Ernie K-Doe

A Real Mother-In-Law for Ya: The Allen Toussaint Sessions 1959-63

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Since his big hit was "Mother-In-Law," a funny song that could easily be perceived as a novelty, Ernie K-Doe is often dismissed when it comes to the top rank of New Orleans R&B singers. That's an inaccurate assessment, as WestSide's delightful 2002 compilation A Real Mother-in-Law for Ya proves. Part of the reason, of course, is that these are the Toussaint sessions, and Allen Toussaint is the king of late-'50s and -'60s New Orleans R&B, not only writing classics like "Mother-in-Law," but producing sessions that had precisely the right combination of rolling rhythms, horns, mellow funk, pianos, and warm vocals from the friendly, skilled Ernie K-Doe. He didn't have as rich a selection of material as, say, Fats Domino or Lee Dorsey, but he was at the top tier of the second tier, as this compulsively listenable 29-track collection proves. This is nearly all top-shelf material -- from hits like "A Certain Girl" and "I've Cried My Last Tear" (the A and B, respectively, of one of the greatest R&B singles of the early '60s), to lesser-known material like Toussaint's "Hello My Lover" or the rollicking "Wanted $10,000 Reward." After hearing this collection, it's hard not to think of Ernie K-Doe as one of the great New Orleans R&B artists of his time, and it's hard to imagine a serious New Orleans collection without this disc.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:38
2 2:23
3 2:34
4 2:58
5 3:21
6 2:10
7 2:38
8 2:40
9 2:13
10 2:29
11 2:32
12 1:55
13 2:20
14 2:46
15 2:12
16 3:35
17 2:34
18 2:32
19 2:29
20 2:21
21 3:28
22
2:19
23 2:27
24 2:22
25
3:26
26 2:00
27 2:30
28 3:54
29 1:12
blue highlight denotes track pick