Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 19 March '37, New Orleans) R&B singer, songwriter. Studied piano and trombone as a child; played in local bands at age 18, became famous overnight when his 'Ain't Got No Home', leased to Chicago's Argo label, made no. 3 R&B/no. 20 pop late '56: he could 'sing like a girl' (falsetto) and 'sing like a frog' in a funny voice. The nearly perfect R&B novelty gave him the nickname 'Frogman', and the flip was just as good, 'Trouble, Trouble' sharing writer credit with bandleader Paul Gayten, an up-tempo romp which belied its title. He returned to charts '61--2 with records prod. by Gayten and Allen Toussaint: '(I Don't Know Why I Love You) But I Do', 'You Always Hurt The One You Love' (both top 20 R&B and pop), and minor hits 'Lonely Street', 'On Bended Knees'/'Standing In The Need Of Love' etc; switched labels to Parrot for near miss 'Have You Ever Been Lonely'. He remained a favourite in New Orleans clubs for years.