In 1972, a
young lawyer weighing in at 150 pounds returned to practice law in
his hometown of Minden. The weekends were so quiet that he put
together a band playing sixties music similar to the groups that put
him through LSU. Over 33 years and 150 pounds later, he is still
playing sixties music, but now utilizing an 11-piece band with 4
Refusing to age
gracefully, Judge Harmon Drew and his Super Group play 50-60 gigs a
year and they are now finding new fans of all ages. With a song list
of over 300 selections, they keep any crowd dancing. Some of the
Judge's musicians have been with him since the early '70's. This
band gathers people from all over Northwest and Central Louisiana.
Each picker has a regular day gig, but they all look forward to the
weekends with the HARMON DREW SUPER GROUP.
SNIPS OF AN INTERVIEW ON JUDGE DREW AND THE HARMON DREW SUPER GROUP
FROM THE LOUISIANA BAR JOURNAL
Judge Drew, you have a rock and roll band that plays regularly
around the state, is that right?
Judge Drew: We play, I
guess on average of about four times a month, mainly Saturdays. This
weekend is an exception, but I'd say we average probably 50-60 jobs
When did you first start having a rock and roll band?
Judge Drew: 1962. I found these two - I guess my sister had
them - these two Home of the Blues albums with Irma Thomas, Ernie
K-Doe and Benny Spellman and we just got a little band up called the
Disciples of Jazz. We didn’t even know what jazz was, but we just
started playing. It was all three chord stuff. We didn't even have a
bass player, but we didn't know any different.
Were you in the high school band, I mean the school band?
Judge Drew: Heck no, none
of us could read music.
Some of my horn guys now can, but I consider that cheating.
Remember now, I finished high school in 1964. And, in 1964,
when the Beatles hit, anybody who could afford an amplifier could
make some money playing music, regardless of talent, thank goodness.
I always thought the Beatles were real good, but for me, you can't
beat those New Orleans artists. Having said that, folks like Otis
Redding, Jackie Wilson, The Temptations and Wilson Pickett are my
national All Stars.
When you went to college at LSU, did you have a band then too?
... When I was an LSU undergrad, and later in LSU Law
School, our band was Ivy Peebles Medicine Show. Our drummer,
who is now practicing law in Baton Rouge and shall remain
nameless, was married by a justice of the peace by that name
in Woodville, Mississippi, and we just thought that the name
So where do you think your band will be in five years?
Judge Drew: Most of us will probably be
in nursing homes, but I think we'll still be playing, but with
walkers in front of us. But as long as the phone keeps ringing,
we're going to keep playing. I haven’t had to advertise really in
years but the phone keeps ringing. When the phones get quiet, we'll
But until then, we'll be there.
And with the same list of songs.
Judge Drew: No question about that. And I get to sing "Brown