Tallahassee, Florida—June 27, 2019–Black News Channel (BNC), the nation’s only African American news network, today mourns with the music industry and music lovers all over the nation for the loss of Dave Bartholomew, a great American musician, bandleader, composer, arranger and record producer. Mr. Bartholomew was prominent in shaping not only New Orleans’ legendary rhythm and blues sound, but also many other music genres, such as big band, swing music, rock and roll, New Orleans jazz, and Dixieland. Mr. Bartholomew’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame identifies him as a key figure in the transition from jump blues and swing to rhythm and blues and rock and roll. He is also cited as one of New Orleans’ greatest musicians and a true pioneer in the rock and roll revolution. In addition to his other accomplishments, Mr. Bartholomew was a loving father to his eight children, including BNC’s own executive team member, Ron Bartholomew.
“On behalf of the BNC family, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Bartholomew’s family for your loss,” says network Chairman J.C. Watts, Jr. “We celebrate with you the many contributions that Mr. Bartholomew has made to music and our nation’s blended culture, and we are saddened by the passing of this great man.”
Known for his talents as a music producer, writer, and composer, as well as a red-hot trumpet player, Mr. Bartholomew’s partnership with Fats Domino produced some of his greatest successes. In the mid-1950s, they wrote more than 40 hits for Imperial Records, including the Billboard number one pop chart hit “Ain’t That a Shame.” Mr. Bartholomew has other hit songs recorded by music greats like Gale Storm, Elvis Presley, Pat Boone, Rick Nelson, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Hank Williams, Jr., Bob Seger, Joe Cocker, Sheryl Crow, Cheap Trick, and more. His songs have also been featured in movie soundtracks and, most recently, on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Mr. Bartholomew is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
“Mr. Bartholomew’s life, history, and accomplishments are a wonderful story to tell, and this story—along with the many stories of great African Americans—is what will make BNC’s news programming culturally-specific and relevant to our viewing audience,” says Gary Wordlaw, BNC vice president of news and programming.
Black News Channel is an independent network that is minority owned and operated, and it will be the nation’s only provider of 24/7 cable news programming dedicated to covering the unique perspective of African American communities. BNC is the endeavor of the network’s visionaries and co-founders, Chairman J.C. Watts, Jr. and CEO Bob Brillante. BNC will provide access to information and educational programming to meet the specific needs of this growing and dynamic community that is a major consumer of subscription television services. BNC will provide an authentic, new voice that represents African Americans in mainstream media and fosters political, economic, and social discourse; the network will be one voice representing the many voices of African Americans. BNC’s programming will illuminate truth about the unique challenges facing urban communities and help close the “image gap” that exists today between the negative black stereotypes perpetuated by mainstream media news and our enterprising African American communities.