Not to be confused with the prog rock synthesizer maven of the same name, this Ken Elliot is strictly a Mardi Gras man. It would be difficult to attend said festivity without dancing to, or falling over in a drunken stupor to, a song for which Elliot is credited as one of the writers, the wonderful "Mardi Gras Mambo." Elliot was a popular New Orleans disc jockey from the '40s through the '60s, utilizing the nickname "Jack the Cat" on station WWEZ. Herein lies another of his songwriting credits, a ditty of the same name that was largely the work of clarinetist and songwriter Pinky Vidacovitch.
Of course, there are eyebrows raised when a disc jockey gets listed as a songwriter in the '50s, since many of these credits were simply payoffs for radio airplay. In the case of "Jack the Cat," it is a matter of fact that Elliot was credited because that happened to be his radio name. Furthermore, what disc jockey wouldn't play a song based on him, as if a better form of promotion possibly existed. Publisher, producer, and record company manager Joe Davis wrote Vidakovitch in 1949 concerning how the credits for the song would be divided: "I am splitting up the royalty so you get 3/4 and Ken Elliot 1/4 which gives you a pretty good share and at the same time gives us some good will with Ken."
Elliot's presence as part of the triumvirate behind "Mardi Gras Mambo" could be the result of some real musical input, however. The man did tinker around with writing, performing, and recording. He shows up on a collection of obscure Dr. John sessions, vocalizing on a bizarre side entitled "Morgus the Magnificent," an effort that was released under the name of Morgus & the Three Ghouls. There are many recordings of "Mardi Gras Mambo" by artists such as Zachary Richard. "Jack the Cat" was covered by child singer Leslie Crayne, among others.