840 North Rampart-Rock n’ Roll history

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum designated Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Recording Studio as a historic Rock and Roll Landmark, one of 11 nationwide.
A few J&M recordings, including Fats Domino’s single “The Fat Man,” Roy Brown’s “Good Rockin Tonight” and Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti” have sometimes been called the first rock n’ roll record.
Now a launderette, you can still hear Fats Domino at the piano if you listen closely enough when the rinse cycle comes on..
Then stop by and see the Matassa boys at the family store at St. Phillip and Dauphine and get some red beans for later…
from Frank Etheridge’s 2006 (?) Gambit story:
Matassa then opened a studio in a larger space on the 500 block of Gov. Nicholls Street in a former cold storage space for avocados — “great sound there,” he says — and then later expanded further when he moved to the 700 block of Camp Street in a building that also housed offices for his Dover record distribution business as well as a studio. Matassa also had a plant in Jefferson Parish to manufacture the records.

“I was trying to be a factor on the national level,” Matassa explains of his expansion in the years leading up to the mid-’60s. “But every time I went to a bank for a loan, they’d throw me out. Unfortunately, people in New Orleans with money at the time were only interested in real estate deals or oil deals. That’s why Nashville made it with the music industry, because the city had a couple of sympathetic banks.”

About DW

New Orleans resident, writer, activist. Public market consultant.

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