Raful and Jackie Neal
Raful Neal is better known today
for being a dotting father than for his own ability at playing
the harmonica. Little known fact, Raful was the first of the Baton
Rouge bluesmen to make a recording. In 1957, Houston's Wit Records
released "On the Dark Side Cryin'"/"Cryin' Blues."
(Source: Baton Rouge Blues by Jimmy Beyer)
eleven children (nine of which have gone on to play music), Raful
during the 1970s had his older children backing him up on stage
till the kids went to Canada to play with Buddy Guy in the late
70s. His oldest child, Kenny Neal, became an internationally famous
guitarist through the 1980s and his influence got Alligator Records
to release Raful's first nationally released album in 1990.
After retiring from his day job, Raful was afforded
the opertunity to tour internationally through out the 1990s and
released two more albums. In 1995 Raful was selected into the
Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame. Raful continued to play both local
gigs mixed in with international festivals till he passed away
on September 1, 2004 at the age of 64.
Meanwhile the story of Jackie Neal is much more tragic.
One of Raful's daughters, she had been recording her own material
for ten years and was a respected singer in the blues and "Southern
Soul" circuits in the states surrounding Louisiana. With
her stage presence, work ethic, and family name, much was hoped
for her. That came to nought on the evening of March 10, 2005
when her ex-boyfriend fatally shot her at a Baton Rouge hair salon
(then attempted to kill himself).
Both Raful and Jackie Neal are buried in Roselawn Cemetary
in Baton Rouge.
Jackie's marker (with plenty of flowers)
Raful's marker (with fewer flowers)
Both markers together
Now where is the Neal family plot at?
The main enterance for Roselawn Cemetary is along North
St (between Acadian Thruway and Foster Dr), follow the live oak
blvd till you come to this creative shrubbery display. Turn left
in front of it and then you'll turn left again immediately after
you get past the oak alley (essentially you'll be making an upside
From the path you will want to look for this marble
bench for the Cangelosi family on your left (as you face the front
of the cemetary).
Behind the Cangelosi plot is
a marker for the Hundemer family (as shown above). The Neal family
plot is directly behind the Hundemer marker.
Also of note is Ronnie Neal, son of Raful, who passed
away in April 2004. I don't know where he is buried at (it isn't
marked with Raful and Jackie), so there are no photos at this
Louisianne page on Raful Neal
Neal Discography (you'll have to scroll 2/3 of the way down)
All photos on this page were taken by me
on December 20, 2005
Page created on January 24, 2006
Questions and comments can be sent to Sandor
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