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Doc Hawley & The Calliope: 'It''s More Of A Machine Than An Instrument'

Doc Hawley first started working on riverboats in 1957 and stayed on board until his retirement a few years ago.
Historic New Orleans Collection
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Historic New Orleans Collection
Doc Hawley first started working on riverboats in 1957 and stayed on board until his retirement a few years ago.

Every day in the French Quarter people are drawn – almost magnetically - to the riverboat calliope. There is an undeniable nostalgic sound to it and it may even remind you of childhood. But romance aside, this icon of Americana has its own history, which Captain Doc Hawley shared with the Historic New Orleans Collection and Nola Life Stories.

Thomas Walsh is an independent radio producer and audio engineer who lives in New Orleans. You'll see him around town recording music, podcasts, short films, live events and radio features. He's practically glued to his headphones. A movie geek to his core, he's seen every film listed on the American Film Institute's 100 Years...100 Movies and would love to talk to you about them.