Robert Lee Parker

b. August 31th, 1937 in Lafayette (Louisiana)

d. October 31th, 2013 in Bowie (Maryland)

NEW YORK CITY THE BLUES YESTERDAY vol.6

Blue Eye blog (mp3)

August 1956 - December 1968

Il nait en Louisiane mais grandit en Californie à Los Angeles dès 1943. Passionné de Jazz et de Blues, il apprend la guitare et débute à la fin des années 50 dans les orchestres d'Otis Williams & The Charms, Bo Diddley et de Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams (parfois sous le nom de Bobby Parks) dans un style Rhythm & Blues. Désireux de voler de ses propres ailes, Bobby quitte l'orchestre de Williams et s'installe à Washington (et joue dans les clubs de la 14ème Rue). Il obtient un premier hit avec "Watch your step" pour le label V-Tone (un titre repris plus tard par le Spencer Davis Group) qui influencera beaucoup d'artistes des Beatles à Santana. On remarque sur ses premiers titres sa voix claire et puissante, son jeu de guitare mordant. Il faut aussi noter un très beau blues "Blues get off my shoulder" pour le label Vee-Jay. Il tourne en Angleterre en 1968 où il grave deux titres pour Mike Vernon puis passe les années 70 et 80 à se produire dans sa région de Washington / Baltimore.

He was born in Louisiana but grew up in California in Los Angeles in 1943. Passionate about Jazz and Blues, he learned guitar and started at the end of the 50's in Otis Williams & The Charms, Bo Diddley and Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams bands (sometimes under the name of Bobby Parks) in a Rhythm & Blues style. Eager to fly on his own, Bobby leaves Williams' band and settles in Washington (and plays in clubs on 14th Street). He gets a first hit with "Watch your step" for the V-Tone label (a title later covered by the Spencer Davis Group) that will influence many artists from The Beatles to Santana. On his first tracks, we notice his clear and powerful voice, his biting guitar playing. We must also note a very beautiful blues "Blues get off my shoulder" for the Vee-Jay label. He toured england in 1968 where he recorded two titles for Mike Vernon and then spent the 70's and 80's performing in his Washington / Baltimore area.

BENT OUT OF SHAPE

Black Top

September 1992

Il s'agit de son premier album. Bobby montre ici ses talents exceptionnels de compositeur (il a composé tous les titres du programme sauf un). Son chant est superbe, sa guitare étincelante et virtuose. Les musiciens derrière lui sont bien sur de remarquables sidemen (Sammy Berfect, Lee Allen Zeno, Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff). Une tranche de Soul-Blues cuivrée et accrocheuse comme sur "It's hard but it's fair", "Bent out of shape", "So glad I found you", "Watch your step", "Break it up" (un morceau composé par Carey Bell selon les notes de pochette), "I've got a way with women", "Bobby a go go" et "Blues get off my shoulder".

This is his first album. Bobby shows his exceptional compositional talents here (he composed all the titles of the program except one). His singing is superb, his guitar sparkling and virtuoso. The musicians behind him are of course remarkable sidemen (Sammy Berfect, Lee Allen Zeno, Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff). A slice of brassy and catchy Soul-Blues as on "It's hard but it's fair", "Bent out of shape", "So glad I found you", "Watch your step", "Break it up" (a piece composed by Carey Bell according to liner notes), "I've got a way with women", "Bobby a go go" and "Blues get off my shoulder".

BLUES COSTUME PARTY

Black Top

September 1992

BLUES MISTLETOE & SANTA'S LITTLE HELPER

Black Top

1992 - 1995

SHINE ME UP

Black Top

April - May 1995

Second album pour le label Black Top des frères Hammond & Nauman Scott. Encore une fois, Bobby a composé la presque totalité des titres. Dans la directe continuation de "Bent out of shape", cet album possède un superbe programme quoique moins intense que précédemment. On peut ressortir "Man's gotta do what a man's gotta do", "Stamps on your letter", "Wild thing", "Skeezer", "Somebody's comin' in my back door", "Get hip".

Second album for Black Top label of brothers Hammond & Nauman Scott. Once again, Bobby composed almost all the titles. In the direct continuation of "Bent out of shape", this album has a superb program although less intense than before. We can point out "Man's gotta do what a man's gotta do", "Stamps on your letter", "Wild thing", "Skeezer", "Somebody's comin' in my back door", "Get hip".