WWOZ Announces Broadcast Of 1974 ‘Fire Benefit’ Highlights: The Meters, Professor Longhair & More


New Orleans radio station WWOZ will air highlights of the fabled “Fire Benefit,” which took place on April 22, 1974 at the Crescent City venue the Warehouse. Professor Longhair, Allen Toussaint, The Meters and Dr. John were among the acts who performed at the benefit for Professor Longhair. Tune in to WWOZ at 1 p.m. CT today (Wednesday, April 24) to hear an hour’s worth of magical moments from the legendary concert.

The “Fire Benefit” was put together shortly after Professor Longhair’s house burned down and he lost everything except for the clothes on his back. Many New Orleans-based bands came together at the Warehouse at a concert organized by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation just days before the 1974 Jazz Fest to raise funds for Professor Longhair. The multitrack tapes have been preserved in the Archive of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the non-profit arm of Jazz Fest.

WWOZ host George Ingmire will broadcast the highlights as part of his “New Orleans Music Show” around 1 p.m. CT. “I heard about these tapes long before I actually got to hear any of them,” Dave Ankers, WWOZ’s director of content, told Keith Spera of The Advocate. “And then when you hear them, you realize the performances are stunning. And they’ve been sitting around unheard for over 40 years.”

Other artists who took part in the “Fire Benefit” were The Wild Magnolias, Earl King, Earl Turbinton, Tommy Ridgley, Ernie K-Doe, Snooks Eaglin and Willie Tee & The Gaturs. Head to WWOZ to listen.