BOBBY CHARLES SONG LYRICS
Bobby Charles was born Robert Charles Guidry on 21st February 1938 in Abbeville, Louisiana. A native Cajun himself, he recalled that his life “changed for ever” when he re-tuned his parents’ radio set from a local Cajun station to one playing records by Fats Domino. Most successful as a songwriter, he is regarded as one of the founding fathers of swamp pop. His own vocal style was laid-back and drawling. His biggest successes were songs other artists covered, such as ‘See You Later Alligator’ by Bill Haley & His Comets; ‘Walking To New Orleans’ by Fats Domino – with whom he recorded a duet of the same song in the 1990s – and ‘(I Don’t Know Why) But I Do’ by Clarence “Frogman” Henry. It allowed him to live off the songwriting royalties for the rest of his life! Two other well-known compositions are ‘The Jealous Kind’, recorded by Joe Cocker, and ‘Tennessee Blues’ which Kris Kristofferson committed to record.
Disenchanted with the music business, Bobby Charles disappeared from the music scene in the mid-1960s but returned in 1972 with a self-titled album on the Bearsville label on which he was accompanied by Rick Danko and several other members of the Band and Dr John. Bobby Charles later made a rare live appearance as a guest singer on stage at The Last Waltz, the 1976 farewell concert of the Band, although his contribution was cut from Martin Scorsese’s film of the event.
Bobby Charles returned to the studio in later years, recording a European-only album called Clean Water in 1987. Wish You Were Here Right Now (1995) consisted of sessions from 1992-93 and a 1984 jam session at Willie Nelson’s studio. Secrets of the Heart was released in 1998. The 2004 2-CD Last Train to Memphis was a retrospective of his compositions, with guest appearances by Neil Young, Willie Nelson and Fats Domino. In 2008 he released Homemade Songs, and in 2009 he recorded Timeless, dedicated to his friend Fats Domino, which was released posthumously in 2010. In September 2007, he was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
Bobby Charles lived for some years in quiet seclusion at Holly Beach on the Gulf of Mexico and became a local environmental activist. After his house was destroyed by Hurricane Rita in 2005, he returned to Abbeville. He collapsed in his home near Abbeville and died on 14th January 2010.
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