Bobby Charles - Chess Masters (1955-1957)

Bobby Charles was an American singer-songwriter.

Born in southern Louisiana in 1938, Robert Charles Guidry got started in the music business when he was young, singing in a band of older musicians called The Cardinals. One of his early songs, “See You Later Alligator”, was heard by Leonard Chess of Chess Records, who recorded Charles and released the single in 1955. It did moderately well on the charts, but was soon covered by Bill Haley & The Comets, whose version became a massive hit. Chess eagerly awaited a follow-up, and invited Charles to Chicago, where they were surprised to find out that he was in fact white (they had assumed he was black). He went on to tour with various big names in the R&B world (including Chuck Berry and Jimmy Reed). By the time he was nineteen he had released seven singles with Chess. However he didn’t part with Chess on good terms, due to the lack of success of his post-“Alligator” singles, and he was demanding from them the royalties he was owed. By 1957 he was without a record label, but that did not last long.
This compilation covers his recordings from the early Chess days. Eighteen tracks including “See You Later Alligator”, other singles, b-sides and more, all recorded before his twentieth birthday.

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