Ernie K-Doe / Feb 22, 1936 - July 5, 2001

Ernest Kador, better known as Ernie K-Doe, is a New Orleans legend. Famous for his hits "Mother-In-Law", "Later For Tomorrow" and "Here Come The Girls", he was a singer, wacky performance character, club owner, radio personality and Drum Buddy ally. "Here Come The Girls" became a hit after his death but remains a popular DJ cut and dance groover.

A NOLA native and son of a Baptist minister, he started singing in church at seven and sang in gospel groups as a teen. In the early '50s he moved to Chicago and broke into the scene there, singing with the Moonglows on occasion before going back to New Orleans. He recorded as part of the Blue Diamonds in the mid-'50s before launching his solo career. His biggest hit, "Mother-In-Law", was written and produced by the great Allen Toussaint (who also plays piano on the cut) in 1960 and went on to be a #1 pop hit for Minit Records. It was quickly followed by another hit ("Te-Ta-Te-Ta-Ta") the next year. He had some great, if underknown, songs, tunes like the doo-wopish "I Cried My Last Tear" was another standout for Minit, and the groovy "A Certain Girl". "Later For Tomorrow" was another Top 40 hit in '67.

"Here Come The Girls", his charming 1970 groover, was not a hit at the time but retrospect has looked kindly at it and it has since become one of his best known songs. His local radio shows were quite popular and at one point he was calling himself Mr Naugahyde before donning royal cape & crown as "Emperor of the Universe". He was known for his eccentric performances and in '94 opened his own Mother-In-Lounge in NOLA. He passed on from organ failure in 2001.

Here's the Emperor in action in '92 on a medley of his hits, encouraged and accompanied by Toussaint:

Here's his tune "Here Come The Girls":

And he was part of the infamous Drum Buddy infomercial. The Drum Buddy was a hand-crafted oscillating, light-activated drum machine/synth invented by New Orleans' Robert "Mr Quintron" Rolston. I have personally played one of the original prototypes of this fun machine. So, let's check out the infomercial. You'll see the Emperor Ernie K-Doe come in for a version of "Fever" around 27 minutes in. But the whole thing is worth watching!:

Tagged: Allen Toussaint, Celebrate Icons, comedy, documentary, Drum Buddy, Ernie K-Doe, gospel, NOLA, soul!, soul/funk, Video, vintage footage

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