Bobby Charles R.I.P

I keep claiming this blog is not about music, but for Bobby Charles, I'll make an exception. After all, how many heroes do we have? Especially those who are genuine, low-key to the point of painful modesty and who choose to live in a trailer alone with pet parrots? Louisiana born Robert Charles Guidry has been an inspiration to me not only for what he did (how many performers wrote hits for Fats Domino and worked extensively with the Band? Well, Two that I can think of...) Bobby was one. The writer of "See you Later Alligator" when he was a VERY young man, his recordings tricked Chess records into releasing a record by a White man. (They thought he was Black) He also, as a child, wrote "Walking to New Orleans" for Fats and Levon Helm once called him "a hellacious songwriter." Levon has never told a lie. Despite all this, Charles was painfully shy, a trait I both share and admire...and lived modestly out of the limelight by choice with his pets and worked to preserve the Louisiana wetlands. If anyone had listened to him, Katrina wouldn't have been as bad. Charles dribbled out too few recordings in his later years, but had just finished one with another New Orleans saint Dr. John. Charles was 71. His record produced by Rick Danko in the 1970's is available again after long being out of print. Sigh.


  1. Thanks Jim..Nice appreciation..I was in New Orleans awaiting his show at jazzfest in '07..alas, he did not of the great writers...we are losing way too many recently, I never take these guys for granted..listen and enjoy. Congrats on the grammy lick to you

  2. he wrote "walkin to new orleans"? i did not know. One of my fav tunes.