November 01, 2004

Back to the '60's

"Sufferin' So" (Joe Tex)
Ernie K-Doe, Instant, 1963

(tune in to HOTG Internet Radio)

We shift our focus for the next few posts to the 1960's. I want to give a listen to a few hard to find sides from the family of New Orleans labels owned and run thoughout the decade by Joe Banashak: Minit, Instant, ALON, Seven B, Bandy, and several others. Because he was either wise enough or lucky enough to have A & R, production, and songwriting duties handled by Allen Toussaint, Eddie Bo, Sax Kari and Huey Smith over the years, many great records were issued on those labels; and quite a few have been reissued on various CD compilations. On the unlucky side, except for some of Toussaint's early '60's productions that hit it big, his other releases never had a national sales or chart impact, though they were popular locally or regionally.

I first heard this
Ernie K-Doe track on an undocumented Bandy compilation LP I picked up back in the 1980's, which has some hard to find tunes on it. The song originally appeared in 1963 on this Instant single with the flip side, "Baby Since I Met You" (check it out), which I aquired later. I can only assume it is a Toussaint production with its easy going, typical New Orleans popeye groove of the period. Written by Joe Tex, who did some of his earliest recording in New Orleans, the lyrics speak a sad wisdom but still have that novelty tune way of spelling out some of the words. The main vocal is classic K-Doe; and I think that is Benny Spellman singing the bass lines, as he did on Ernie's earlier, Toussaint-penned big hit, "Mother In Law".

What can be said of the late (and missed) Ernie K-Doe, self-described Emperor of the Universe, that he hasn't proclaimed for himself? He was a very flamboyant, happily deranged entertainer who stood out in a city that has no shortage of the outrageous and colorfully wacko. Of course, he is known to the outside mostly for his one chart-topper; but he put out many good records over the years worth hearing. You won't find "Sufferin' So" just anywhere, though. Enjoy it here, while you can.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been trying to find a copy of a great song being played on New Orleans radio in the early 1960's. The artist had an Irma Thomas sound. The song is called - I think - "I Did My Part" or I did my part when you were here - something like that. It starts with "You walked away and left me... out in the cold...after I was so good to you......" Any help??? Thanks. Linda Walsh email at:

1:39 PM, January 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,

while searching for the lyrics on google I stumbled upon your post.
The song you were asking about is written by Allen Toussaint and sung by Irma Thomas, as you supposed. The title is
"I did my part" and it is the flipside of another one of her great tunes "It's Raining".
I absolutely love this song and I'm happy and proud as a little child to have it on vinyl. I do have some funk & soul LP's and singles, especially New Orleans funk & soul, but until now I haven't found a greater song. I love her voice, I adore the arrangement and the lyrics strike me each time I listen to it, (as far as I can understand them - I'm German). I don't know any song that combines an uptempo beat with both melancholy and serenity in such a great manner.
Anyway, I just wanted to help you out with this little information. Could you perhaps do me a favour and write down the lyrics for me, if I sent a mp3 copy of this song (or anybody who reads this)? That would be great!

Have a nice day!
so long tom

2:54 AM, March 24, 2008  

Post a Comment

<< Home