Eddie Bo, a potent, eclectic New Orleans pianist, singer, songwriter and producer who inspired a dance craze with his 1962 hit "Check Mr. Popeye" and later directed fans to "Check Your Bucket," died Wednesday, March 18, of a heart attack. He was 79.
A prolific artist, Mr. Bo adroitly distilled an excitable synthesis of rock 'n roll, rhythm & blues, jazz and funk.
"He was one of the last great New Orleans piano professors, kind of a bridge between Professor Longhair and Allen Toussaint," said New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival producer Quint Davis. "Everyone now has to remember to check their bucket on their own, without Eddie to tell us."
Pianist Eddie Bo's farewell at the Mid-City Lanes featured Dr. John, Irma Thomas and more
Dr. John, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint, Deacon John and Walter "Wolfman" Washington joined more than 300 friends, fans and family members at the Mid-City Lanes Rock 'n' Bowl on Wednesday, April 1, to remember pianist, composer and all-around New Orleans music character Eddie Bo.
Born Edwin Bocage, he died March 18 of a heart attack at age 79. The prolific, eclectic Bo adroitly distilled an excitable synthesis of rock 'n roll, rhythm & blues, jazz and funk. He inspired a dance craze with his 1962 hit "Check Mr. Popeye" and later directed fans to "Check Your Bucket."
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival producer Quint Davis described him as "one of the last great New Orleans piano professors, kind of a bridge between Professor Longhair and Allen Toussaint."
Check out his official website HERE.
Eddie Bo memorial service scheduled for April 1
The memorial service for Eddie Bo’s family, friends and fans will be held at the Rock ‘N’ Bowl on Wednesday April 1 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Performers (right now) include Allen Toussaint, Joe Krown and Marva Wright. Speakers include Nick Spitzer and Jan Ramsey.
Eddie Bo, 79, New Orleans R&B Belter, Is Dead
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.
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.”
Eddie Bo - Tell It Like It Is (Ric 969)
EDDIE BO, RIP
posted by O.W.
Born Edwin Bocage, Bo was one of New Orleans' most prolific musicians, with over 50 singles to his credit and a vast number of productions as well. HIs career spanned over 50 years and it's hard to imagine a more stalwart and influential musical figure out of NOLA than Bo - he's certainly up there with the Neville Brothers, Dr. John, Fats Domino, etc. (The UK's Soul Generation has a great, visual discography of all the different labels Bo recorded for, many of them of his own creation such as Big 9, Bo-Sound and Scram.)
For my generation of Bo fans, we got into his style and sound thanks to the incredible funk sides he produced in the 1960s through early 1970s. Bo shared - in the most general sense - similarities with the sparse funk style of Allen Toussaint and the Meters since both made heavy use of the famed NOLA second line backbeat syncopation and polyrhythm. However, while the Meters' best-known songs have a density and gravity all their own, Bo's approach was more kinetic and lively - I always associate a subtle swing to this rhythms and especially thanks to constant collaborator James Black on drums, Bo always knew how to engineer a killer drumbreak to keep the crowd's feet in motion.
Let's Let It Roll
The Chess Sides
Architect of Rock & Roll, Father of Funk, Progenitor, Songwriter, Producer, Arranger, Innovator, Spiritualist, Carpenter, Eccentric, Genius... Eddie Bo was all these things.
Legendary New Orleans Pianist Eddie Bo passes
Bocage released more than 50 singles in his career - a number second only to Fats Domino among New Orleans artists - including "Check Mr. Popeye" in 1962."That was probably his biggest hit," said friend and musician Gregory Davis, 52, a trumpet player for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. "That song kept him working for a long time."
Eddie Bo 1930-2009: Three Faces of Check Your Bucket
‘Check Your Bucket’ was Bo’s 1970 follow up to 1969s ‘Hook and Sling’ which was a Top 10 R&B hit. The record is not only fine and dandy on a purely musical level, but is a great example of post-hit momentum, and how the charts don’t always tell the whole story.
As dynamic as ‘Hook and Sling’ was – understandably a hit – when the sweet funky strains of ‘Check Your Bucket’ first make contact with your ears, you can’t help but wonder why this particular record didn’t take Bo even further into the public consciousness.
Eddie Bo 1930-2009: Eddie & His Heavy Friends
NOTE: This mix, featuring the wide range of work Eddie Bo did with other artists (as writer, producer, arranger and often all of the above) was originally featured here in May of 2008. It’s not complete but it does give a pretty good overview of this side of Eddie’s career.
As the week goes on I plan on featuring a few more individual tracks, as well as a new “odds and sods” mix featuring some of Eddies earlier work and a couple of tunes by others that didn’t make it into this mix.
Eddie Bo 1930-2009: Pass Out the Hatchets One Last Time…
I’ve never gotten the story of how Bo became involved in ‘Pass the Hatchet’, but here’s a quick synopsis of what I do know…
The band playing on ‘Pass the Hatchet’, that actually composed the song was a group called Earl Stanley and the Stereos. Written by Earl Stanley (Oropeza), Roger Leon and Ray Theriot, ‘Pass the Hatchet’ was a super heavy bit of garage-hurtling-toward-funk that would have been enough – as an instrumental – to get any room up and dancing.
At some point a certain journeyman musician by the name of Eddie Bo stepped in and was recruited (possibly by Seven B label owner Joe Banashak) to add vocals to the track, taking a great tune, and making into something else entirely. Adding Eddie Bo to the mix created a chemical reaction rendering an already volatile substance positively explosive.
Eddie Bo 1930 - 2009
The Mighty Eddie Bo
The Mighty Eddie Bo
Bo on the 88’s
From This Day On... an Eddie Bo tribute mix
compiled by Second Line Social
Eddie Bo - From This Day On (Seven-B)
Roy Ward - Horse with a Freeze (Seven-B)
Art Neville - Hook, Line & Sinker (Instant)
Eddie Bo - S.G.B. (Seven-B)
Roger & The Gypsies - Pass The Hatchet (Seven-B)
Candy Phillips - Timber (Atlantic)
Eddie Bo - Falling In Love Again (Seven-B)
Eddie Bo - Shake, Rattle & Soul (Cinderella)
Eddie Bo - Hook & Sling (Scram)
James K. Nine - Live It Up (Federal)
Eddie Bo - Check Your Bucket (Bo-Sound)
Sonny Jones - Sissy Walk (Scram)
Eddie Bo & Inez Cheatham - Lover & A Friend (Seven-B)
Chuck Carbo - Can I Be Your Squeeze (Canyon)
The Vibrettes - Humpty Dump (Lujon)
Eddie Bo - We're Doing It (The Thang) pt. 2 (Bo-Sound)
Mary Jane Hooper - I've Got Reasons (Power)
Chris Kenner - Cinderella (Instant)
Eddie Bo - Fence of Love (Seven-B)
Barbara George - Something You Got (Seven-B)
Eddie Bo - Every Dog Got His Day (RIC)
Oliver Morgan - The La La Man (Seven-B)
Eddie Bo - Check Mr. Popeye (Swan)
Oliver Morgan - Roll Call (Seven-B)
Bobby Williams Group - Boogaloo Mardi Gras (Seven-B)
Betty Taylor - I'm Going Home (Nola)
compiled by Soul Generation