See You Later, Alligator

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Whether it's a single-disc compilation or a comprehensive box set, Bear Family sets the standard for high quality in sound and for scholarship, content, and presentation. This 28-cut, single-CD Bobby Charles collection is an excellent case in point. See You Later, Alligator compiles all of his sides for Chess Records between the years 1955 and 1961, a full half of which didn't see release at the time they were recorded. Abbeville, LA's Charles (given name Guidry) was a 17-year-old Cajun high-school kid when he wrote and cut "See You Later, Alligator" with his own band, the Cardinals, at Cosimo Matassa's J&M Recording Studio on North Rampart Street in New Orleans. What is...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Whether it's a single-disc compilation or a comprehensive box set, Bear Family sets the standard for high quality in sound and for scholarship, content, and presentation. This 28-cut, single-CD Bobby Charles collection is an excellent case in point. See You Later, Alligator compiles all of his sides for Chess Records between the years 1955 and 1961, a full half of which didn't see release at the time they were recorded. Abbeville, LA's Charles (given name Guidry) was a 17-year-old Cajun high-school kid when he wrote and cut "See You Later, Alligator" with his own band, the Cardinals, at Cosimo Matassa's J&M Recording Studio on North Rampart Street in New Orleans. What is remarkable about this track nearly six decades later is how different it sounds from the hit Bill Haley version and how much more it jumps; the whole band feels like it's barely staying on the rails. This is pure swamp pop, unadulterated Cajun rhythm & blues. The flip side was another Charles original, the classic "On Bended Knee," a strolling, midtempo ballad that rhythmically slips and slides all around his wide-open, soulful lyric. There are three sides he cut during sessions with Willie Dixon's band in early 1956. Playing with Dixon, Bill Stepney, Harold Ashby, Jody Williams, and Harold Burrage, Charles cut his most uncharacteristic sides -- harder, edgier, and faster than what he'd cut in New Orleans. These three songs include "Why Did You Leave," "Watch It Sprocket," and "Don't You Know I Love You (You Know I Love You)." With the exception of one other number -- "No More (Ain't Gonna Do It No More)" -- cut in Chicago and co-written with Dixon, the rest of these sides were all cut at Cosimo's studio, which had moved to Governor Nicholls St.; most were produced by Paul Gayten. The bands on these cuts included the likes of drummer Earl Palmer and tenor boss Lee Allen, baritone man Alvin "Red" Tyler, bassist Frank Fields, and pianist Edward Frank -- though "I'd Like to Know" from March of 1961 may indeed feature a vocal group that worked with Mac Rebennack (Dr. John) at the time. Even a young Allen Toussaint took part. With author Rick Coleman's long, authoritative, and engaging liner essay in the package, this is an indispensable purchase for anyone interested in Charles' music in particular and historic New Orleans roots rock & roll and rhythm & blues music in general.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/29/2010
  • Label: Bear Family
  • UPC: 790051720728
  • Catalog Number: 17207

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bobby Charles Primary Artist
Willie Dixon Bass, Drums
Lee Allen Tenor Saxophone
Harold Ashby Tenor Saxophone
Harold Burrage Piano
Jody Williams Guitar
Frank Fields Bass
Clarence Ford Baritone Saxophone
Edward Frank Piano
Earl Palmer Drums
Earl Phillips Drums
Billy Stepney Drums
Charles "Hungry" Williams Drums
Larry Guidry Guitar
Carlo Marino Saxophone
Raoul Prado Saxophone
Kenneth Theriot Drums
Ed LeBlanc Piano
Harry Simoneaux Saxophone
Waldron Joseph Trombone
Robert Charles Guidry Vocals
Technical Credits
Willie Dixon Composer, Producer
Paul Gayten Producer
Leonard Chess Producer
Colin Escott Illustrations
Ted Daffan Composer
Rick Coleman Liner Notes, Biographical Notes
Dave Sax Reissue Producer
Jurgen Crasser Mastering
Andreas Merck Photo Scanning
Nico Feuerbach Illustrations
R. Guidry Composer
Mendelsohn Composer
Guidry Composer
Robert Charles Guidry Personnel
C. GUIDRY Composer
Gayten Composer
H. Williams Composer
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