Robert Parker (singer)

Last updated

Robert Parker
Born(1930-10-14)October 14, 1930
Mobile, Alabama, U.S.
Origin New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S
DiedJanuary 19, 2020(2020-01-19) (aged 89)
Roseland, Louisiana, U. S.
Genres R&B
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, saxophone
Years active1949–2009
Labels Ron, Imperial, Nola, Island [1]
Associated acts Professor Longhair

Robert Parker (October 14, 1930 – January 19, 2020) [2] was an American R&B singer and musician, best known for his 1966 hit, "Barefootin'".

Contents

Life and career

Robert Parker, Jr. was born in Mobile, Alabama, United States, to Robert and Leana Parker. [3] He grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana, [4] and started his career as a saxophonist, playing with Professor Longhair on his hit "Mardi Gras In New Orleans" in 1949. [4]

During the 1950s, Parker played alto and tenor saxophone with many of the most popular New Orleans performers, appearing on records by Eddie Bo, Huey "Piano" Smith, Earl King, James Booker, Ernie K-Doe, Tommy Ridgley, Fats Domino and others in New Orleans, and backed up visiting R & B artists including Solomon Burke, Lloyd Price, Jerry Butler and Otis Redding. [4] [5]

By 1958, he had started recording solo, having a local hit with the instrumental "All Nite Long" a year later. [4] In 1965 he signed for Nola Records, and teaming up with producer Wardell Quezergue had his biggest hit with "Barefootin' ", which he had written. It sold over one million copies, made the pop charts in Britain and elsewhere, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA. [6] In 1967, he had another minor R&B hit with "Tip Toe" (no.48, R&B chart). [7] Although he continued to record, he failed to repeat his success in terms of sales, and his recording career effectively ended in the mid 1970s. However, he continued to perform and tour for many more years, remaining especially popular in the UK. [4]

In April 2007, in recognition of his contributions to Louisiana and national music, Parker was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. [8] On July 19, 2009, he performed "Barefootin'" and "Where the Action Is" in a 'Tribute to Wardell Quezergue', a concert at Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center in New York.

Parker died on January 19, 2020, at his home in Roseland, Louisiana, at the age of 89 of natural causes. [3] [2]

Discography

Studio albums

Compilation albums

Singles

YearSingleChart Positions
UK US Hot 100 & Bubbling Under US R&B/Hip-Hop
1958"June Teen"

b/w "Lawdy Miss Clawdy"

1959"All Nite Long (Part 1)"

b/w "All Nite Long (Part 2)"

113
1960"Walkin'"

b/w "Across the Track"

1962"Mash Potatoes All Night Long"

b/w "Twistin' Out in Space"

"You're Looking Good"

b/w "Little Things Mean a Lot"

1963"Please Forgive Me"

b/w "You Got It"

"The Laughing Monkey"

b/w "Let's Do the Thing"

(Released as 'Robert Parker & Band')

1966"Barefootin'"

b/w "Let's Go Baby (Where the Action Is)"

2472
"The Scratch"

b/w "Happy Feet"

124
"Tip Toe"

b/w "Soul Kind of Loving"

8348
"A Letter to Santa"

b/w "C. C. Rider"

1967"Yak Yak Yak"

b/w "Secret Service (Makes Me Nervous)"

"Everybody's Hip-Hugging"

b/w "Foxy Mama"

"I Caught You in a Lie"

b/w "Holdin' Out"

1968"Soul Sister"

b/w "Barefootin' Boogaloo"

"Bow Legs"

b/w "Boss Lovin'"

"Funky Soul Train"

b/w "Robert & W.Q's Train"

1969"You Shakin' Things Up"

b/w "You See Me"

1970"The Hiccup"

b/w "Rockin' Pneumonia"

"You See Me"

b/w "You Shakin' Things Up"

(Re-release with sides reversed)

1972"Barefootin'"

b/w "Shootin' the Grease" (by Jesse Gresham Plus 3)

1974"Get Ta Steppin'"

b/w "Get Right on Down"

"Barefootin'"

b/w "I Caught You in a Lie"

(UK-only release)

1975"Give Me the Country Side of Life"

b/w "It's Hard But It's Fair"

1976"A Little Bit of Something (Is Better Than a Whole Lot of Nothing"

b/w "Better Luck in the Summer"

1987"Barefootin'"

b/w "Let's Go Baby (Where the Action Is)"

(Re-release)

90

Related Research Articles

Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated as R&B or R'n'B, is a genre of popular music that originated in African-American communities in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat" was becoming more popular. In the commercial rhythm and blues music typical of the 1950s through the 1970s, the bands usually consisted of piano, one or two guitars, bass, drums, one or more saxophones, and sometimes background vocalists. R&B lyrical themes often encapsulate the African-American experience of pain and the quest for freedom and joy, as well as triumphs and failures in terms of relationships, economics, and aspirations.

Earl King Musical artist

Earl Silas Johnson IV, known as Earl King, was an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter, most active in blues music. A composer of blues standards such as "Come On" and "Big Chief", he was an important figure in New Orleans R&B.

The music of Louisiana can be divided into three general regions: rural south Louisiana, home to Creole Zydeco and Old French, New Orleans, and north Louisiana. The region in and around Greater New Orleans has a unique musical heritage tied to Dixieland jazz, blues, and Afro-Caribbean rhythms. The music of the northern portion of the state starting at Baton Rouge and reaching Shreveport has similarities to that of the rest of the US South.

Larry Williams Musical artist

Larry Williams was an American rhythm and blues and rock and roll singer, songwriter, producer, and pianist from New Orleans, Louisiana. Williams is best known for writing and recording some rock and roll classics from 1957 to 1959 for Specialty Records, including "Bony Moronie", "Short Fat Fannie", "Slow Down", "Dizzy, Miss Lizzy" (1958), "Bad Boy" and "She Said Yeah" (1959). John Lennon was a fan, and The Beatles and several other British Invasion groups recorded several of his songs.

Dave Bartholomew American musician, band leader, producer, and composer

David Louis Bartholomew was an American musician, bandleader, composer, arranger, and record producer. He was prominent in the music of New Orleans throughout the second half of the 20th century. Originally a trumpeter, he was active in many musical genres, including rhythm and blues, big band, swing music, rock and roll, New Orleans jazz, and Dixieland. In his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he was cited as a key figure in the transition from jump blues and swing to R&B and as "one of the Crescent City's greatest musicians and a true pioneer in the rock and roll revolution".

Chris Kenner Musical artist

Christophe Kenner was an American, New Orleans-based R&B singer and songwriter, best known for two hit singles in the early 1960s, "I Like It Like That" and "Land of 1000 Dances", which became staples in the repertoires of many other musicians.

Jean Knight is an American R&B and soul singer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Launching her professional career in the mid–1960s, Knight is perhaps best known for her 1971 hit single, "Mr. Big Stuff" released by Stax Records.

Mickey & Sylvia American R&B duo

Mickey & Sylvia was an American R&B duo composed of Mickey Baker and Sylvia Vanterpool, who later became Sylvia Robinson. They are best known for their number-one R&B single "Love Is Strange" in 1957.

Johnny Adams Musical artist

Laten John Adams Jr., was an American blues, jazz and gospel singer, known as "The Tan Canary" for the multi-octave range of his singing voice, his swooping vocal mannerisms and falsetto. His biggest hits were his versions of "Release Me" and "Reconsider Me" in the late 1960s.

King Floyd American singer-songwriter (1945–2006)

King Floyd was a New Orleans soul singer and songwriter, best known for his Top 10 hit from 1970, "Groove Me".

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes 1933 song by Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach

"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" is a show tune written by American composer Jerome Kern and lyricist Otto Harbach for the 1933 musical Roberta. The song was sung in the Broadway show by Tamara Drasin. Its first recorded performance was by Gertrude Niesen, who recorded the song with orchestral direction from Ray Sinatra, Frank Sinatra's second cousin, on October 13, 1933. Niesen's recording of the song was released by Victor, with the B-side, "Jealousy", featuring Isham Jones and his Orchestra.

Wardell Quezergue American composer, producer (1930–2011)

Wardell Joseph Quezergue was an American composer, arranger, record producer and bandleader, known among New Orleans musicians as the "Creole Beethoven". Steeped in jazz, he was an influential musician whose work shaped the sound of New Orleans rhythm and blues, funk and pop music. His role as an arranger and producer kept him out of the spotlight and enabled him to enhance the careers of many. He was a staple of the New Orleans music scene and the recipient of an honorary doctorate in music.

Michael Barnett, better known by his stage name Big Mike is a rapper from the Southern U.S.. Native of New Orleans, Louisiana – he was partially raised in both New Orleans and Houston, Texas.

Paul Gayten Musical artist

Paul Leon Gayten was an American R&B pianist, songwriter, producer, and record company executive.

"Groove Me" is a song recorded by R&B singer King Floyd. Released from his eponymous album in late 1970, it was a crossover hit, spending four non-consecutive weeks at number-one on Billboard Soul chart and peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Smokey Johnson American drummer, songwriter (1936–2015)

Joseph "Smokey" Johnson Jr. was an American drummer. He was one of the musicians, session players, and songwriters who served as the backbone for New Orleans' output of jazz, funk, blues, soul, and R&B music.

It Aint My Fault (Silkk the Shocker song) 1998 single by Silkk the Shocker featuring Mystikal

"It Ain't My Fault" is the second single released from rapper Silkk the Shocker's second album, Charge It 2 da Game. Produced by Craig B., the song features a verse and chorus from label-mate Mystikal and samples the New Orleans jazz standard "It Ain't My Fault" written by Smokey Johnson and Wardell Quezergue. "It Ain't My Fault" was one of Silkk the Shocker's successful singles, making it to 18 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"Barefootin'" is a 1966 song written and performed by Robert Parker. "Barefootin'" was arranged and produced by Wardell Quezergue in 1965. Parker's record label, Nola Records, claimed that the record sold over one million copies.

Curtis Stewart, better known by his stage name Kidd Kidd, is an American rapper from New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. He was one of the first members of Lil Wayne's label imprint, Young Money Entertainment, as a part of Southern hip hop group Sqad Up. In 2011, Kidd Kidd signed a record deal with 50 Cent's label imprint G-Unit Records and subsequently in 2014, he joined the newly reformed East Coast hip hop group, G-Unit. In 2015, he was chosen as part of XXL Magazine's annual Freshman Class.

Irving Banister Musical artist

Irving Sully Banister, Sr. was an American guitarist who recorded and performed R&B music, in a career lasting more than sixty years."

References

  1. Robert Parker, Soulfulkindamusic.net]. Retrieved January 23, 2020
  2. 1 2 "Barefootin' singer Robert Parker passes away". Fox8live.com. January 19, 2020. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  3. 1 2 "Robert Parker Jr October 14, 1930 - January 19, 2020". Richardsonfuneralhomeamite.com. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Bruce Eder (October 14, 1930). "Robert Parker | Biography". AllMusic . Retrieved July 27, 2014.
  5. John Sinclair (2002), Robert Parker:The Wardell Querzegue Sessions, Night Train Int CD 7107
  6. Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p.  210. ISBN   0-214-20512-6.
  7. Whitburn, Joel (1996). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-1995 . Record Research. p.  340. ISBN   0-89820-115-2.
  8. "ROBERT PARKER - 2007". Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 27, 2014.
  9. "Robert Parker". Billboard. Retrieved April 10, 2020.