Monday, April 4, 2011

Eddie Bo - "I Love To Rock And Roll" - Ace, 1958

How is it possible I haven't covered an Eddie Bo record here yet?  This guy was a giant, seriously one of the most under-appreciated musicians to come out of New Orleans.  And to say he was prolific is an understatement - he easily put out over 50 singles, writing/arranging/performing for most of his adult life. I have a grip of his releases, but instead of posting them all today I thought I'd institute  a "bocage" tag and post one every now and then. So let's do this!
Edwin Bocage was born on Sept 20th, 1930, and was raised in New Orleans, Algiers and the 9th Ward to be specific. Many of the male members of his family labored by day, but were musicians by night; and his mother was a self-taught pianist and friend to Professor Longhair.  After a short stint in the Army, Eddie came back to New Orleans and studied music at the Grundwald School. First starting in Jazz, he soon moved into the exploding RnB scene.
After his first recorded performance, a single for Ace Records  (Al Collins' "I Got The Blues For You Baby") in '55, Eddie Bo began releasing a steady stream of material - a long streak of music that spanned over 40 different labels and as many years.
There were only a few chart hits - "Check Mr Popeye" (a novelty dance tune that spawned a dance to rival the twist in NOLA) and "Hook And Sling" (a drum-heavy funk monster) were probably the biggest. He passed away after a heart attack on March 18, 2009. It pains me to think that I was in New Orleans a few times when he was alive and never made it to his "Check Your Bucket" club. Today's tune is a dancefloor Rock tune that showcases Eddie Bo's wild side at it's best.
Johnny Vincent started Ace Records in 1955 after getting his start at Specialty Records.  Headquartered in Jackson, MS, Ace released plenty of important New Orleans RnB and Blues, featuring such artists as Earl King, Frankie Ford, Jimmy Clanton, Huey "Piano" Smith, Joe Tex, Scotty McKay and Bobby Marchan. I believe Ace went under when it's distributor VeeJay did, in '66.
For further reading on Eddie Bo, check out his offical site for the biography, but record hounds need to check this amazing site which illustrates Eddie Bo's discography nicely.
And of course, the clip:

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