Ernie K-Doe ~ "Here Comes The Girls: A History 1960 – 1970" (Charly (UK) SNAX 634)
by Greg Burgess
Make You Love Me; There’s A Will There’s A Way; Hello My Lover; Tain’t It The Truth; Wanted – $10,000 Reward; Mother In Law; Real Man; Te Ta Te Ta Ta; A Certain Girl; I Cried My Last Tear; Popeye Joe; Come On Home; Hey, Hey, Hey; I Love You The Best; I Got To Find Somebody; Beating Like A Tom Tom; Get Out Of My House; Loving You; Be Sweet; Easier Said Than Done; I’m The Boss; Penny Worth Of Happiness; Baby, Since I Met You; Sufferin’ So; Reaping What I Sow; Talking Out Of My Head.
You Got To Love Me; Stoop Down; (I Can’t Believe) She Gave It All To Me; Hotcha Mama; Waiting At The Station; She’s Waiting; Rub Dub A Dub; Heebie Jeebies; Hurry Up And Know It; Lonelyology (For Your Love); The Fight (Grandma And Grandpa); Let Me Love You (Previously Unissued); So Good (Previously Unissued); Ernie K. Doe Janus Lp 1970; Here Come The Girls; Back Street Lover; A Place We Can Be Free; Whoever Is Thrilling You (Is Killing Me); I’m Only Human; Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye; Fly Away With Me; A Long Way Back Home; Lawdy Mama; Talkin’ ‘Bout This Woman.
It would seem churlish to quibble about a mid priced CD containing no less than 49 tracks from one of New Orleans most charismatic performers who even after his death in 2001 was running for mayor of New Orleans and who scored his biggest hit in forty years with ‘Here Comes The Girls’ after it had featured in a television advert for Boots in the UK but quibble I will. The title of this compilation is misleading since the earliest cuts are from 1959. I agree this might be interpreted as petty but there are also several cuts dating from the mid seventies when K-Doe stopped by for an unsuccessful spell at Sansu. Also omitted are his eight singles cut for Don Robey’s, Houston based label Duke Records erroneously described in the text as having all been cut in New Orleans with Willie Mitchell at the helm. Most were probably cut in Houston using producers such as Jay Wellington and Bob Evans.
OKthat’s enough of the quibbles because what you have left, whilst almost entirely familiar to a silver disc is often of the highest quality. Those of the readership who love Allen Toussaint and the New Orleans sound of the early sixties will be in their element. Its hard not to love seminal NOLA moments such as ‘Mother-In –Law’, ‘Real Man’, ‘Sufferin’ So’, ‘Wanted – S10, 000 Reward’ all written and produced by Toussaint in his first golden period when the Crescent City was producing cutting edge music.
K-Doe, of course, was at the fore front of New Orleans performers, famous for his outrageous stage persona and more ominously for his services to alcohol. There is little doubt that this began to affect his voice early and there is a notable lack of consistency in the vocals on some of the later recording such as his cover of Chuck Willis’ ‘Stoop Down’ . Conversely when he got it right as on ‘Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye’ the Al Reed standard K-Doe was more than able to convey emotion and pathos in a song.
That cut and the equally poignant ‘Long Way Back Home’ come from his Allen Toussaint produced eponymous album for Janus Records recorded in 1970. Although issued on CD as recently as 2008 its inclusion as the final ten tracks within this two CD compilation is welcomed as it includes some of his best work including the much sampled ‘Here Comes The Girls’ and the up tempo ‘I’m Only Human’. K-Doe’s voice sounds strong and soulful proving that he was an underrated soul singer whose remembered legacy is much more than the levity of ‘Mother-In-Law’.