Bo penned the 1960 Etta James hit 'My Dearest Darling' and 'I'm Wise,' which was made famous by Little Richard when he renamed and released it in 1956 as 'Slippin' and Slidin'.'
Eddie Bo, a New Orleans blues singer-pianist who worked with musicians such as Irma Thomas and Art Neville, died Wednesday of a heart attack, according to his booking agent, Karen Hamilton. He was 78.
Eddie Bo, whose real name was Edwin Joseph Bocage, was an accomplished keyboardist- pianist with a career spanning more than five decades. As a songwriter, Bocage penned the 1960 Etta James hit My Dearest Darling" and I'm Wise," which was made famous by Little Richard when renamed and released in 1956 as Slippin' and Slidin'."
Bocage released more than 50 singles in his career, including “Check Mr. Popeye” in 1962.
That was probably his biggest hit," said friend and musician Gregory Davis, a trumpet player for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. That song kept him working for a long time."
Early in his career, Bocage toured with singers Joe Turner, Lloyd Price and the late Ruth Brown and Earl King. But he spent most of his career with New Orleans musicians, among them soul singer Thomas, R&B singer Robert Parker and singer- keyboardist Neville, the eldest of the Neville Brothers.
He knew his craft," said Thomas, who added that Bocage was one of the first people she worked with when she entered the business in the early 1960s. One of her first shows away from New Orleans was with Bocage in Atlanta with R&B singer Gladys Knight as the opening act, she recalled.