Ernie K. Doe – Here Come the Girls

 

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Mr. Ernie K. Doe

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NOTE: Soul Jazz Records, who own the rights to ‘Here Come the Girls’ have asked me to take the link down, and to refer you to their site….

Good day to you.

I hope you’re all digging the mix from Monday.

I had a complaint from a reader that he was having some difficulty getting it downloaded, but I’ve tested it a bunch of times, and found no file corruption, so I’m guessing it might be a traffic issue, or problems with an individual user’s ISP. If anyone else is having problems getting ahold of the whole file, drop me a line.

On a related note, those that pay attention to such things may have noticed that the bit rate on the mix is lower than some of the individual tracks I’ve been posting. I tried ripping the mix at a higher rate, and the resulting file size was MASSIVE, so much so that I figured it would cause most listeners a major inconvenience, in addition to taking up a huge chuck of my dwindling storage space.

Here in beautiful NJ – a statement I make by the way without the slightest hint of irony – the weather has been absolutely dreadful. I know that I’ve complained incessantly about the glut of tourists that clog the local roads between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but I didn’t want the summer to end prematurely, in a wet, grey haze with October-esque temperatures.

Despite the long term atmospheric downer, I like to keep the Funky16Corners Blog a place where – in the words of the late, great Slim Harpo – “the music’s hot”, so in furtherance of that cause, and in keeping with the New Orleans vibe, I bring you a tune that I tracked for years, like some deranged big game hunter. The tune I speak of, ‘Here Come the Girls’ is a later, superb effort by the man once described (possibly by himself) as “the Greatest Boy-Child ever conceived at Charity Hospital in New Orleans”, Mr. Mother-In-Law, the late, great Ernie K. Doe.

I should preface this by saying that despite by deep and abiding love for the music of New Orleans, I have been remiss in gathering the recorded works of Mr. Kador (as he was born) – aside from a few of his best Minit 45s. When K. Doe hit the charts in 1961 with ‘Mother In Law’, written, produced and arranged by the mighty Toussaint, with backing vocals by none other than Benny Spellman, he hit them HARD, riding the Top 10 of the R&B and Pop charts for several weeks. ‘Mother In Law’ was one of the biggest records to come out of New Orleans in the 60’s, and is probably the one Crescent City R&B song that everyone, from your sainted white-haired grandma to the snot-nosed kids loitering down at the 7-11 has heard, and in all likelihood, loves. Who can resists attempting to sing Spellman’s bass part when the chorus comes along? Not me.

Anyhoo, K. Doe had a few minor follow up successes (and by minor, I make reference only to their comparative lack of chart success, in no way slighting their musical quality, which was of course considerable) for the Minit/Instant organization, and spent the bulk of the 60’s making 45s for the Duke/Peacock labels. He hooked back up with Allen Toussaint in 1970 to record the amazing LP ‘Ernie K. Doe’ for the Janus label.

I first heard today’s selection – which hails from that LP – some years back when Soul Jazz released the ‘New Orleans Funk’ compilation. It came as something of a shock because I had no idea that K. Doe had done anything in the funk era, let alone anything of such high quality. I searched for years, either for the 45, or the LP, and was consistently stymied, often outbid by those with deeper pockets (or more rabid devotion to the K. Doe vibe). It was only recently that I cornered my prey as a “Buy It Now” item on E-Bay. To be sure, the Lp wasn’t cheap, but my want list these days is relatively short and sweet, I was flush (in relative terms) and decided that to strike while the iron was hot was my only choice. I did so, and let me tell you friends, when I laid that platter on the turntable, and released the beautiful sounds contained therein, I was satisfied that my investment was a wise one.

While ‘Here Come the Girls’ is a stone killer, the rest of the LP is fantastic, moving from soul, to funk to R&B and even pop, with Toussaint writing all but a few songs. It certainly deserves to be reissued. ‘Here Come the Girls’, which starts out deceptively with a march-time beat, rolls on into a funky tune, with a fantastic vocal by K. Doe. Though I’ve heard that the Meters provide the backing on this LP, I’m hard pressed to hear their influence on this track (though I do hear Toussaint on backing vocals). This is not to say that the Meters sound is not detectable elsewhere on the album, just that if they’re working it out here, it’s not at all obvious. The ‘Ernie K. Doe’ LP was not a commercial success, and was for all intents and purposes the last time he would produce wax that would find national distribution. He went through some hard, alcohol soaked times in the coming years, but came out the other side, eventually opening the Mother-in-Law Lounge in New Orleans where he would act as host, as well as performer until his untimely death in 2001. As I said before, I don’t think the LP has been reissued – and if it has, is not currently available. ‘Here Come the Girls’ is still available on the ‘New Orleans Funk’ comp, and much of K. Doe’s earlier material can be found.

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On a different note, I have started receiving promo CDs and such, and while some of the stuff that falls through the Funky16Corners mail slot is not – how shall we say – to my taste, every now and then (as with the recent Dave Lewis comp) something groovy arrives. This time out, it’s the new LP by the mighty Sam Moore, he of course the Sam of “and Dave” fame, a voice, if not a name that should send shivers up and down your spine, cause sweat to break out on your forehead and set your feet to moving and your hands, or course, to clapping. When I first unwrapped the disc, and saw that Randy “Mr. American Idol with alla that Dawg crap” Jackson was manning the board in the studio, you might forgive me for lifting a skeptical eyebrow. However, some things – like Sam Moore’s voice – cannot be messed with, even at the hands of slickmeisters like Jackson.

I’m not going to yank your chain and tell you that ‘Overnight Sensational’ is the second coming of the Stax sound, but I will say that this album of duets is actually quite good. The material is by and large memorable (covers of Anne Peebles, King Curtis, J. Blackfoot, Sam Cooke, Ben E. King) and the duet partners – including Bruce Springsteen, Paul Rodgers and Wynonna Judd who does a great job with Moore on ‘I Can’t Stand the Rain’ – while generally outclassed by Moore, manage to do OK. My fave track is a funky cover of Tony! Toni! Tone!’s ‘If I Had No Loot’ with Nikka Costa.

The bottom line is that Jackson et al have created a very solid showcase for Moore’s still powerful voice. While the collection of guest artists may get this played at the local Starbucks, it’ll still make it the coolest overpriced coffee house on the block.

Buy – Overnight Sensational – at Amazon

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25 Responses to “Ernie K. Doe – Here Come the Girls”

  1. Nathan Austin Says:

    Eek! Be careful when you comment on the weather, lest you jinx the whole tri-state area with a heat index of 110!

  2. The Stepfather of Soul! Says:

    The K-Doe tune has been a fave of mine for quite some time. It’s got one of those grooves that gets you moving despite yourself.

    Glad to hear someone finally give Sam’s CD a good review. Us soul fans ask too much from these kind of projects, and I stand on the basic principle that it’s good to have Sam in the studio making good, if not exceptional, music.

  3. dcin chatt Says:

    A vinyl purveyor friend had the promo single of “Rain” from this . . . supposed to be somewhat rare and more valuable still due to it being the last session Billy Preston played before passing.

    The K-Doe track is great–never heard that before.

    thanks,
    dc

  4. Dan Says:

    Hey, Larry. You’ve been going to town on New Orleans, man. As well you should. Just a note about K-Doe’s great album. While even friends of theirs have remarked that many of the tunes on the LP don’t sound like the Meters are playing, several Meters have attested to the fact that they are the backing band on all the sessions. I think that goes to show several things. When Toussaint was producing, the backing band played what he wanted to hear. He meticulously assigned parts within strict arrangements, even down to drum beats. He was masterful at it. Thus, it should be no surprise that the Meters don’t sound like “the Meters” on certain tracks. They didn’t play it funky unless Toussaint wanted it funky. That said, I think this shows just how professional and top notch the Meters were as musicians. They may not especially have liked being told what to play, but they could damn sure play it any way they were told. Such is the life of first call session players.

  5. funky16corners Says:

    Dan
    Excellent point. It’s hard for me to separate a band with as strong a character/sound as the Meters from their status as “working musicians”, capable of tailoring their contributions to a record as requested, especially by someone with as strong a vision as Toussaint.
    Larry

  6. Billy K Says:

    I went and checked out the clip of “If I Had no Loot” on iTunes (because I’ve always liked that song, minus the New Jack production), and it really isn’t half bad!

    I was happy to see they recorded The Valentino’s “Lookin’ for a Love,” but horrified to discover Jon Bon Jovi singing. Ugh. Guess you can’t win em’ all. BTW, Jack O & The Tearjerkers do a very nice version of it.

  7. Art(uro) Says:

    Thanks so much for posting this. The Emeror of the World can never get enough play!

  8. aoife Says:

    I am searching EVERYWHERE for that Ernie K-Doe song “Here Come the Girls”, my all time favorite song of his. If you have any ideas on where I could get it please let me know.

    Thank you!!
    Aoife

  9. funky16corners Says:

    I just restored the link. Enjoy!

  10. Joanne Says:

    I recently recorded a Boots advert in Hemel Hempsted, England which will be their Christmas campaign. The track used was Here Come The Girls, so I imagine that they are preparing for a simultaneous release of the track on CD. Hope this helps.

  11. funky16corners Says:

    Thanks Joanne!

  12. Joanne Says:

    I also got a really cool “New Orleans Funk” CD from eBay UK which has it on (track 23). Soul Jazz record presents NeEw Orleans Funk – New Orleans: the original sound of Funk 1960-75. It has a white cover with a black guy in a red suit on the front.

  13. Eileen Says:

    The Boots advert is now appearing on TV in the UK so hopefully this track will get the recognition it deserves. I remember it (just) from the first time round and my husband is an avid Southern/New Orleans Soul and Allan Toussaint fan so I may have to rummage through his collection to see if he has the vinyl version of the album that Toussaint produced for Ernie K Doe. I’ve just bought a copy of the “New Orleans Funk” CD. Thanks for the info everyone.

  14. Thaddeus Says:

    I’ve been looking around the net looking for more info on this Doe/Toussaint/Meters concoction. Any chance of posting the record in its entirety?

    cheers,
    -TLT

  15. Tony Says:

    I just scored a copy of this at the FMU record fair, and your site is the only place on the interweb with any info on this great album! Allmusic doesn’t even list it in his discography. Thanks for killing it day after day – T

  16. Sarah Says:

    I bloody love that tune!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you thank you :)

  17. SJ Says:

    Thanks for putting this up! Any idea where I can download it to itunes?

  18. Sarah Says:

    Answer to SJ – if you right click onthe “listen to” link above, you can then click “save target as” and it will save the mp3 onto your computer :)

  19. J B Says:

    Since we (boots) released this song on the advert that you will be seeing I have had endless people asking me what the song title is. I had no idea that we would be so successfull in making not only our brand more popular but also Ernie K’s classic track!

  20. IAN C. IRELAND Says:

    Fair play Boots on a great tune, bet it will be everywhere over crimbo. MELBA MOORE MAGIC TOUCH for the next one, classic.

  21. Jamie Says:

    Who owns the recording? Is there a label in the UK who still represents?

  22. Soul Jazz Records Says:

    Hello,

    We’re really glad you like Ernie K Doe’s song, but please would you remove the mp3 from your site? The track is legally downloadable exclusively from our websites. Here are the links:

    http://www.soundsoftheuniverse.com/releases/?id=10583

    http://www.souljazzrecords.co.uk/releases/?id=10583

    Many thanks,

    All at Soul Jazz Records.

  23. funky16corners Says:

    Done, and done…

  24. arthur Says:

    what a fantastic catchy tune . im searching on it after it played in my head from the Boots UK advert , HOWEVER , im sure ive heard this before in the tv show “Hustle” over the last few years

  25. Peee Says:

    Ernie K Doe – Funkin’ Fantastik !

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