Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Southern Studies


Southern Studies

First Advisor

Adam Gussow

Second Advisor

David Wharton

Third Advisor

Ted Ownby

Relational Format



The purpose of this work is to construct a history of the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans, Louisiana in order to determine its place and establish its importance in the musical history of New Orleans. Opened in early 1974, the Maple Leaf Bar is the oldest continually-functioning music club in the city of New Orleans outside of the French Quarter, and is accorded a share of the credit for the current popularity in New Orleans of the roots music of New Orleans and Louisiana. This will be accomplished by identifying and examining comtraits the Maple Leaf Bar shares with prominent clubs from New Orleans’s history, and also by identifying traits that make the Maple Leaf Bar exceptional in this history. This work will utilize several oral history interviews of patrons and employees of the Maple Leaf Bar, as well as musicians who have performed there, along with extensive newspaper and magazine accounts and listings. This work will establish the significance of the Maple Leaf Bar as it relates to the musical history of New Orleans, Louisiana, and make a case for the importance of bars and nightclubs in the history of popular music.



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