Little Bob & The Lollipops
Camille Bob was one of the best and most enduring of Louisiana’s soul men. And I think it’s probably because the majority of his recordings were for labels associated with other forms of music like swamp pop or Cajun that he has been rather undervalued to date.
He was born on 7 November 1938 in Arnaudville and got his start in the music world as a drummer for local bandleader Good Rockin’ Bob but set up his own group around 1958, cutting his first disc for Eddie Schuler, a tribute to the great pianist/singer Katie Webster. His very good High Up single “Are You Ever Coming Home” is heavily in demand as an R & B dancer, “Please Don’t Leave” is a well structured ballad, but the best of these early discs was undoubtedly the superb blues ballad You Don’t Have To Cry on which his youthful sounding baritone soars above droning horns and a tinkling piano to great effect.
His lengthy stay with Carol Rachou’s La Louisianne concern yielded not only a big hit in the rightly celebrated drinking anthem “I Got Loaded” but several other notable sides as well, ranging from the tough R & B of “Are You Going My Way” to the more lightweight jauntiness of “I Can’t Take It” and “Nobody But You” to the JB influenced “Look Out Mr Heartache”. I like the previously unissued minor keyed deep The Way It’s Got To Be very much indeed and “The High Road” has some very appealing swamp pop horns as well as a very fine vocal.
Moving over to Jin didn’t change his style appreciably, and he continued to make super southern soul like the mid paced You Know It Ain’t Right and a great version of “Who Needs You So Bad” best known as a killer blue eyed deep soul piece by Gary Walker. The Jin LP is however a great disappointment however being a collection of covers. Bob’s only Whit 45 was much better though, and may even be considered his finest hour. I Wake Up Crying is a magnificent deep ballad, lovely chord changes, a big horn section and a superbly phrased lead vocal. It would have been great ot have had more like this, but instead there was an underproduced tribute to JB and a version of “Harry Hippie” that doesn’t get anywhere near Bobby Womack’s definitive reading.
Camille Bob is still active on the Louisiana music scene having recently celebrated his 50th year as a musician. Long may it continue.
Take it easy Katy / Little one ~ GOLDBAND 1067 (1958)
You don't have to cry / Twisting home ~ CARL ?? / DECCA 31412 (1962)
Help me somebody / No no baby ~ BIG WHEEL 1645 (1963) (with BIG CLYDE)
Are you ever coming home / Please believe me ~ HIGH-UP 101 (1963)
Mule train / Please don't leave ~ TAMM 2005 (1964)
Nobody but you / I got loaded ~ LA LOUISIANNE 8067 (1965)
So in need / My heart’s on fire ~ LA LOUISIANNE 8075 (1965)
Life can be lonely / Song for my father ~ LA LOUISIANNE 8078 (1966)
I can't take it / The high road ~ LA LOUISIANNE 8087 (1966)
Look out heartaches / We’re in love ~ LA LOUISIANNE 8091 (1967)
Stop / Soul woman ~ LA LOUISIANNE 8122 (1969)
I don’t want to cry / Who needs you so bad ~ JIN 222 (1969)
You know it ain't right / Trouble in mind ~ JIN 225 (1969)
Peaches (you got some) / I found someone ~ JIN 227
I wake up crying / Got to get away ~ WHIT 6906 (1971)
Brother Brown / 2 Weeks 2 Days Too Long ~ SOUL UNLIMITED 102 (1972)
Harry hippy / Kill that roach ~ MASTER TRAK 3010 (1980)
Nobody But You ~ LA LOUISIANNE LP 113 (1966)
Sweet Soul Swinger ~JIN LP 4005 (1968)
I Got Loaded ~ LA LOUISIANNE CD 1024 (2004)