More swamp rock from a singer covered by Elvis Presley and Tom Jones
Talking swamp rock and a reader, my cousin, suggested Tony Joe White from Louisiana.
Tony Joe White was a singer songwriter with a long career and a few big hits like Polk Salad Annie and Rainy Night in Georgia. Along with Elvis and Tom Jones, Tina Turner covered his song Steam Windows.
Why was the man who wrote so many hit songs for others living in the Cajun swamp west of New Orleans where he was born?
A songwriter and hit-maker for Fats Domino, Clarence Frogman Henry and friend of the Band, Charles was a recluse. The obituary notices left out that part of the story and I wanted to find out why his talent was virtually unknown outside the small world of musicians.
While he wrote hit songs for many famous artists and lived off his royalties most of his life, he was rarely seen in public performance.
Making it where rock and roll was born
Born in Cajun country Louisiana, Bobby Charles was a purveyor of that special brand of southern US rock called “swamp rock.” The Band were one of the more famous groups who made a career playing “swamp rock”, all the more ironic since all of The Band members were from Canada, excepting Levon Helm who hailed from Arkansas. Continue reading →