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Eddie Bo

A sorely underappreciated veteran of the New Orleans R&B scene, singer/songwriter/producer/pianist Eddie Bo evolved into one of the city's foremost funk players during the late '60s and early '70s, although he never had a national hit commensurate with his musical standing. Born Edwin Joseph Bocage on September 20, 1930, Bo was raised in the Algiers and Ninth Ward sections of New Orleans by a musical family; uncles Peter and Charles and cousin Henry all played in post-WWI jazz orchestras (including A.J. Piron's), and his mother was a pianist in the Professor Longhair style. Bo served in the Army after high school, and returned to New Orleans to study at the Grunewald School of Music, where he discovered bebop pianists like Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson. He started playing around the jam-heavy New Orleans jazz scene, but soon discovered that R&B was more popular and accessible, not to mention better-paying. He joined the house band at Club Tijuana under the name Spider Bocage, and later formed the Spider Bocage Orchestra, a professional backing band that supported many prominent blues and R&B artists of the day, including Ruth Brown, Earl King, Lloyd Price, Big Joe Turner, Smiley Lewis, and Guitar Slim.

Bo cut his first record in 1955 for the Ace label, and would go on to release more singles than any other New Orleans artist save Fats Domino. One of his singles for Apollo, the local hit "I'm Wise," was later adapted by Little Richard into the hit "Slippin' and Slidin'." In addition to those labels, Bo also recorded a few singles for Chess and Checker, but did the majority of his '50s work for the small New Orleans label Ric, scoring regional hits like "Every Dog Has Its Day" and "Tell It Like It Is"; his "My Dearest Darling" was also covered for a hit by Etta James. In 1961, the dance-craze tune "Check Mr. Popeye" became the closest thing to a national hit he'd had yet, selling well in the South and Northeast; however, competing versions by Chubby Checker and Huey "Piano" Smith diminished its chart performance. During this period, Bo also produced records by numerous local artists; his credits include work with Irma Thomas, Chris Kenner, and Johnny Adams, among others.

New Orleans R&B took a commercial downturn during the '60s, and Bo was largely relegated to cutting records for a long string of small local labels, most of which weren't distributed nationally. As the '60s wore on, Bo's piano style not only got funkier, but brought back more and more of his jazz training, creating a distinctive sound that helped lay the groundwork for New Orleans' own brand of funk (along with artists like the Meters and Willie Tee). His biggest hit, "Hook and Sling, Pts. 1 & 2," was recorded for Scram and reached the Top 40 on the R&B charts in 1969. By this time, however, Bo was tired of being at the music industry's mercy for his livelihood; he subsequently formed his own Bo-Sound label and in 1971 scored another hit with "Check Your Bucket." Other early-'70s sides for Bo-Sound, such as "Pass the Hatchet," cemented Bo's future standing as a lost funk treasure.

Bo worked in music only sporadically after the early '70s, instead setting up his own renovation business, although he did record two self-produced albums, Another Side of Eddie Bo and Watch for the Coming, in the late '70s. He recorded with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band during the late '80s, when he also toured Europe. In the '90s, Bo resurrected his Bo-Sound label and released a series of albums that included Eddie Bo and Friends, Back Up This Train, and Nine Yards of Funk. In 1999, he was featured in the PBS documentary River of Song. He continued to tour internationally, and also gigged frequently in his hometown, most often at Tipitina's. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: A Celebration Of New Orleans Music To Benefit MusiCares Hurrincane Relief 2005

x

Track List: City Of Dreams: A Collection Of New Orleans Music

Disc 1

1. Carnival Time

2. Sing It

3. Drawers Trouble

4. Just Because

5. Don't Mess With My Man

6. Check Mr. Popeye

7. You Talk Too Much

8. Big Shot

9. I Bowed On My Knees

10. Drink Jax Beer

11. Go On Fool

12. Dollar Got The Blues

Disc 2

1. Feel Like Funkin' It Up

2. Sew-Sew-Sew

3. Cuttin' Out

4. Shoo-Fly

5. Royal Flush

6. It Ain't What You Think

7. T. Chapman

8. No It Ain't My Fault

9. Golden Crown

10. St. Louis Blues

11. If My Shoes Hold Out

12. Just A Little While To Stay Here

Disc 3

1. You Can Stay But The Noise Must Go On

2. Ain't No Yachts In The Ghetto

3. Rough Spots

4. Flow On

5. A Corn For Crip

6. Keeper Of The Crown

7. Body And Fender Man

8. Gemini Rising

9. Sweet Touch Of Love

10. Here We Go Again

11. Funkyard

12. House That Jack Built

Disc 4

1. Hard Times

2. Classified

3. Every Day, Every Night

4. Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most

5. Tee Nah Nah

6. On The Q-Tee

7. Gumbo Piano

8. All By Myself

9. My Children

10. I Don't Know

11. Go To The Mardi Gras

12. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans

x

Track List: Our New Orleans

1. Yes We Can Can

2. World I Never Made

3. Back Water Blues

4. Gather By The River

5. Cryin' In The Streets

6. Canal Street Blues

7. Brother John Is Gone / Herc-Jolly-John

8. When The Saints Go Marching In

9. My Feet Can't Fail Me Now

11. l'Ouragon

12. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans

13. Prayer for New Orleans

15. Tipitina And Me

16. Louisiana 1927

x

Track List: River Of Song, A Musical Journey Down The Mississippi

Disc 1

1. Powwow Song

2. 22

3. Sail Away, Ladies

4. I Did My Best

5. Red-Headed Swede

8. Kim Marie

11. Flat Stuff

12. Miss Ferris

13. Born To Be With You

14. Milestone

16. Stop Breaking Down

17. Get Down, River

Disc 2

1. The Sweetest Song I Know

2. T For Texas (Blue Yodel #1)

3. St. Louis Blues

4. Going Back To Memphis

5. Take A Little Walk With Me

6. Catfish

8. Grits Ain't Groceries (All Around The World)

10. Taters And Gravy And Chicken-Fried Steak

11. La Porte D'en Arriere

12. Bon Chien

13. Marie Lavaux

14. Basin Street Blues

15. Time Is On My Side

16. Check Your Bucket

x

Track List: The Ace Records Blues Story

Disc 1

2. My Love Is Here To Stay

3. Shed So Many Tears

5. I Wonder

7. Well Goodbye Baby

10. Love's Like A River

18. Mother Told Me Not To Go

Disc 2

1. Those Lonely, Lonely Nights

3. Sleeping In The Ground

4. Roll On Train

5. Misery Blues

6. My Baby Boogies All The Time

9. What Will Lucy Do?

12. Baby Say You Will

16. It Must Have Been Love

18. She Likes To Boogie Real Low

x

Track List: The Cosimo Matassa Story

Disc 1

1. Got A Brand New Baby

2. Four O'Clock Blues

3. Don't Jive Me

4. Tra-La-La

5. Teejim

6. Agreeable Woman

7. Two Faced Woman

9. Stormy Weather

10. My Ding-A-Ling

11. Reeling And Rocking

12. Lawdy Miss Clawdy

13. Chee Koo Baby

14. Sweethearts

15. I'm Gone

16. Teachin' And Preachin'

17. Bouncin' The Boogie

18. Early Sunday Morning

20. Country Gal

21. Baby

23. Got No Use For You

24. Long Distance Blues

26. Little School Girl

27. I-Yi

29. Don't Leave Me Baby

30. The Things That I Used To Do

Disc 2

1. Well, I Done Got Over It

2. Tipitina

3. Let's Have Some Fun (Honey)

5. I Didn't Want To Do It

6. You're The One

7. Blue Monday

8. Baby's Gone

9. Sister Lucy

12. Bluesy Me

13. Give It Up

16. That's Enough

19. Drunk Drunk Drunk

20. Ain't Gonna Do It

21. I Want To Be Loved

22. Toy Bell

23. You Know Yeah

24. Runnin' Wild

25. It's Too Late Now

26. Real Gone Lover

27. Low And Lonesome

29. Say Baby

30. That Night

Disc 3

1. What's It All About?

2. Handwriting On The Wall

3. Mardi Gras Mambo

4. Your Time's Up

5. Eternally Yours

6. Boom Boom

7. Feel So Good

8. I Hear You Knocking

9. Travelin' Mood

10. I Remember

11. Baby

12. So Glad

14. I'm Just A Lonely Guy

15. Tutti Frutti

16. Do Baby Do

17. Who's Been Fooling You?

20. I'm In Love Again

21. On Bended Knee

22. See You Later, Alligator

24. My Blue Heaven

25. Try Rock'n'roll

26. No No No

27. Long Tall Sally

28. Slippin' And Slidin'

29. I'm Wise (Slippin' And Slidin')

30. Take It Easy, Greasy

Disc 4

1. Rip It Up

2. Ready Teddy

3. Let The Good Times Roll

6. Teardrop Eyes

8. Rock 'n' Roll Dance

9. The Girl Can't Help It

10. Heebie Jeebies

11. Don't Blame It On Me

14. Down Yonder (We Go Ballin')

15. Shame, Shame, Shame

16. Oooh-Wow

18. Rockin' At Cosimo's

20. I Feel Good

21. I'm A Fool About Your Love

22. All The Time

23. I'm A Country Boy

24. Ain't Got No Home

27. Oooh-Wee Baby

28. Back Home To Me

30. Those Lonely, Lonely Feelings

x

Track List: The Real Music Box: 25 Years Of Rounder Records Louisiana Spice

Disc 1

2. That's Enough Of That Stuff

3. Three Keys

4. Tee Nah Nah

6. On The Prowl

7. Back On Track

8. Hold To God's Unchanging Hand

9. Hometown New Orleans

10. Down That Lonely Lonely Road

11. Tipitina

12. Coconut Milk

13. Hard Times

14. Meet Me At The Station

Disc 2

1. J'ai Vu Le Loup, Le Renard Et La Belette

3. The Mistake I Made

5. Lula Lula Don't You Go To Bingo

8. La Danse De Mardi Gras

9. Wildwood Flower

12. Laissez Faire (Let It Be)

13. T'en As Eu

15. Outside People

16. Give Him Cornbread

17. Think It Over One More Time

18. Snap Bean

x

Track List: Voodoo Soul

1. Cissy Strut

2. Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky

3. Ride Your Pony

6. A Lover & A Friend

7. I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man

8. Occapella

9. Fairchild

10. Pass The Hatchet

11. Ease Back

13. Get Ta Steppin'

15. Soul Junction

Comments

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coo7
I love and appreciate New orleans artist. Would to hear some songs of him He,s a great entertainer My Boy Eddie Bo. Do you have anything on the Five Knights Thanks if you can. An old New Orleans Song .I think it was out about 61-64

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