Parker, Robert

Band members               Related acts

- Robert Parker (RIP 1991) - vocals, sax 



- none known


Genre: soul

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Barefootin'

Company: Nola

Catalog: LP 1001

Year: 1966

Country/State: New Orleans, Louisiana

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: --

Available: 1

GEMM Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $75.00


Ah a sessions man's dream come true. Born and raised in New Orleans, by the late-1940s Robert Parker had made a name for himself as an in-demand sessions player. His sax accompanied the cream of the city's 1950s/'60s musical output. Ironically, it's kind of odd that anyone hearing the man's singing voice sing had to wonder why it took so long for Parker to be offered a solo contract.

Having backed everyone from Professor Longhair (Parker helped dream up the name), to Fats Domino, starting in the late-1950s Parker released several solo sides, including the instrumental 'All Night Long' for the small Ron label. 1966 saw him signed by the small Louisiana-based Nola label, where Parker enjoyed his first brush as a solo act with the 1966's 'Barefootin'' b/w 'Let's Go Baby (Where the Action Is) (Nola catalog number 721). With Parker enjoying an unexpected top-10 national hit, Nola quickly rushed Parker back into the studio to record a supporting album. Like the single, "Barefootin'" teamed the artist with Allen Toussaint handling the production chores while Wardell Querzergue did the arrangements. While most supporting albums are little more than throwaway crap, this set proved the exception. Propelled by Parker's nifty voice and real sense of enjoyment, the result was a wonderful set mixing original dance numbers like 'Let's Go Baby (Where the Action Is)' and 'The Scratch' with a couple of classic soul covers (Parker's cover of Otis Redding's "Mr. Pitful" is one of the best I've ever heard). The result is one of those lost soul classics ... 

"Barefootin'" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Barefootin' (Robert Parker) - 2:33
2.) Let's Go, Baby (Where the Action Is) (Robert Parker) - 2:28
3.) Mr. Pitful (Otis Redding - Steve Cropper) - 2:35
4.) I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now) (Otis Redding) - 2:53
5.) Soul Kind of Loving (T. Val - E. Frank) - 2:49
6.) C.C. Rider (Robert Parker) - 2:59

(side 2)

1.) The Scratch (Robert Parker) - 2:35
2.) Happy Feet (Robert Parker) - 2:13
3.) In the Midnight Hour (Wilson Pickett - Steve Cropper) - 2:30
4.) Directly from My Heart (Penniman) - 3:46
5.) Heading for a Fall (T. Val - E. Frank) - 2:28
6.) I Can't Help Myself (Brian Holland - Lamont Dozier - Eddie Holland) - 2:27

A series of follow-on singles proved local hits ('The Scratch' and 'Tip Toe'), but within a couple of years Parker had returned to working as a New Orleans-based sessions player status.

The mid-1970s disco boom saw him record the dreadful "Disco Doctor". While serving as band leader at the famous New Orleans Club Tajuana, through the 1980s Parker continued to occasionally tour, including European jaunts where he retained a large cult following.



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