Sunday, July 2, 2017

Bobby Marchan - Get Down With It (expanded)

0n the extended conversation around Little Richard and his New Orleans posse; the guy I've left out is Bobby Marchan. Bobby was one of the three lead singers for Huey P. Smith's Clowns as well as a star at the Bourbon Street & Dew Drop drag revues. The first cover here is the base that this collection is made from but I have flushed it out to 32 tracks with some excellent stuff that was left out and a later single rip.

Until I put this thing together I confess I was at best lukewarm on Bobby, but this collection (actually there is a good bit more) has made me a believer; this dude could flat out sing! 

"Bobby Marchan (born Oscar James Gibson) (April 30, 1930 in Youngstown Ohio – December 5, 1999) was a well-respected American rhythm and blues bandleader, MC, singer-performer, recording artist, and female impersonator, who initially began performing in New Orleans nightclubs, specifically the Dew Drop Inn and the Club Tijuana in the mid 1950s.

Marchan also toured with the band of Huey "Piano" Smith, sometimes performing as lead singer / bandleader and substituting vocally for Huey Smith (who reputedly often would stay in New Orleans to write and record while his namesake band "Huey Smith and the Clowns" played clubs and toured on the road). The touring band included James Booker on piano. (Huey did not like leaving New Orleans and his local connections, he also had a penchant for double booking dates so there were often two versions of the band playing at the same time)

One of Marchan's vocal performances with Huey Smith and the Clowns can be heard on the New Orleans R&B recording, "Don't You Just Know It", which was released in 1958. Marchan also had a solo #1 hit on the national R&B charts in 1960 with the tune "There is Something on your Mind," a cover of a song performed by Big Jay McNeely.

Marchan recorded for a handful of small soul labels such as Fire Records, Volt, Dial, Cameo, and Gamble as well as Ace Records, which had released the Clowns' records. Marchan regularly performed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

In the 1990s his company Manicure Productions was involved in hip hop music booking and promotion including Take Fo' Records bounce music artist DJ Jubilee. He was involved with the formation of Cash Money Records.

Marchan died from liver cancer on December 5, 1999"   

The more I listen, the more I am moved to say that rarely in singing history has anyone had better control of his falsetto than Bobby!  


Feilimid O'Broin said...

I'll be honest; sometimes your writing captures the essence of a singer and evokes his or her uniqueness so well that to add anything is superfluous. What an amazing talent; What Can I Do Parts 1 and 2 alone are worth the price of admission! And the falsetto is everything you attribute to it. The man could be a one-man vocal group. Beyond the music, you have written marvelously about a unique culture in New Orleans that encompassed and encompasses singers ranging from Irma Thomas, the Queen of Soul, to the twilight world and subculture of Esquerita, James Booker, and now Bobby Marchand. How very fortunate we are that New Orleans just ain't another American city and redefines the word unique. Thanks so much for sharing another singer about whom I would have been unaware were it not for this blog. There is no other blog like this and I hope you, Poppachubby, Guitar Gus, and the other contributors whom I inadvertently overlooked keep on keeping on and maintaining the excellence of it.

KingCake said...

Thank you OB - you make a great point about the one man vocal group, the sum total of vocal coloration displayed on these songs is nothing short of staggering. This guy had some serious pipes!

GuitarGus said...

Love it ! Love it ! Love it ! This is the NO I love
soulful funky diverse and classy - This is a great post KC ( i'm shocked I haven't already got it seeing as it's on Kent - Ace UK label ) - I'm on the Eldridge Holmes case too and that's also brilliant - Many Thanks for both !

Moe said...

Thanks. I too like alot of this, however some of the real falsetto stuff is a bit much for me.

Vex said...

Really enjoying this.

Nadim Abraham said...

please re up link dead thank you

KingCake said...

lucky5 said...

Much appreciated, KC!

monsieur jujube said...

What a voice! Thhanks

pmac said...

Marchan is quoted in the great K-Doe biography, as having quipped: When you don't need a woman, or a man, call Bobby Marchan." Incredible artist that I was fortunate to see several times. Thanks, KC!

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