Waldo Burton Boys Home
From age 7 to 15 I was ward of the State of Louisiana at Waldo Burton Boys Home in New Orleans, LA. It's my Higher Purpose in life to help kids that were like me. I spend a lot of time helping Charities too many to list but here a few LIST. I now live in Dallas, TX settling here after Katrina August 2005. In my younger life working with Gov. Edwin W. Edwards. I have four children and one grandchild. My oldest daughter, Victoria Stokes, will graduate from LSU Medical with RN BSN in December 2017.
I am often asked why War of Rock Shows or Sports PLUS crosses so many different genres of music. I contribute this to my upbringing.
I grew up in a Boys Home (Orphanage) in New Orleans, LA called Waldo Burton Memorial. The resident kids called it “The Home” outside kids called us “Home Boys” not to be confused with “My Home Boy” there wasn’t anything really cool about being called a “Home Boy”. The home is located at 3320 South Carrollton Ave, New Orleans LA; built in 1918 it is considered a national landmark.
There were three levels of occupants Junior’s, ages from 1 year old to 9, Intermediates, ages 10 – 13 and Seniors ages 14 – 18. I became a ward of the State of Louisiana and a member of the Home December 1979.
The Home never knew race or color barriers and was run by a man that to this day we all consider our father, Ralph Stroup Mr. Stroup was the superintendent and attended Waldo Burton from 1951 to 1968... Note: Ralph has three beautiful daughters, Jennifer, Rebecca and Lydia.. NO BOYS LOL. In 1981 I saw this movie "The Decline of Western Civilization" by the Rock anthropologist; Penelope Spheeris also director of Waynes World. This seem to set the ball rolling for me and music/movies.
COUNTRY: Before the Boys Home, I grew up listening to Freddie Fender blaring out the speakers of my mother’s 1967 Corvair convertible, my mother toured with Freddie as a backup singer from 64 to 67, I was born August 1967. This kind of explains my country roots.
JAZZ: My mother also worked at The 500 Club on Bourbon St. with Mrs. Chris Owens in the French Quarters. Every Sunday morning while everyone was busy cleaning up the local musicians would meet and have breakfast at Pat O'Brien's and play morning Jazz. I didn’t know who I was listening to until much later in life by stories told to me by Mrs. Chris Owens. I would sit at the piano with the pianist/composer/rock star/shaman Malcolm Rebennack, a.k.a. Dr. John, with Al Hirt and Pete Fountain usually lending help. It was 1975/76 on any given Saturday you could catch the trio at one of the many Jazz clubs in the Vieux Carré One of the great bands that frequently stop in to say “Hi” to my mother and Chris was Kool and the Gang.
ROCK: Back to the Boys Home, In the Home there were several different ethnic backgrounds from Latin American to African American and beyond both boys and counselors.
The Intermediates always looked up to the seniors kind of like big brothers. The seniors were all about music. If I wanted to hang out with any of them that meant having to like what they liked. This is where I was turned on to ROCK N ROLL. I was 12 years old and wanting to be cool so I hung out with Troy Hutton.. Troy had long blond rocker hair and listened to these bands called Black Flag, PiL & Sex Pistols. Glynn Bunch (Considered by most in the home as the devil) listened to KISS & Black Sabbath, Dart LaMoore listened to Fog Hat & RUSH. Neil Peart ( RUSH Drummer) is one of the greatest lyricist ever.
One of the counselors, Fred Edward Moolekamp Jr was a drummer and was friends with a guy named Guy Gelso from the New Orleans hometown favorite Rock Band ZEBRA.. I had the shirt that he gave me, signed by Randy Jackson, Felix Hanemann and Guy Gelso forever but lost it during Katrina. So this was like the first ROCK album I ever heard besides B97 FM & WRNO spinning tunes on the radio. I remember going to his apartment (All counselors had apartments in the home) and would ask him to play it while we played his Atari.
Several Counselors like Fred were into different types of music... Jack was Rock/Jazz, Curtis was Punk Rock and was in this band called “The Limit”. I forget his name but there was another counselor that loved Vinnie Vincent Invasion. Overall The Home represented and respected every culture and music derived. There were times when I would hear Latin music coming from Jorge Santamaria’s Apartment.
I leaned more to the Black Flag, Sex Pistols, PiL crowd because they were always doing fun insane shit. Later that summer, 1982, this new kid came to the Home and had this album that was solid black with just a red circle and star in the middle.. The group was called Mötley Crüe I heard that and said to myself, how did he ( Mick Mars) play that riff?
RAP HIP/HOP: Of course this came from the home too... Another Home Boy turned me on to this group called The Sugar Hill Gang the name of the song was "Rapper's Delight" from there I always had a love for Hip Hop. The song was the first ever multi-platinum Hip Hop single. Yes, you heard right, multi-platinum. Nile Gregory Rodgers not only had a HUGE hand in Rapper’s Delight he also produced David Bowie's biggest selling album Let's Dance with several hit singles, including "China Girl", "Modern Love" and the title track, "Let’s Dance". He produced the single "Original Sin" by INXS. Duran Duran worked extensively with Rodgers after he co-produced their largest selling hit single, "The Reflex" in 1983 and followed up with "The Wild Boys" on their 1984 live album Arena.
Well, that about sums it up and why you have some many different types of competitions across different genres of music within my shows like Rockin' The Red Carpet and WAR of ROCK.
The end of the story or really the beginning. A couple of my favorite Rock Bands are Zebra, Motley Crue and SLAUGHTER amongst many others.. For the last few years I have had the pleasure of working with all three of my hero's in rock. I have produced a track with Randy Jackson of Zebra with Darren DPaul Wise, titled: What it Feels Like, created a TV show pilot with Mark Slaughter and have produced several Rockin The Red Carpet Shows with Vince Neil of Motley Crue.
In 2012 Johnny Rotten (John Lyndon Sex Pistols/ PiL) was my first musical guest producing The Drew Pearson Show for Sports Plus. Johnny helped launch the Sports+Music side of the show the way it appears today on Sports+Plus Entertainment. Last year I was afforded the opportunity to work with Robert Kool Bell and Kool and The Gang.. In 2015 I will be producing shows with Eddie Money and Warrant.
I have always been inspired by music and movies especially movies about music. On the promotional musical side there is one guy that stood out to me and that's The Late Great Bill Graham.
Thanks to everyone out there for all the help, you know who you are, too many to list.
Tom's favorite TOP 20 tunes:
Tom Stokes with my eyes closed :)
The Waldo Burton Memorial Boys' Home was endowed and built in the 1920s by cypress lumber businessman and philanthropist, William L. Burton (1847-1927), who wished to establish an enduring memorial to his only child, William Waldo Burton, who was born in 1875 and lived to adulthood. The institution, in operation as a residential care facility into the 21st century and post-Katrina, is housed in a large two-story brick building with three arches at the entrance. The predecessor organization of the Waldo Burton Memorial Boys' Home, caring for white male orphans, had its origin around 1824. Name variations include: Society for the Relief of Destitute Orphan Boys, Orphan Boys' Asylum, Asylum for the Relief of Destitute Orphan Boys, Male Orphan Asylum, Waldo Burton Home, Waldo Burton Boys' Home, Waldo Burton Memorial Home.