Louisiana State Historic Marker to be dedicated to 'Slim Harpo' June 21

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
Slim Harpo

PORT ALLEN - A Louisiana State Historic Marker will be dedicated at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 21 to the memory of James ‘Slim Harpo’ Moore.

The marker dedication will be held at the intersection of South Mulatto Bend Road and La. 190, according to the chair of the Historic Preservation Committee for the WBR Historical Association Brian Falcon.

Slim Harpo’s grandson, Alonzo Gambler, will participate in the program.

“Slim Harpo” was one of the most famous Louisiana harp players in the “swamp blues” tradition. He was born in Lobdell in West Baton Rouge Parish in 1924 and taught himself guitar and harmonica which he played in a neck rack as a child. 

In the 10th grade his parents died and he had to leave school to support his family. He worked as a dockhand and started sitting in on local gigs.

By the 1940’s he appeared under the name Harmonica Slim. In 1948 he married and began performing full time.

Several of his popular songs include “King Bee,” “Raining in my Heart,” and “Scratch my Back.” His influence reached far beyond Louisiana with both American and British musicians covering his songs.

“The West Baton Rouge Historical Association sponsors the Louisiana State Historic Marker Program for West Baton Rouge Parish and is proud to welcome the 26th marker recognizing sites and individuals important to the history and culture of the parish,” Falcon said.