Monday, March 30, 2009

Eddie Bo RIP

Eddie Bo was another great artist who we sadly lost in recent weeks.

Eddie Bo, an exuberant New Orleans pianist and singer who wrote for and worked with artists like Irma Thomas, Etta James and Art Neville of the Neville Brothers, and whose song “I’m Wise” became one of Little Richard’s biggest hits, as “Slippin’ and Slidin’,” died last Wednesday. He was 79 and lived in New Orleans.

The cause was a heart attack, said Karen Hamilton, his booking agent.

Mr. Bo, a rhythm-and-blues belter and florid barrelhouse pianist, came of age when New Orleans street music, based on marching band traditions, was being translated into a distinctive local rhythm and blues style. He flourished as a songwriter and performer, making the transition to funk in the early 1970s.

“He had a very percussive sound, more jazzy than Professor Longhair,” said John Broven, the author of “Rhythm and Blues in New Orleans.” “He was always at the forefront of trends, right back to the Little Richard days and into the funk era, when he released some really revolutionary records.”

Read full obituary.

You can read and listen to some excellent tributes from here:

Eddie Bo In Soulville
If Its Good For You, Its Good For You
Three Faces Of Check Your Bucket
Eddie & His Heavy Friends
Pass Out The Hatchets One Last Time
Eddie Bo 1930-2009
Eddie Bo Let It Roll

You can also read a superb discography of Eddie Bo's music on Soul Generation

A bank account for the Eddie Bo Memorial Fund to help cover funeral costs has been set up. Those who wish to help can send contributions to:

Eddie Bo Memorial Fund
P. O. Box 57175
New Orleans, Louisiana 70157-7175

This is how I would like to recall Eddie - sitting at a piano playing his distinctive music at the Louisiana Music Factory in 2007:

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