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Hugh Laurie - Live On The Queen Mary

Airs Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Actor and musician Hugh Laurie pays tribute to his musical inspiration, Profe...

Credit: Courtesy of Warner Music UK / Michael Wilson

Above: Actor and musician Hugh Laurie pays tribute to his musical inspiration, Professor Longhair, aboard the Queen Mary.

On March 26, 2013, a dream came true for Hugh Laurie — a dream born from a moment in his youth when he first heard Professor Longhair’s album "Live on the Queen Mary." Recorded in 1975, it was to change Longhair’s life, catapulting him back into the limelight once again after years in the blues wilderness. It also changed Hugh Laurie’s life, for it was at the moment he heard it that his musical journey began.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Warner Music UK/ Michael Wilson

Actor and musician Hugh Laurie pays tribute to his musical inspiration, Professor Longhair, aboard the Queen Mary.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Hugh Laurie

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Now Hugh Laurie marks the climax of his personal musical odyssey with a tribute to the man who is his greatest inspiration. "Hugh Laurie – Live On The Queen Mary" is part of special programming premiering on PBS stations beginning August 2013 (check local listings).

“Ever since I heard a recording of that show — my life changed too,” says Laurie. “The hairs went up on the back of my neck and I knew this music was for me. Not one day has passed since then when I have not either listened to Professor Longhair’s music or to someone else singing his songs or tried to play them myself.”

For this special, Laurie is joined by the legendary Copper Bottom Band, in the exact same room, on the exact same stage where Longhair delivered his master class, to put on a unique, once-in-a-lifetime, unforgettable performance.

“For me the second coming took place on the Queen Mary in 1975. My view of life — in fact my life — was shaped by the sounds and stories of Professor Longhair.”

Surrounded by the art deco grandeur of this extraordinary ship and featuring classic Longhair favorites “Tipitina” and “Mardi Gras in New Orleans,” and Laurie’s own renditions of blues classics such as “Staggerlee,” “Junco Partner,” “Kiss of Fire” and “Wild Honey,” this is a show like no other.

As Laurie concludes, “This feels like a very holy place and a very holy undertaking.”

"Hugh Laurie – Live On The Queen Mary" features these performances: “Junco Partner,” "Evenin’,” “Kiss of Fire,” “Staggerlee,” “Day and Night,” “Weed Smoker’s Dream,” “Didn’t It Rain,” “Tipitina,” “Go to the Mardi Gras” and Encore: “Changes.”

Hugh Laurie Blues is on Facebook, and you can follow @HughLaurieBlues on Twitter.

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Hugh Laurie - Live on the Queen Mary

Hugh Laurie - Live on the Queen Mary

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