January 16 2013
The Rebirth Brass Band "I Feel Like Funkin' It Up"
Strutting and jumping and high-stepping underneath their decorated parasols while blowing wistles and waking feathered fans, the African-American members of New Orleans’ Soial Aid & Pleasure Clubs are the organizers, originators and sponsonsors of the second line parades for which the city is famous. Now The brass band that follows the parades Grand Marshall and club members, who are pretty dapper to say the least blast out exuberant rhythms to propel everyone’s high-spirited march through the streets. The club and the brass bands are known as the first line and the group that follows is the second, hence the term Second Line parade.
African American Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs aren’t just about parades, they grew out of organizations called Benevolent Societies, from which many different many different ethnic groups in New Orleans had formed serving a purpose that many insurance companies have supplanted. The Benevolent Societies would help dues-paying members defray health care costs, pay for funerals, as well as provide the band for the funeral procession an help out during financial hardships. They also helped foster a sense of unity in the community, perform charitable works and hosted social events; our Mardi Gras Moment is a tribute to them.
Here's a home video(not mine) of another of New Orleans' more well-known second lines, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band...