As best as I can tell, Barbara George and Bobby Mitchell never recorded together but these two New Orleans R&B artists might have crossed paths while cutting records at J&M Studio (Cosimo Matassa). If they did, they might have noticed they had the same birthdays. Start the show and read on.
Born in Algiers on August 16, 1935, Bobby Mitchell was the second of 17 children and might have developed his singing ability just to get noticed among his sibling crowd. In 1950, Mitchell formed the first New Orleans doo wop group, The Toppers. Their first recording was in 1953 with “I’m Crying” and “Rack “Em Up.” Later, when that group was decimated by the draft, Mitchell recorded with a seven-piece with his biggest hit being “Try Rock ‘n’ Roll.” In 1957, he got on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand with “I’m Gonna Be a Wheel Someday” (you will hear that one on this show). But it was Fats Domino’s version that was a bigger hit. Mitchell suffered early heart problems and retired in the early 60’s. He became an x-ray technician at Charity Hospital and died on March 17, 1989. I start the show with Mitchell’s “Mama Don’t Allow” and later you’ll hear him singing “Sister Lucy.”
Barbara George was born in Charity hospital on August 16, 1942. Since she was younger, she didn’t get into the J&M studio until 1961, working under the guidance of Harold Battiste and AFO records. Her most recognizable song is the number 1 R&B song in its time, “I Know (You Don’t Love Me No More).” Later in 1961, AFO produced the one and only Barbara George album “I Know” featuring mostly songs she wrote. I play “I Know” and a song she recorded in 1968 with Eddie Bo’s help, “Something You Got.”
This show also features some reggae, including two versions Bob Marley’s “One Love” — the first by One Love Brass Band and the second one by The Nevilles performing live at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Speaking of Nevilles, Charmaine Neville and her band does a spacey number called “Rocket Nine” or “Rocket V” depending on whether you listen to the recording or read the liner notes.
As always, thanks for tuning in and let me know what you’d like to hear in the future. Cheers.