The Jefferson City Buzzards were organized by Lee Simpson, Sidney S. Simpson, William Markel and Wilbur A. Simpson. The original members lived in what was known as JEFFERSON CITY. At the time of the Civil War, Toledano St. was the upper boundary of New Orleans. Above it was Jefferson City, which extended from Toledano to Joseph St. Long after Jefferson was incorporated into New Orleans, the name lingered on. Today its memory is revived each Mardi Gras when the Jefferson City Buzzards take to the streets.
How did the Buzzards get their name? Noted Mardi Gras historian, Arthur Burton La Cour, wrote in his "New Orleans Masquerade" that when the group was formed in 1890, the members called themselves the Muddy Graws, but in 1890 they obtained a charter as the Jefferson City Buzzards, borrowing "Buzzards" from a defunct group which had called itself the French Market Buzzards.
Starting out at 7 a.m. on Mardi Gras at Audubon Park and Laurel, the Buzzards wind in and out of the Uptown area and eventually get to St. Charles Ave and Napoleon Ave. They march down to Jackson Ave. where they fall behind Zulu. The march continues down St. Charles Ave. onto Canal St. and eventually ending at the Eastern District of Louisiana Courthouse on Magazine St.
In 1958, Armand Hug and New Orleans Dixielanders appeared on Art Ford's Jazz Party. Originally filmed at WDSU studio (Aug. 11, 1958), Hug played his new song entitled The Buzzard Parade. This video is from that program and not only shows Hug playing his song but also contains his description of the Jefferson City Buzzards.
The song would eventually become the Buzzards' Theme Song