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StoryCorps New Orleans

The stories of the city told by some of our most beloved residents

Listen to stories from New Orleans’ rich history told by some of its most beloved citizens, each of whom have contributed to the city’s fabric and culture in their own unique way. Recorded and produced by StoryCorps for the New Orleans Tricentennial.

Arts & Culture

Ben & Jeanette Jaffe

New Orleans musician Ben Jaffe talks with his wife Jeanette Jaffe about how they met and how Jeanette has become an integral part of Preservation Hall, the historic music venue and cultural center founded by Ben's parents.

Michael Murphy & Cilista Eberle

Filmmaker-producer partners Michael Murphy and Cilista Eberle reflect on their decades-long partnership making documentary films that honor the culture and musical tradition of New Orleans.

Derrick Tabb & Glenn Hall Jr.

Rebirth Brass Band's Derrick Tabb talks with his cousin, Glenn Hall Jr., about choosing music over drugs growing up in the historic Treme neighborhood. Derrick co-founded The Roots of Music, an after-school music program and mentorship program for youth in New Orleans.

Community Service & Activism

Archbishop Gregor Aymond & Sister Beth Fitzpatrick

Archbishop Gregory Aymond speaks with friend and co-worker Sister Beth Fitzpatrick about their work in the Archdiocese of New Orleans and how it has been inextricable from the city's history.

Cyndi Nguyen & Sandy Ha Nguyen

City Councilmember Cyndi Nguyen and Sandy Ha Nguyen talk about their work serving the Vietnamese immigrant community in NOLA. Cyndi is the first Vietnamese-American council member in the state and Sandy runs a nonprofit that works with the rural fishing community.

Dodie Smith-Simmons & Claude Reese

Claude Reese and Doratha "Dodie" Smith-Simmons recount the details of their "Freedom Rides" from New Orleans to McComb, MS in 1961. Both Claude and Dodie were members of the New Orleans Congress of Racial Equality (C.O.R.E).

Karen DeSalvo & Ayame Dinkler

Dr. Karen DeSalvo tells friend Ayame Dinkler about building a citywide community healthcare system after Katrina. She served as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Dinkler serves as Chief of Staff at LCMC Health.

Naydja Bynum & Patricia Gay

Naydja Bynum and Patricia Gay talk about their work and dedication to the Preservation Resource Center in New Orleans and what it has done for the city. Naydja and her husband’s courtship began with a mutual appreciation of preservation—we hear Naydja describe their first dates.

Sandy & Stanford Rosenthal

Stanford Rosenthal and his mother Sandy Rosenthal talk about Sandy's post-Hurricane Katrina activism project ‘' and Stanford's role in supporting it.

Sonny Lee & Julio Bermudez

Bivian "Sonny" Lee III and his mentee and friend Julio Bermudez talk about meeting through the Son of a Saint program, which mentors fatherless young men in New Orleans. Both lost their fathers at a young age. We hear from Julio first.


Edgar ‘Dooky’ & Leah Chase

Leah Chase tells her son, Edgar "Dooky" Chase III, about her life in New Orleans. She and husband Dooky took over his family’s restaurant, Dooky Chase—the legendary restaurant where Leah has worked most of her life, earning the name "Queen of Creole Cuisine.”

Ella Brennan & Ti Martin

92-year-old Ella Brennan Martin tells her daughter, Ti Adelaide Martin, about the keys to being a successful New Orleans restaurateur and how her family - with their restaurant as headquarters - helped bring Mardi Gras back to everyday New Orleanians.

Mr. Okra & TG Herrington

Arthur “Mr Okra” Robinson talks with his friend T.G. Herrington about his life and work selling vegetables from his truck to residents of New Orleans, where he was born and raised.

Poppy Tooker & Ian McNulty

Radio host and New Orleans food writer Poppy Tooker tells her colleague Ian McNulty when she became what’s known as a “food activist.”


Dr. Norman Francis & Emily Hsiao

Dr. Norman Francis talks about his lifelong fight for equality for African-Americans. In 1948, he left his hometown to go to Xavier University. He then became the first black student to be admitted to—and graduate from—Loyola Law School before becoming president of Xavier for 47 years.

Dr. Scott Cowen & Johanna Gilligan

Dr. Scott Cowen, former President and current President Emeritus of Tulane University, and Tulane grad Johanna Gilligan, talk about their long relationship as mentor/mentee. Gilligan is the founding director of Grow Dat Youth Farm, which builds youth leadership by growing food.

Kenneth St. Charles & Eddie Williams

Dr. Kenneth St. Charles and Eddie Williams talk about their experiences as students at St. Augustine High School, a Catholic, all-boys black high school best known for its band—The Marching 100. Williams is now the school’s band director and St. Charles is the school's president.

Leona Tate & Tremaine Knighten-Riley

Tremaine Knighton-Riley asks her friend, Leona Tate, about Leona's experience as one of three black students to integrate the all-white McDonogh No. 19 Elementary School in New Orleans in 1960.


Garland Robinette & Nancy Rhett

Garland Robinette tells his wife, Nancy Rhett, about how he became a well-known newscaster at a New Orleans TV station WWL and how he became a well-respected portrait artist.

Renette Dejoie-Hall & David Baker

Renette Dejoie-Hall, executive editor and president of The Louisiana Weekly, tells associate editor, David Thaddeus Baker, about starting at the newspaper, known as ‘The Voice of the Voiceless.’ Renette’s grandfather began publishing the African-American paper in 1925.

New Orleans Life

Janet Colley Morse & Shelby Westfeldt Mills

Friends and business colleagues, Janet Colley Morse and Shelby Westfeldt Mills talk about their friendship since they were children and being the first women to join their family businesses. We hear from Shelby first.

Roger Ogden & Ron Forman

Real estate developer and community leader Roger Ogden, and life-long friend and colleague Ron Forman, President & CEO of Audubon Nature Institute, talk about various projects they have partnered on together over the years to improve New Orleans. We hear first from Ron.

Staci Rosenberg & Dionne Randolph

Friends Staci Rosenberg and Dionne Randolph talk about Staci creating the first all-female Mardi Gras parade - “Krewe of Muses” - almost two decades ago. We hear first from Staci.


Archie & Cooper Manning

Former New Orleans Saints star quarterback Archie Manning tells his son, Cooper, how he decided to move his family to New Orleans. Manning was drafted by the Saints in 1971 after which he and his wife first moved to “Fat City” Metairie, LA - just outside New Orleans.

Janice & Mary Beth Romig

Janice Romig and her daughter, Mary Beth Romig, remember Jerry Romig, Janice's late husband and Mary Beth's father. Jerry, who was the public address announcer for the New Orleans Saints football team, did not miss a home game for 44 straight years.