Bobby Charles :: 1938-2010

We lost yet another legend today. Bobby Charles, aged 71, passed away at his home in Abbeville, LA. Charles’ music has graced the pages of AD countless times over the years, from his solo work to his contributions to the Band, and most recently his re-appreciation by the Vetiver clan on their 2008 LP Thing of The Past. The man had soul—something contemporary rock & roll could use a real shot in the arm of right now.

Bobby Charles’ 1972 self-titled release may at times be a chore to track down (import), [note: this is in reference to cd/vinyl) but such efforts are more than rewarded from the moment you press play. Like Link Wray’s early seventies albums, Louisiana native Bobby Charles was making and recording music akin to the sounds The Band were exploring up north, at the big pink house, in upstate New York. The Band comparisons don’t stop there, as here, Charles is aided by Rick Danko, Garth Hudson and Levon Helm.

Charles also performed with The Band at their, Martin Scorsese filmed farewell concert, The Last Waltz. Charles reportedly laid into a spirited version of “Down South in New Orleans”, joined by the The Band and fellow New Orleanian Dr. John. While not captured on film, the performance of “Down South in New Orleans” was later recorded by Charles, Levon Helm and Rick Danko, appearing on The Last Waltz box set edition.

Elsewhere: Bobby Charles – A Lost Legend (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

MP3: Bobby Charles :: Street People

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13 thoughts on “Bobby Charles :: 1938-2010

  1. What a gem Bobby Charles was… his early recordings are wonderful swamp soul sides. Great songwriter, great voice. He was one musician I always thought it would be a kick to meet and talk with. See you later, alligator!

  2. “I’m gonna do a lot things I know is wrong / and I hope that I’m forgiven before I’m gone.” sad news.

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