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Ernie K-Doe

Ernie K-Doe scored one of the biggest hits (possibly the biggest) in the history of New Orleans R&B with "Mother-in-Law," a humorous lament that struck a chord with listeners of all stripes on its way to the top of both the pop and R&B charts in 1961. The song proved to be K-Doe's only major success, despite several more minor hits that were equally infectious, yet he remained one of New Orleans' most inimitable personalities. Born Ernest Kador, Jr. in New Orleans in 1936, he began singing at age seven in the Baptist church where his father served as minister. During his teen years, Kador performed with local gospel groups like the Golden Chain Jubilee Singers and the Zion Travelers, when he was influenced chiefly by the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi. He entered and won talent competitions and became more interested in secular R&B and blues, and at 17, he moved to Chicago with his mother and began performing at local clubs. Thanks to connections he made there, he got the chance to sing with the Flamingos and Moonglows, as well as the Four Blazes, a gig that earned him his first recording session in late 1953 for United.

Kador returned to New Orleans in 1954 and honed his flamboyant stage act at numerous local hangouts (including the famed Dew Drop Inn), both solo and as part of the vocal group the Blue Diamonds. The Blue Diamonds cut a couple of sides for Savoy in 1954, and the following year, Kador (still billed under his real name) recorded his first solo single, "Do Baby Do," for Specialty. In 1957, he recorded a few more sides for Ember, as both Ernie Kado and Ernie K-Doe. Finally, in 1959, he caught on with the newly formed Minit label and hooked up with producer/songwriter/pianist/arranger/future legend Allen Toussaint. His first Minit single, "Make You Love Me," flopped, but the follow-up, "Hello My Lover," was a substantial regional hit, selling nearly 100,000 copies. K-Doe struck gold with 1961's "Mother-in-Law," a Toussaint-penned tune on which K-Doe traded choruses with bass vocalist Benny Spellman. That, coupled with the playful cynicism of the lyrics, made for a rollicking good time in the best New Orleans R&B tradition, and K-Doe was rewarded with a number one record on both the pop and R&B charts. He toured the country and landed a few more follow-up hits -- "Te-Ta-Te-Ta-Ta," "I Cried My Last Tear," "A Certain Girl" (later covered by the Yardbirds), "Popeye Joe" -- but none approached the phenomenon of "Mother-in-Law," and were more popular on the R&B side.

Minit soon went under, and K-Doe followed Toussaint to the Instant label, but two 1964 singles failed to revive K-Doe's chart fortunes, partly because the early prime of New Orleans R&B was fading as Motown gained prominence. Over the remainder of the '60s, K-Doe recorded for Peacock and Duke, landing two very minor R&B chart entries in 1967 with "Later for Tomorrow" and "Until the Real Thing Comes Along" on the latter label. However, he had a difficult time adapting his loose, playful style to the R&B trends of the day. He reunited with Toussaint for a brief period in the early '70s, to no avail, and drifted into a long period of alcoholism. Fortunately, K-Doe was able to reclaim some of his popularity around New Orleans when he began hosting a radio program in 1982, earning an audience with his wild antics and blatant self-promotion. In 1994, K-Doe opened his own club, Mother-in-Law Lounge, in New Orleans, and frequently performed there in the years to come, occasionally returning to the studio as well. He was inducted into the city's Music Hall of Fame in 1995 and generally acknowledged for his contributions up until his death from kidney and liver failure on July 5, 2001. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Here Come The Girls!

1. Here Come The Girls

2. Back Street Lover

3. A Place Where We Can Be Free

4. Whoever Is Thrilling You (Is Killing Me)

5. I'm Only Human

6. Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye

7. Fly Away With Me

8. A Long Way Back Home

9. Lawdy Mama

10. Talkin' 'bout This Woman

11. Hotcha Mama

12. (I Can't Believe) She Gave It All To Me

13. Mother-In-Law (Alternate Verison)

x

Track List: A Real Mother-In-Law For Ya

1. Mother-In-Law

2. Make You Love Me

3. There's A Will, There's A Way

4. Hello My Lover

5. Tain't It The Truth

7. Waiting At The Station

8. Te-Ta-Te-Ta-Ta

9. Real Man

10. Rub Dub Dub

11. Get Out Of My House

12. I Love You The Best

13. Easier Said Than Done

14. A Certain Girl

16. Reaping What I Sow

17. Beating Like Tom Tom

18. Loving You

19. Be Sweet

20. I'm The Boss

21. The Fight (Grandma And Grandpa)

22. Baby Since I Met You

23. Lonelyology (For Your Love)

24. She's Waiting

25. Penny Worth Of Happiness

26. Hurry Up And Know It

x

Track List: The Best Of Ernie K-Doe

1. Mother In Law

2. Hello My Lover

3. 'taint It The Truth

4. Te Ta Te Ta Ta

5. You Did It Baby

6. Do You Want Some?

7. Jump Into Your Love

8. Georgia On My Mind (live)

9. Shake, Rattle And Roll

10. Surely

11. I Got A Woman

12. Don't Let Me Down

Comments

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Yes sir...."Wait i n g at the Station" for Ernie Ernie K Doe.
Report as inappropriate
Super-Badd Super-Kool Soul-Man
NO-City Southern-Bro t h a Ernie K-Doe
H-Town Up Mo-City Down With-it
*978*~ 5m14y~
Report as inappropriate
I LOVED Mr. Ernie K-Doe & "Mother-in-L a w " way back when that record came out,& I ALWAYS WILL!!!!! What a JAM!!! God bless his dear nutty soul,& God bless the musical genius, Mr. Allen Toussaint, who brought him 2 our attention. (2 b truthful, tho, i liked my own mother-in-la w much MORE than her @#$%&%$#@ son---my X!!!)
Report as inappropriate
don't ax me her name
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What's her name...Icant e l l y a ? that's a funny name
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there's another rendition of this song...not as good as E K DOE
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One bad mother.
Report as inappropriate
also love mother-in-la w and i had the best
Report as inappropriate
twine2rhyme
Love "Mother-In-L a w " - - - B u t , I must say I don't love MY MOTHER_IN_LA W ! ! !
Report as inappropriate
good music
Report as inappropriate
Love his 1999 cover picture..... . .
Report as inappropriate
A New Orleans original.

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