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Cosimo Matassa

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Cosimo Matassa

Cosimo Matassa
Born (1926-04-13)April 13, 1926
New Orleans, Louisiana
Died September 11, 2014(2014-09-11) (aged 88)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Occupation Recording engineer and music studio owner
Known for J&M Recording Studio
Awards Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Blues Hall of Fame, Grammy Trustees Award

Cosimo Vincent Matassa (April 13, 1926 – September 11, 2014) was an American recording engineer and studio owner, responsible for many R&B and early rock and roll recordings.


  • Life and career 1
  • Awards and other recognition 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Life and career

Matassa was born in New Orleans in 1926.[1][2] In 1944 he began studies as a chemistry major at Tulane University which he abandoned after completing five semesters of course work.[3] At the age of 18 in 1945, Matassa opened the J&M Recording Studio at the back of his family’s shop on Rampart Street on the outskirts of the French Quarter of New Orleans.[1] In 1955, he moved to the larger Cosimo Recording Studio on Gov. Nichols St. nearby in the French Quarter.[1][4]

As an engineer and proprietor, Matassa was crucial to the development of the R&B, rock and soul sound of the 1950s and 1960s (often working with producers Dave Bartholomew and Allen Toussaint), and recorded many hits - including Fats Domino’s "The Fat Man" (a contender for the first rock and roll record), Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti", and records by Ray Charles, Lee Dorsey, Dr John, Smiley Lewis, Bobby Mitchell, Tommy Ridgley, the Spiders and many others. He was responsible for developing what became known as the "New Orleans Sound", with strong drums, heavy guitar and bass, heavy piano, light horn sound and a strong vocal lead. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Matassa also managed the successful white New Orleans rock and roll performer Jimmy Clanton.[5]

Matassa retired from the music business in the 1980s to manage the family's food store Matassa's Market in the French Quarter.[6] He died on September 11, 2014, aged 88, in New Orleans.[7]

Awards and other recognition

In December 1999, J&M Recording Studio was designated as a historic landmark.[6]

In October 2007, Matassa was honored for his contributions to Louisiana music with induction into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame; that same year he was also given a Grammy Trustees Award.[8]

On September 24, 2010, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum designated Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Recording Studio as a historic Rock and Roll Landmark, one of 11 nationwide.[9]

In 2012, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland as a non-performer.[10] He was inducted to the Blues Hall of Fame in 2013.[11]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Unterberger, Richie (1926-04-13). "Cosimo Matassa - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-03-06. 
  2. ^ Liner notes to the CD The Cosimo Matassa Story by Adam Komorowski
  3. ^ Douglas Martin (September 12, 2014). "Cosimo Matassa, Whose Studio Created a Rock ’n’ Roll Sound, Dies at 88".  
  4. ^ "Cosimo Matassa". Rack and Roll Hall of Fame. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. Retrieved 2015. 
  5. ^ Billboard, May 23, 1960, p.30
  6. ^ a b New Orleans sound" legend Cosimo Matassa has died""". Retrieved 2014-09-13. 
  7. ^ , September 11, 2014The Times-PicayuneKeith Spera, "Cosimo Matassa, New Orleans recording studio owner, engineer and rock 'n' roll pioneer, has died", . Retrieved 12 September 2014
  8. ^ "Cosimo Matassa Dies: Engineer and Recording Academy Trustees Award recipient dies at 88". September 11, 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-12. 
  9. ^ "Cosimo Matassa's J&M Recording Studio named Rock and Roll Landmark". Retrieved 2013-03-06. 
  10. ^ "BBC News - Guns N' Roses inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame". 2011-12-07. Retrieved 2013-03-06. 
  11. ^ "2013 Blues Hall of Fame Inductees Announced". Retrieved 2013-03-06. 

External links

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