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Cavallero, Harold


Country Musician

Mr. Cavallero was born in 1930, in New Orleans, Louisiana. He learned to play the dobro in 1941, from Roger Filiberto at Werlein's. Harold began performing professionally at the age of thirteen, and remembers playing clubs on Bourbon Street at the age of fourteen. He jokes that now he has "come full circle, and he has gone from being the youngest member of the band in his youth, to one of the oldest in his present band, the "Evening Star String Band."

Country music is an almost lost part of New Orleans musical heritage. Harold Cavallero, is an exceptional New Orleans based musician, and he plays country music in the old style of the 1940s. He is a master on both the steel guitar and dobro steel guitar, which are instruments important to country music performances and are rarely heard in New Orleans today. Country music in New Orleans had its day in the 1940s, and its popularity continued for perhaps fifteen years after WWII. At that time, Mr. Cavallero performed extensively on local country radio jamborees and accompanied touring country music personalities when they appeared locally. He has made his music because of his love of jazz, blues, and rhythm and blues. Mr. Cavallero performs about fifty times a year on weekends at clubs, fairs, and in recording studios. He is a member of the "Evening Star String Band," which was formed to present Mr. Cavallero and Bob Lambert to new audiences in the area. These two men are referred to as, "the living links with the region's rich musical past." The band is a replay of early country music groups of the late 1930s and 1940s.

Mr. Cavallero's work is documented on "The Country Three," an album produced in 1986, by Pat Flory with support from the Louisiana Folklife Festival, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and Abita Springs Water Festival, among other events. With the "Evening Star String Band," he can be heard regularly at the Piney Woods Opry, a highly acclaimed monthly live radio show in Abita Springs, Louisiana.Mr. Cavallero passed away January 28, 2007.

Updated November 30, 2016 by Natchitoches-NSU Louisiana Folklife Center Staff