Bobby Charles


Robert Charles Guidry (February 21, 1938 – January 14, 2010), known as Bobby Charles, was an American rhythm & blues singer and songwriter. An ethnic Cajun, Charles was born in Abbeville, Louisiana, and grew up listening to Cajun music and the country and western music of Hank Williams. At the age of 15, he heard a performance by Fats Domino, an event that changed my life forever, he recalled. Charles helped to pioneer the south Louisiana musical genre known as swamp pop. His compositions include the hits See You Later, Alligator, which he initially recorded himself as Later Alligator, but which is best known from the cover version by Bill Haley & His Comets, and Walking to New Orleans, written for Fats Domino. (I Don't Know Why) But I Do was an early 1960s song that Charles composed, which Clarence Frogman Henry had a major hit with, and which was on the soundtrack of the 1994 film Forrest Gump. His composition Why Are People Like That? was on the soundtrack of the 1998 film Home Fries. Because of his south Louisiana–influenced rhythm and blues vocal style, Charles has sometimes been thought to be black, when in fact he was white. Charles was invited to play with the Band at their November 26, 1976, farewell concert, The Last Waltz, at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. In the concert, Charles played Down South in New Orleans, with the help of Dr. John and the Band. That song was recorded and released as part of the triple-LP The Last Waltz box set. The perfo...

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