Monday, January 31, 2011

Bobby Mitchell - Try Rock And Roll - Imperial, 1956

You know I love New Orleans R&B, and today we've got some from Bobby Mitchell.
Bobby was born in Algiers, LA in 1935, the second child of a fisherman's family of 17 (!?).  When he was 10 yrs old, his first "shows" were singing for nickles outside the local liquor store. After a stint in his high school chorus, Bobby formed The Toppers at the tender age of 17. In May of '53 they released thier first single on Imperial, "I'm Crying". This group was held back by the fact most of the members were still in high scool and couldn't take time to tour.  Even if they could, they were too young to play in clubs! The group finally split when members got drafted in '54.  This allowed Bobby to seek a career on his own, and he began releasing solo single on Imperial.

Today's 45, capitalizing on the then new Rock fad, made it to #14 on the national R&B charts.  He had another hit in '57 with "I'm Gonna Be a Wheel Someday" (later covered by Fats Domino).  Imperial dropped most of it's New Orleans roster in '58, and after that Bobby had more difficulty but still managed to put out new material on several smaller labels and continued touring through the early 60s.
At WWOZ in the 80s
A heart attack stopped the touring, but he remained active in New Orleans until his death in '89.
And of course, the clip!

No comments:

Post a Comment