2019 marks the 60th anniversary of Mardi Gras’ anthem – Al Johnson’s “Carnival Time.” He recorded the song in December 1959 at Cosimo Matassa’s studio. It was released in time for Mardi Gras 1960.
Johnson wrote the song, which features references to real clubs of the day, including the Green Room “smokin’” and “the Plaza burnin’ down.” The song wasn’t an instant hit, but grew in popularity over the years.
For decades, he didn’t benefit from the song’s financial success. In 1999, after a lengthy court battle, Johnson, who turns 80 this year, finally secured sole rights to the song.
– Dominic Massa, WWL-TV