"I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say"
Season 3, Episode 5
I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say
Air date 21 October, 2012
Written by Eric Overmyer (story)
Lolis Eric Elie &
Jen Ralson (teleplay)
Directed by Alex Hall
Episode chronology
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"The Greatest Love"
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"Careless Love"
"I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say" is the fifth episode of the third season. It is the 26th episode of the series overall. It was first broadcast on HBO on 21 October, 2012. The teleplay was written by Lolis Eric Elie & Jen Ralson from a story by co-creator Eric Overmyer. It was directed by Alex Hall.

Annie's parents visit New Orleans for the festive period. Her mother is unsure of her move from classical music to her current project but warms to it after seeing her play. LaDonna rejects a conciliatory overture from her brother-in-law. Toni and Sofia face continued harassment from the NOPD. L.P. contacts out of state volunteers for help with his story. Terry deals with a poorly performing detective. Desiree is devastated when her family home is demolished without notice and Antoine tries to raise her spirits. Nelson is frustrated to be on the outside of a decision to demolish several housing projects and cannot convince Liguori to use him again. Albert protests the decision and is maced by the police. He is joined by his daughters for a reunion dinner and is annoyed that Delmond told them about his illness. Delmond consults on the arena development and joins in for one of Davis's tours. Janette recruits a New York contact for her kitchen. Sonny takes a gig over meeting Linh's grandmother and slips back into old habits.


Desiree's school winds down for the Christmas holidays. A colleague points out that her phone is ringing and she answers. It is her neighbor Neesie with bad news; contractors have arrived to demolish her mother's house. Desiree leaves work to try to stop them and calls Antoine for help. Antoine is distracted with his band's Christmas party, leading them in a dance to the "Cupid Shuffle", and ignores her call. Desiree arrives to find that the demolition has already begun and can only watch, powerlessly.

Desiree heads home and Antoine offers sympathy. He suggests that she come to his gig at Preservation Hall to take her mind off the loss of her childhood home. The gig goes well and Antoine is able to raise a smile from Desiree.

Sharon Martin & First Take play "Use What You Got" at Gigi's lounge. Judge Bernard Williams comes to see LaDonna with a conciliatory invitation to Christmas dinner. She refuses to return to his house and he says that he admires the way she holds a grudge. She makes a counter offer; Christmas at the bar. He tries to claim that Victorine is cooking but LaDonna sees through this, knowing that Victorine would hire caterers.

Antoine has his sons Randall and Alcide over to his apartment for Christmas morning. LaDonna picks them up before lunch. She tells Antoine that Larry has caught the flu and is staying with Bernard while she is having dinner with her mother.

Delmond Lambreaux plays a reunion show with his New York band at the Contemporaty Art Center. Jonathan Batiste is home for the holidays on piano and they play his song "Calm Before The Storm". After the show Will Branson introduces Delmond to C.J. Liguori and Yeates Healey, his partners in the Arena project. C.J. impresses Delmond with his knowledge of jazz.

Delmond visits widow Joyce Montana at her home to look at the suits of her husband Big Chief Tootie Montana of the Yellow Pocahontas Hunters. They are joined by Tootie and Joyce's son Darryl Montana. Delmond is particularly impressed with the final suit Tootie wore. The visit is interrupted by the sound of Davis McAlary leading a tour through the neighborhood and Delmond and his hosts head out onto the porch to investigate. Davis is astounded at his good fortune and quickly names all three for the tourists. Darryl is surprised to see tourists in the Seventh Ward. Davis says that they are going on to Sidney Bechet's house and Delmond and the Montanas opt to join in. The tour stops off at the decrepit Perseverance Society Hall, a venue where Charles "Buddy" Bolden played. Davis muses on New Orleans failure to preserve its cultural history.

Delmond heads home and discusses Christmas holiday plans with Albert. Albert sews as Delmond eats take out. Albert questions the plans to cook Christmas dinner and Delmond says that they know what they are doing. Delmondd is disappointed to learn that his sister Cheri will not be coming, instead visiting the family of her husband Brian. Albert reminds Delmond that he wants a ride to the protest about the housing project demolition the next day.

When Delmond picks Albert up he announces that Cheri has changed her mind. Albert deduces that Delmond told her about his illness and angrily asks if he told Davina too. Chagrined, Delmond says that they deserved to know.

Delmond and Albert arrive at City Hall and find the protest in full flow outside. Albert greets Malcolm Suber who tells him that the council session started earlier than announced and the gates were already closed when the protesters arrived.

The protesters press in on the gate and chant their objection to the proposed demolition. WWL-TV anchors Bill Capo and Sally-Ann Roberts interview Viola Washington. The protest intensifies and the front rank of demonstrators manage to pull open the gates. The police on the other side respond immediately with tazers and mace. Albert is hit in the face despite being at the back of the group of protestors. Delmond pulls him to one side and helps him to wash the chemical out of his eyes. Officer O'Connor approaches Albert to arrest him, remembering from his previous protest in the projects. Sergeant Alonzo Wilson calls O'Connor off, not wanting to give another Indian photo opportunity.

Albert is served all his favorite dishes at the family Christmas dinner. He notes that his family are concerned about him and tells them that he will still be around next Christmas. Davina asks him about the protests and he says that it was a pointless exercise with the decision already made. She lauds him for standing up for what he believes in but he remains negative about the experience.

Delmond meets with Will, C.J., and Yeates at C.J.'s office to check out a model of the cultural heritage centre. He is pleased that the project might involve reopening Congo Square. Delmond also suggests that they remove the park separating Armstrong Park from the Treme, as the residents feel that it is an insult.

Albert shows his niece and nephew to Broadway Bound, the store where he buys supplies for his costumes. He runs into Big Chiefs Howard Miller and Alfred Doucette at the store and jokes around with his rivals.

Scottie plays "Shanghai Rooster" at a table outside Cafe Coffia as Anthony King arrives. King watches from inside as Sofia Bernette brings Scottie a drink and kisses him.

Sofia is followed home by Officer Wilson. He pulls her over and claims that she failed to use her turn signal. He lies that he smell marijuana to provide probable cause for a search. The car is clean and he jokingly asks an unimpressed Sofia "who does your detailing?" He gives her a ticket and lets her continue.

Toni is incensed by the continued harassment and approaches Captain Marcus Grayson of the first district to ask him to look into it. She says that she came to him rather than make a formal complaint with the Public Integrity Bureau (PIB). Grayson says that she crossed a line with the advert she place about Wilson in the New Orleans Weekly. Toni questions whether continually harassing her daughter is crossing a line for the department. Grayson stone walls her and she prompts him to at least say he will check it out, which he halfheartedly does. As Toni leaves the station she passes Officers Wilson and Marullo.

King visits Toni at home to report his findings on Scottie. He says that he is surprisingly law abiding for a street musician. Toni is nevertheless still concerned when King confirms that Scottie is indeed 27.

L.P. Everett tries to reach Louisiana State Medical Examiner Dr. Louis Cataldi about the Henry Glover case but is tied up in bureaucracy; the state office refers him back to Dr. Frank Minyard in New Orleans despite that office telling him to contact the State. He is also trying to obtain a list of out of state pathologists who worked with the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) after Hurricane Katrina.

L.P. discusses his difficulty getting a response from local and state morticians with Toni Bernette. He has an idea; identifying pathologists volunteering at DMORT from stories in their local newspapers and then contacting them directly. Toni helps him with the research and the calls, using her legal credentials to aid his cause.

Sofia and Toni have Reveillon dinner together at Tujagues. Sofia is downcast over the harassment and muses that she might not come home from college next Christmas. Toni suggests that they need to come up with new traditions and Sofia warms to the idea of seeing Al Copeland's Christmas lights.

Janette Desautel prepares for the opening of her restaurant. She is concerned about not having been granted her liquor license but her business partner Tim Feeny is sure that it will come through in time. He is more interested in interviewing more pretty young women for waitress positions. Later, Janette writes up her final menu and Jacques announces a new applicant. It proves to be Paul Keyes, her colleague from New York. He tells her that he quit his last job when Enrico Brulard assaulted him. She offers him a job starting right away.

Janette and her team serve a sampling menu to Feeny and guests on boxing day. She hovers at the wine station to hear their reactions. She is pleased with the compliments the food gets but concerned when Feeny singles out a dish with Steen's syrup as a potential moneymaker because of its low cost and appeal to tourists and locals alike.

Annie Talarico cleans up Davis' apartment in preparation for a visit by her parents. She is thrilled to learn from her manager Marvin Frey that he has signed her band to a record deal with Lost Highway Records. Davis gets home and is preoccupied with telling her about his tour special guests and a new protest song about the proposed demolition of the projects ("No Surrender, No Retreat" by Sess 4-5). She admonishes him to take his shoes off before crossing her clean floor and he argues that parents are generally not interested in the cleanliness of the apartment. Annie counters that he does not know her mother.

Annie meets her mother and father for a drink at their hotel, the Columns. Her mother is disappointed that she has turned away from her classical background. Her father is more enthusiastic about her new band.

Annie plays a private show at Ogden's with Joe Krown. Davis joins her mother and father in the audience. Her mother is surprised when they play Krown's "All That & Then Some" at Annie's request. Davis tries to explain the influence of Spanish music in New Orleans describing the overnight ferry that used to run to Havana, Cuba. She notes that people in New Orleans say "used to be" a lot.

Annie introduces her parents to Davis's family over Christmas dinner at the McAlary house. The conversation turns to crime in the city and the safety of where Annie and Davis live. Mrs. McAlary is hopeful that the demolition of the projects will have a positive impact. Davis argues that the projects have been closed since Katrina and crime has been worse. He characterizes the demolition as New Orleans at war with its cultural heritage, listing great musicians that grew up in the projects. Dr. McAlary counters that criminals come out of the projects too. Aunt Mimi stands up for Davis listing criminals that graduated from Dr. McAlary's alma mater, LSU.

Both families come to see Annie T and her Bayou Cadillac at Le Bon Temps Roule. Annie dedicates "Louisiana Christmas" to her mother and managers to get her and the rest of the audience to sing call and response to the festive number.

Sonny meets Cornell Williams for a quiet drink. Cornell is pleased that Sonny is staying clean and enjoying the simplicity of working on the shrimp boats. Cornell asks about his relationship with Linh and Sonny confides that she invited him to Christmas dinner with her family, including meeting her grandmother, but he has a gig. Cornell advises him to reconsider playing the show as it is an honor to meet Linh's older family.

Sonny chooses to play his show and is tempted by his bandmates into a night of drugs. They stumble out of the Kajun Pub the next morning and say their goodbyes. A cyclist shoves past Sonny, calling him a crackhead and he heads back into the bar.

Nelson Hidalgo watches the news in a bar with Cindy. He learns that the city council voted unanimously in favor of the demolition and surmises that someone paid bribes to ensure the vote went in their favor. Later, Nelson meets with C.J. at the Columns Hotel to see Tom McDermott. Nelson is disappointed when C.J. still refuses to include him in his upcoming development.

Terry Colson checks in with his squad at the Homicide Unit office and notes that Detective Silby is nowhere to be found. His partner claims that he is out running an errand. Nokovich tells Colson that they caught a murder at the corner of Liberty and Valance and Colson deadpans a quote from the film Who Shot Liberty Valance (1963). Colson calls his family in Indiana and thanks his sons for the tie they sent him. They are called to a crime scene and Nokovich brings up Toni's complaint to the first district. Colson is supportive of his friend. Silby finally shows up at the scene and Colson reprimands him for his absence. Silby claims that he was interviewing an out of state witness who was home for the holidays.

Sofia and Toni prepare to head out and are shocked by the sound of breaking glass outside. A first district officer comes to their door and claims that he saw someone break the windshield of Sofia's car.


Main:I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say/Appearances

First appearancesEdit

The following named, recurring characters are introduced in this episode:

  1. Gui - Tim Feeny's business partner.
  2. Yates Healey - architect for the New Orleans Cultural Heritage Centre project.




  1. Khandi Alexander as Ladonna Batiste-Williams
  2. Rob Brown as Delmond Lambreaux
  3. Chris Coy as L.P. Everett
  4. Kim Dickens as Janette Desautel
  5. India Ennenga as Sofia Bernette
  6. Michiel Huisman as Sonny
  7. Melissa Leo as Antoinette Bernette
  8. Lucia Micarelli as Annie Talarico
  9. David Morse as Terry Colson
  10. Clarke Peters as Albert Lambreux
  11. Wendell Pierce as Antoine Batiste
  12. Jon Seda as Nelson Hidalgo
  13. Steve Zahn as Davis McAlary

Guest starring

  1. Isabella Rossellini as Theresa Talarico
  2. Sam Robards as Tim Feeny
  3. Elizabeth Ashley as Aunt Mimi
  4. Dan Ziskie as C.J. Liguori
  5. Alan Ariano as Mario Talarico
  6. Edwina Findley as Davina Lambreaux
  7. Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine as Jacques Jhoni
  8. Yul Vazquez as Detective Anthony Nokovich
  9. Paul Fitzgerald as Paul Keyes
  10. Jonathan Batiste as himself, pianist
  11. Mahershalalhashbaz Ali as Anthony King
  12. Ann McKenzie as Ramona Davis McAlary
  13. Vernel Bagneris as Judge Bernard Williams
  14. Cornell Williams as himself, musician
  15. Phyllis Montana-LeBlanc as Desiree
  16. Jay Huguley as Will Branson
  17. Paul Artigues as himself, chef
  18. Marco St. John as Dr. Roger McAlary
  19. Lucky Johnson as Officer Wilson
  20. Jon Eyez as Captain Marcus Grayson, 1st District
  21. Joe Krown as himself, pianist
  22. JD Evermore as Detective Thomas Silby, homicide
  23. Rodney Feaster as Yates Healey, architect
  24. Caleb Michaelson as Officer Teddy O'Dell
  25. Jazz Henry as Jennifer
  26. Tameka Bob as Cheri Lambreaux
  27. Rhonda Dents as Neesie, Desiree's neighbor
  28. Renwick Scott as Alcide Batiste
  29. Camryn Jackson as Cherise
  30. Sean-Michael Bruno as Randall Batiste
  31. Joyce Montana as herself, Mardi Gras Indian
  32. Ana Fontanelle as herself, Broadway Bound owner
  33. Big Chief Howard Miller as himself, Mardi Gras Indian
  34. Big Chief Darryl Montana as himself, Mardi Gras Indian
  35. Big Chief Alfred Doucette as himself, Mardi Gras Indian
  36. Anthony Michael Frederick as Sergeant Alonzo Wilson
  37. Bill Capo as himself, WWL-TV
  38. Ivan Watkins
  39. Davida Finger as herself, community justice lawyer
  40. Malcolm Suber as himself, AFSC
  41. Viola Washington as herself, demonstration interviewee
  42. Sally Ann Roberts as herself, WWL-TV
  43. Ron Rogge as Officer O'Connor
  44. Tyra Brisco as Desiree's colleague
  45. Taryn Terrell as Cindy
  46. Larry Schirling
  47. Craig Leydecker as Officer Marullo
  48. Jordan Flaherty as himself, journalist
  49. Amy Le as a Female Asian Tourist
  50. Jane Smith
  51. Terry Smith
  52. Dexter Tillis as Detective Capell, homicide
  53. Erin Frederic
  54. Dennis Nguyen as a Male Asian Tourist
  55. Griff Furst as Gui, Feeny's business partner
  56. Carina Kaiser as a Younger caucasian female tourist
  57. Ashton Leigh as Desautel's waitress interviewee
  58. Joann Guidos as herself, Kajun's Pub owner
  59. Deneen Tyler as Sergeant Percy Bechet
  60. Camille Balsamo as Jody, Feeny's Assistant
  61. Simon Lott as himself, Delmond's drummer
  62. Tony Jarvis
  63. Connie Jones as herself, musician
  64. Scottie Swears as Scottie, Sofia's boyfriend
  65. Tom McDermott as himself, musician
  66. Jason C. Stewart
  67. Sharon Martin & First Take as themselves
  68. Wendell Brunious & The Music Masters as themselves
  69. Red Stick Ramblers as Bayou Cadillac


  1. Markell Montgomery as Markell
  2. Terry Johnson, Jr. as Denard
  3. Joseph Uzzell as an Older Caucasian Male Tourist
  4. Unknown as an Older Caucasian Female Tourist
  5. Unknown as a Column's waitress
  6. Unknown as the Demonstration chant leader
  7. John L. Amigo as a riot police officer
  8. David Kency as John
  9. Mayor Ray Nagin as himself (archive footage)
  10. Unknown as Taylor, Albert's niece
  11. Unknown as Alan, Albert's nephew
  12. Unknown as Brian, Albert's son-in-law
  13. Unknown as Sonny's buddy
  14. Tevis R. Marcum as a Rough Guy / Angry cyclist
  15. Helen Koenig as herself


Opening creditsEdit

  1. Alexa L. Fogel - Casting
  2. Chester Kaczenski - Production Designer
  3. Malcolm Jamieson - Editor
  4. Ivan Strasburg, bsc - Director of Photography
  5. Joseph Incaprera - Episodic Producer
  6. Anthony Hemingway - Co-Executive Producer
  7. Carolyn Strauss - Executive Producer
  8. George Pelecanos - Executive Producer
  9. Eric Overmyer - Executive Producer
  10. Nina Kostroff Noble - Executive Producer
  11. David Simon &
  12. Eric Overmyer - Creators
  13. Lolis Eric Elie &
  14. Jen Ralston - Teleplay
  15. Eric Overmyer - Story
  16. Alex Hall - Director

Closing creditsEdit

  1. David Simon - Executive Producer
  2. Joseph Incaprera - Unit Production Manager
  3. Frank Ferro - First Assistant Director (AD)
  4. Brian Kenyon - Second AD
  5. Lolis Eric Elie - Story Editor
  6. Jordan Hirsch - Staff Writer
  7. Alonzo V. Wilson - Costume Designer
  8. Blake Leyh - Music Supervisor
  9. Meagan Lewis, CSA - New Orleans Casting
  10. Jessica Levin - Co-Producer
  11. Laura A. Schweigman - Associate Producer
  12. Karen L. Thorson - Consulting Producer
  13. Karen Gadbois - Consultant
  14. Jacques Morial - Consultant
  15. Donald Harrison - Consultant
  16. Davis Rogan - Consultant
  17. Mary Howell - Consultant
  18. Susan Spicer - Consultant
  19. A.C. Thompson - Consultant
  20. Mick Aniceto - Associate Producer


  1. Cupid - "Cupid Shuffle": Batiste band Christmas party.
  2. John Boutte - "Treme Song": Main title.
  3. Delmond's NY Band - "Little Big Chief": Gig at Contemporaty Art Center.
  4. Delmond's NY Band - "Calm Before The Storm": Gig at Contemporaty Art Center.
  5. Scottie Swears - "Shanghai Rooster": Scottie plays at the cafe.
  6. Vivaldi - "The Four Seasons": Annie cleaning house.
  7. Sess 4-5 - "No Surrender, No Retreat": Annie cleaning house, Sofia driving.
  8. Dexter Gordon - "The Christmas Song": Delmond & Albert talk Christmas plans.
  9. Preservation Hall Band & Antoine Batiste - "That Bucket's Got A Hole In It": Gig at pres hall.
  10. Philip Manuel - "This Time of Year": Radio at Desautel's restaurant.
  11. Joe Krown & Annie - "O My Charmer Spare Me": Gig at Ogden.
  12. Joe Krown & Annie - "All That & Then Some": Gig at Ogden.
  13. Sharon Martin - "Use What You Got": Gig at Gigi's.
  14. New Birth Brass Band - "Jingle Bells": Ladonna picks up kids.
  15. Ellis Marsalis - "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen": Bernette & Sofia in restaurant.
  16. Annie T & Her Bayou Cadillac - "Katrina": Annie's gig at Le Bon Temps Roule.
  17. Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes - "Everybody Got Trouble": Sonny outside Mimi's.
  18. Annie T & Her Bayou Cadillac - "Louisiana Christmas": Annie's gig at Le Bon Temps Roule.
  19. Sonny Landreth - "Congo Square": Desautel in kitchen at restaurant.
  20. Ellis Marsalis - "Swinging At The Haven": Desautel's restaurant.
  21. Tom McDermott & Connie Jones - "Kermit's Rag": Hidalgo at Columns hotel.
  22. David Torkanowsky - "Andante Harmon Blues": Desautel's restaurant.
  23. Dr. John - "I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say": End titles.

External linksEdit

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