With the latest installment of the fantastic Soul Jazz compilation aptly entitled “New Orleans Funk Vol 3” just hitting the shops, I thought I’d dig into my collection to feature an artist who was heavily involved in the developing music scene in the Crescent City.
Robert Parker was born in 1930 and started out as a saxophonist initially playing with another legend of the N’Awlins scene, Mr Professor Longhair. It wasn’t just Longhair who Parker was to ply his trade with as he joined other well-known musicians from The Big Easy including Fats Domino & Huey “Piano” Smith (it was customary for New Orleans musicians to play on each other’s tracks back in the 60s & 70s)
By the late 50s, Parker was to embark on his own recording career whilst achieving local success with the instrumental track “All Night Long”. However it was as a vocal artist that Parker’s future lay and this culminated in his huge hit in ’66 – Barefootin’. The track I bring you today was released a year later and has a bit of a slower groove than the dancefloor friendly feel of Barefootin’. This cut also featured on the very first New Orleans Funk LP released back in 2000.
Unfortunately Parker was never able to repeat the success of Barefootin’ and his career was to end (recording wise at least) in the 70s. He did however continue to tour where he maintained a loyal following (like so many other soul artists) among the Northern Soul devotees in the U.K.