Professor Longhair (born Henry Roeland Byrd, also known as Roy "Bald Head" Byrd and as Fess) (December 19, 1918 - January 30, 1980) was a New Orleans blues singer and pianist. He was born in Bogalusa, Louisiana. He was noted for his unique piano style, which he described as "a combination of rumba, mambo, and Calypso", and his unusual, expressive voice, described once as "freak unique". He was called the Bach of Rock and Roll for the clarity, varied and extremely accurate and "funky" syncopation, and the beautiful tone of his piano playing. Byrd is noteworthy for having been active in two distinct periods, both in the heyday of early rhythm and blues, and in the resurgence of interest in various forms of traditional jazz after the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival was created. At that time Byrd became a New Orleans icon.