrey's first band.) [1] In addition to the strong musical influence of his father, Badie would frequent places such as the Rhythm Club to listen to singer Billy Eckstine and piano player Earl Hines, as well as the Erskine Hawkins, Andy Kirk, and Lucky Millender bands.

In 1942, Badie joined the Navy and returned from the service in 1945. He used the G.I. Bill to enroll at the Grunewald School of Music. His first musical job was with the "Buccaneers," but soon he was playing at the Dew Drop Inn. In 1950 he went on the road with rhythm-and -blues pioneer, Roy Brown ("Good Rockin' Tonight") for two years. Later he joined Paul Gayten's band at the Brass Rail, followed by a stint with Dave Bartholomew's Band.[2]

According to the brief biographical sketch in Harold Battiste's New Orleans Heritage – Jazz 1956-1966, Badie was introduced to Lionel Hampton, who asked him if he "could travel". "I started to ask him could a fish swim?" Badie remembered. For three years, he performed with Hampton all over the world, playing the electric bass and recording more than 100 songs with Hampton's band. He left the band to return to New Orleans to assist his mother in the care of his father, who was ill.

Back in New Orleans, he joined the American Jazz Quintet, which was considered the top New Orleans modern jazz group of the 1950s and 1960s. At that time, it included Ellis Marsalis, Ed Blackwell, Nat Perrilliat, and Alvin Batiste.

In 1961, Harold Battiste formed All For One (AFO) Records,[3] and its membership boasted some of the now-legendary musicians of New Orleans: Badie, Alvin Batiste, Warren Bell, James Black, Edward Blackwell, John Boudreaux, Melvin Lastie, Tami Lynn, Ellis Marsalis, Richard Payne, Nathanial Perrilliat, and Alvin Tyler. AFO became an incorporated production company, and Badie served as one of its board members. AFO established its own label, issuing classic R&B recordings and some jazz recordings. According to John Broven in Rhythm & Blues in New Orleans, one of the hits produced by AFO was Barbara Georges' "I know." AFO also recorded Prince La La's "She Put the Hurt on Me," and Lee Dorsey's "Ya Ya."

Badie is on most of the popular recordings issued by Minit, which was owned by Joe Banashak and Larry McKinley. These sessions were produced by Allen Toussaint and included Ernie K-Doe's "Mother-in-law"; Jesse Hill's "Oo Poo Pa Doo"; Irma Thomas' "It's Raining"; and Benny Spellman's "Lipstick Traces." He appeared on Chris Kenner's classic recording for Instant Records, "Land of 1000 Dances."

For ten months, Badie toured and recorded with Sam Cooke, and he can be heard on Cooke's "Meet me at Mary's Place" and "Ain't that Good News." In addition, he added his distinctive touch to Cooke's recording of "Tennessee Waltz," telling a friend that he introduced it in 4/4 time instead of the ¾ time made popular on Pattie Paige's version. He also is proud of the intro he added to Cooke's Civil Rights song, "Change is Gonna Come." All these songs were recorded in one session in December 1963. After Sam Cooke was killed in Los Angeles in 1964, Badie returned home to New Orleans with his family. He has played with Zoot Sims, Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Domino, Lloyd Price, Big Joe Turner, Charles Brown, and Hank Crawford. In the late 1960s, he worked six nights a week at Mason's with pianist Ed Frank and drummer June Gardner.

Badie stopped playing in the 1970s and early 1980s because of health reasons; however, he returned to music in the late 1980s. Since 1994, he regularly performs on Saturday nights at the Palm Court Jazz Café.

Although Badie was one of the first musicians around New Orleans to perform on an electric bass, which he used almost exclusively with Lionel Hampton's band, most of his major recordings featured him on the upright bass. A versatile musician, he was comfortable playing with big bands and small traditional jazz bands, modern jazz ensembles, and rhythm-and-blues bands.

Badie lost his home on the Lower Ninth Ward after the levees broke following Hurricane Katrina, and at the age of 80 assumed a new mortgage to purchase a home in the Habitat for Humanity Musicians' Village. Despite his age, he put in 350 hours of equity in the Musicians' Village to build his new home, working with countless young people from around the nation pouring concrete, laying heavy cinder block bricks, framing houses, and painting. He learned many of these skills when clearing land in the 1940s for the development of Lakeview.

Badie is a member of St. David's Church in the Lower Ninth Ward, which he helped to build when it was first constructed and then worked to rebuild after it was flooded during Katrina. With his parish church closed because of Katrina, he attended St. Augustine Church, where he sometimes performed with other jazz musicians and the choir. He also is a member of the Knights of St. Peter Claver.

Badie has two sons, Emmanuel and Peter (deceased), and one daughter, Celeste Landry. He is pre-deceased by his wife, Odile Badie and his Son Peter Badie III.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Hull, Anne (2006-01-30). "After Katrina the Jazzman Plays On". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
  2. ^ White, Michael (Fall 2007). "Living Legends of Jazz". Garden & Gun. Retrieved 2012-02-29.
  3. ^ Ward, Ed (2016). The History of Rock & Roll, volume one, 1920–1963. New York: Flatiron Books. p. 256. ISBN 978-1-250-07116-3.