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A Tribute To Dr. John On His 76th Birthday

Happy birthday to Mac Rebennack, a.k.a. Dr. John, who turns 76 today. (Courtesy of the artist)closemore
Happy birthday to Mac Rebennack, a.k.a. Dr. John, who turns 76 today. (Courtesy of the artist)

Today on World Cafe, we pay tribute to Dr. John, the American music legend who turns 76 years old Nov. 21. Malcolm John "Mac" Rebennack was born and raised in New Orleans, where he still lives. A chance meeting as a teenager with pianist Professor Longhair set Dr. John down a musical path that combined R&B, New Orleans funk, psychedelia, blues and jazz. The gritty, growly Rock and Roll Hall of Famer boasts a lengthy career. In 2012 he collaborated with The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach on the soulful and funky Locked Down, and he paid tribute to Louis Armstrong in 2014's Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch.

In 2012, World Cafe headed down to the Big Easy with Dr. John for our Sense of Place: New Orleans trip. Dr. John experiences the city as more than just his home — it's his soul and inspiration. As essential to the city's spirit as big brass and Cajun charm is the ancient, mysterious spiritual tradition that has long entranced Dr. John. We walked around the Crescent City, and Dr. John took us to some heavy, mystical locations — a cemetery, a spiritual supply shop and a voodoo temple.

Here's wishing Dr. John a mos' scocious, desitively bonnaroo birthday.

Copyright NPR 2016.

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