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The Legend of the Dew Drop Inn documentary interviews by Julia Dorn

Identifier: HJA-093

Scope and Contents

This collection contains video interviews conducted by filmmaker Julia Dorn in 2004 and early 2005 for her independently produced documentary, The Legend of The Dew Drop Inn. The unfinished film was intended to have a running time of 55 minutes, and incorporate oral history interviews to detail the historical, social, and cultural impact of the Dew Drop Inn complex, which included one of the foremost Black entertainment venues of pre-integration New Orleans during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.

Interviews and other footage feature musicians Dave Bartholomew, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Mike Carruba, Deacon John, Reggie Hall, Clarence "Frogman" Henry, Al "Carnival Time" Johnson, Walter Payton, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint, and Walter "Wolfman" Washington. Also interviewed are Laura Jackson, daughter of Dew Drop Inn founder Frank Painia; and Kenneth Jackson, son of Laura Jackson, grandson of Pania and, at the time of filming, was working on redeveloping the Dew Drop Inn. Additional interview subjects are James O'Neil, cousin of Drew Drop Inn's M.C., female impersonator Patsy Vidalia; Jim Russell, who booked acts at the club and later ran Jim Russell Rare Records; Tee Eva, who lived in the Magnolia Housing Project across from the Dew Drop Inn and operated Tee Eva's Creole Food at the time of filming; original Dew Drop Inn patrons Herman LaRoche, Joe Schneider, and Edward (last name unidentified), who operated Edwards Shoe Service on Magazine Street in New Orleans at the time of filming; trumpeter Lionel Johnson, who lived above the former Dew Drop Inn location at the time of filming; jazz historian Bruce Boyd Raeburn; and Edward Wood, proprietor of Wood's Barber Shop on LaSalle Street.

Topics included in the interviews range from New Orleans music history and family-owned businesses to segregation and the subsequent consequences of integration which aided in the club's demise. Footage features interior shots of the Dew Drop Inn, and exterior shots of LaSalle Street, the Magnolia Housing Project, and the neighborhood outside the Dew Drop Inn building, all circa 2004-2005.


  • 2004-2005


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research and has been digitized. Please see Existence and Location of Copies note below for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright to portions of this collection has been transferred to Tulane University Special Collections. Tulane University can grant permission to publish for materials to which it holds the copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or owner’s heir for permission to publish where Tulane University Special Collections does not hold the copyright For permission to publish collections material to which TUSC holds intellectual property rights, please contact Research Services at

Biographical / Historical

The Dew Drop Inn was a Black-owned nightclub with an accompanying hotel, bar, restaurant, and barber shop. It operated at 2836 LaSalle Street in New Orleans during its 1940s-1960s heyday under original owner Frank Painia, who died in 1972. The Dew Drop Inn catered to Black customers and entertainers during the period of racial segregation laws in the South. The nightclub would become renowned for early performances of legendary rhythm and blues and rock and roll musicians such as Ray Charles and Little Richard, and iconic New Orleans artists like Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint.

Filmmaker Julia Dorn was born in Germany and received her master's degree in documentary filmmaking from Goldsmiths, University of London. Formerly known as Julia Dorn-Buckler, she lived in New Orleans while working on her independently produced documentary, The Legend of the Dew Drop Inn, in 2004 and early 2005. Dorn's career as a Telly Award-winning producer in broadcast television and digital media includes projects with E! Entertainment Television, Nat Geo WILD, and Travel Channel, among others.


42 Cassettes : MiniDV cassettes

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Original audiovisual formats are not available for playback.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated by Julia Dorn in 2020.

Existence and Location of Copies

This collection has been digitized and can be accessed remotely by visiting The Legend of the Dew Drop Inn documentary interviews with Julia Dorn at Tulane University Digital Library.

Content Warning

This collection may contain language and materials that are offensive, outdated or harmful. See Tulane University Special Collections’ Statement on Harmful and Non-Inclusive Language in Archival Description for more information about our current practices and commitment to inclusive and reparative action in the archives, which includes ongoing efforts to remediate or contextualize ableist, euphemistic, homophobic, racist, sexist and other forms of oppressive language found within our finding aids and collection materials. If you have concerns about language used in this finding aid, please contact us at

The Julia Dorn/Dew Drop Inn Collection
Jennifer Waxman and Melissa A. Weber
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Tulane University Special Collections Repository

Jones Hall Room 202
6801 Freret Street
New Orleans 70118 US