Bobby Blanque


Bobby Blanque (left) with Tony Bennett | 1950s | Dianne Blanque | Nola | tc436

Singer Robert “Bobby” Blanque, a classic crooner who opted to spend his career in New Orleans, died May 20, 2010 at home after a lengthy illness. He was 82.

Mr. Blanque grew up in the Ninth Ward and was musically inclined from an early age. As a 9-year-old boy in 1936, his accordion skills earned him a write-up in a local newspaper. He left St. Aloysius High School prior to graduation to pursue a career as a singer.

In 1953, he appeared on the nationally syndicated radio and TV show “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts.” He subsequently performed around the country. For a brief time in the 1950s, he was based in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he found himself on bills with Tony Bennett and others.

However, he grew homesick for New Orleans. He resolved to build a career locally, rather than tour. To that end, he fronted orchestras and big bands around town. A 1957 summer pops concert teamed him with trumpeter Al Hirt. A 1965 benefit at the Municipal Auditorium for victims of Hurricane Betsy featured Mr. Blanque and Academy Award-winning actress Loretta Young.


Jackie and Tut


Herb Kent | Copyright control | tc437


Freddy Roulette | Past Blues | tc438

“Jackie and Tut” are mainly known for the funk record issued on US Chess 2008, “Ten-Two Double Plus/Hawaiian Punch”. Jackie and Tut had to be an alias, and it is. They are identified as Freddy Roulette (born May 3, 1939) and Herb Kent, the radio personality, in “Blues a regional experience” by Eagle and LeBlanc.

Herb Kent died on October 22, 2016 aged 88.

Herb Kent Obituary, Chicago Tribune

The Invincibles

Other web sites will tell you that the Invincibles were a vocal group from Los Angeles who specialised in the falsetto style of singing which was so popular from the late 50s to the early 70s. By the sixties a group called The Invincibles had the members David Richardson, Lester Johnson and Clifton Knight, and their records fitted that description, but it is not known if that is the same group as on this earlier recording which was issued by Chess in 1959. The sixties Invincibles group was not very successful, and folded. “Moonglow” is a typical late 1950s doo-wop group recording. I note that there are four composer credits on the label and these might or might not be group members – the names appear to be Hansen, Brown, Gretzia and Goode – in which case this recording is by a different Invincibles. Can anyone shed any further light please.

The Interpreters


The Interpreters’ LP Cover | Dusty Grove | tc439

The Interpreters were a short lived mid-60s jazz group produced by Esmond Edwards for Cadet Records. The LP cover shows six gentlemen, but the only names we have been able to discover are George Patterson, Charles Kinnard, Cleo Griffin and Tom Washington. Can anyone provide a full line up for this group, please? A single was culled from the LP, “The Knack”/”Time is of the essence” issued on Cadet 5537.

The Aesops’ Fables

The Aesops Fables are understood to have been an Australian group whose product was picked up for promotion and release by Chess on the Cadet Concept label. The group comprised of Cheryl Blake, Jimmy Doyle, Russell Dunlop, Michael Lawler and Gary Moberley. The group, which started off as an R&B cover group, disbanded and reformed in the early 1970s. Atlantic Records also released some records by a group with the same name, on their Atco subsidiary.

Aretha Returns!


Aretha Franklin, 2014 | Paras Griffin/Getty/Rolling Stone | 14559

Rolling Stone have been talking to Aretha Franklin about her long and illustrious career, and other matters.

Franklin had been a star in the gospel world for years before signing to Columbia. At 12, she joined her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin – whose sermons sold millions of copies on Chess Records – on the road. “His delivery was very dynamic,” she says. “If he had chosen to be a singer, he would’ve been a great one.” Her favorite sermon of his was “A Wild Man Meets Jesus,” about a man who goes insane, abandons his family and winds up living in a graveyard. Jesus sails through a rainstorm to meet him and exorcises him of demons, to the dismay of townspeople who prefer the man as the village idiot. “The man walks into someone he immediately knows is superior and supreme to him, without any words,” says Franklin. “That’s what I love about that. It underscores a supreme being.”

Franklin was no stranger to big personalities growing up – her parents’ parties included Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington and Sam Cooke. “I had a teenage crush on him,” Franklin says of Cooke. “Very classy, very classy. He came from the church, so it would be hard not to have class.”

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