BOBBY CHARLES: No Use Knockin’

VARIETY: Singer-songwriter Bobby Charles, who authored hits like Fats Domino’s “Walking to New Orleans” and Bill Haley & the Comets’ “See You Later Alligator” and recorded highly personalized swamp-pop in his own right, died Jan. 14 at his home in Abbeville, LA. He was 71. The cause of death was unknown immediately, and a medical examination is pending, according to Charles’ spokeswoman. Born Robert Charles Guidry in Abbeville, he was a white Cajun performer who gravitated to rock ‘n’ roll and R&B as a teen. Signed to the Chicago blues and R&B label Chess, he cut “Later Alligator” in 1955. The single reached No. 14 on the R&B charts, but achieved prominence a year later when Haley turned the song into a No. 6 pop hit. Charles moved to Imperial Records in 1958; his label mate Domino registered a No. 6 pop single with “Walking to New Orleans” two years later. Crescent City singer Clarence “Frogman” Henry took Charles’ “(I Don’t Know Why I Love You) But I Do” to No. 4 on Chess’ Argo subsidiary in 1961. MORE

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