See You Later Alligator Bobby Charles

Bobby Charles Last Train to Memphis

Bobby Charles, the New Orleans songwriter for Fats Domino and friend of The Band,  spans decades of creativity with Last Train To Memphis CD

By Stephen Pate – Bobby Charles was one of the great songwriters of early rock and roll with hits like “Walking to New Orleans“, “See You Later Alligator” and “I Don’t Know Why I Love You But I Do“.

Bobby Charles Guidry worked with all the legendary greats like Fats Domino, The Band, Willie Nelson and Dr. John but never achieved any fame himself. He was in Woodstock and with The Band during the filming of The Last Waltz and is heard on a few songs and seen on outtakes.

Bobby Charles was a Cajun, part of the New Orleans jazz and Cajun based music that was at the core of rock and roll.  Bobby Charles was the original “swamp rock“, the music copied by the San Francisco band Creedence Clearwater Revival.

He remains an enigma, one of the thousands of talented people who never quite grasped the brass ring of rock stardom. His voice is not, perhaps, as dynamic as some but was authentic enough fool the Chicago-based Chess brothers. They signed Bobby Charles sight unseen thinking he was black.

Bobby Charles in Woodstock

Last Train to Memphis is an interesting double CD spanning his original recordings from 1975 to 2001.

Backing Bobby Charles on the tracks are great musicians like Willie Nelson, Dr. John, Fred Carter Jr, Neil Young, Clarence “Frogman” Henry, Spooner Oldham, Geoff and Maria Muldaur.

Amazon.com rates the 2-CD at 4 stars.

“This two disc offering of his latter day material ranging from 1975-2001, allows first time listeners and loyal fans to enjoy some of the seminal recordings by one of America’s truly great and unsung artists.”

“You can listen to this music over and over and not get tired of it. This album is just a gem.” Last Train To Memphis: Amazon Reviews. Also available from Amazon.ca

The Bobby Charles fan site details the players and singers on each track, along with plenty of details about his work and life.

Robert (Bobby) Charles Guidry was born February 21, 1938 and died January 14, 2010. He was back on the Bayou living in Abbeville, LA west of Lake Ponchartrain in a mobile. His home was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina and he had not been able to rebuild.

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By Stephen Pate, NJN Network

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