New Orleans History -- Lake Pontchartrain
Monday, April 24, 2017
Search this site.View the site map.
 
 

JOHNNY REININGER Times-Picayune Obituary

Johnny Reininger was the band leader at the My-Oh-My Club on the Lakefront for more than 20 years.

Mr. Reininger -- remembered, according to jazz historian Jack Stewart, as one of the city's truly great clarinet players...

John "Johnny" Reininger, a popular mid-century dance-band leader, clarinet and alto saxophone player, died Tuesday of pneumonia at Memorial Medical Center. He was 91.

A lifelong resident of New Orleans, Mr. Reininger gained early prominence in the 1930s playing with the Ellis Stratakos band at the Jung Hotel Roof, a Canal Street establishment popular with Gov. Huey Long. Long would give the band members $20 each for playing "Every Man a King," his political
slogan.

Mr. Reininger also played with the Dawnbusters Orchestra, whose morning show on WWL Radio was remembered by former band member Margie O'Dair as an "early 'Laugh In,'" with news, music and skits.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Mr. Reininger fronted his own orchestra at Lenfant's Seafood Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge on Canal Boulevard. Tony Dalmado, who played trumpet in the band, recalled Mr. Reininger as one of the best musicians and arrangers he knew. "One night a customer
at Lenfant's asked Johnny to play 'That's My Desire' by Frankie Lane, so we played our version. But the customer said he wanted it just like on the record, and during a 20- minute break Johnny writes an arrangement
for the band straight out of his head, not using a piano. That takes talent."

Mr. Reininger also was the band leader at the My-Oh-My Club on the Lakefront for more than 20 years.

Mr. Reininger -- remembered, according to jazz historian Jack Stewart, as one of the city's truly great clarinet players -- was a member of the American Federation of Musicians Local No.174-496.

A master Mason, he was a member of George Washington Lodge No.065 for more than 50 years.

Credit:
JOHNNY REININGER, 91, '50S DANCE-BAND LEADER
[ORLEANS Edition]Times - Picayune New Orleans, La. Sep 17, 1999 From staff reports