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Penola Caesar was from Monroe, Louisiana where she was a member of New St. James Baptist Church. She was very popular and in demand as a local cosmetologist. Her occupation as a cosmetologist was not Penola's only talent. She had the ability to project Dr. Watts style long-meter hymns, and frequently led workshops where she taught others to do the same.
Mrs. Caesar was born in 1943, daughter of Christine Head and Louis Head. When asked how she learned to sing, she said, "it was a gift," but she actually learned in early childhood in church and in school. She sang weekly in churches, at state and national conventions, and at political and charitable events. She performed at the Louisiana Folklife Festival in Monroe, and received numerous awards and honors for her singing. She passed away in 2004.
Updated November 30, 2016 by Natchitoches-NSU Louisiana Folklife Center Staff