Lil Bob

Performing: Congo Mombo Number 6, Saturday, March 6, Mid-City Lanes Rock 'n' Bowl and Ponderosa Stomp #3 Wednesay April 28.

AKA Camille Bob

Listen to Lil Bob on I Got Loaded

Camille “Li’l” Bob jump-started his musical career with a little horse tradin’ and hasn’t looked back since. It’s hard to say who got the better end of the trade, for when he swapped his pony for a drum kit, the proud new owner of his former horse, Good Rockin’ Bob (no relation) hired Camille to provide the back beat in his band! The music world no doubt, gained the most, as it would be a far poorer place without the smooth Gulf Coast soul sounds of Li’l Bob and the Lollipops.

Making his recording debut with Good Rockin’ Bob for Goldband, Camille formed the Lollipops in 1957 and began playing the fraternity circuit. By the early ‘60s they was cutting records for Lafayette’s La Louisianne label, where they crested in 1966 with unforgettable re-workings of Peppermint Harris’s booze-soaked party anthem “I Got Loaded” and Dee Clark’s wistfully romantic “Nobody But You.” It’s hard to say which musical cult appreciated the songs more: Preppy teenagers doing the Shag on the beaches of the Carolinas, former Mods in the North of England doing back flips at soul all-nighters, New Orleanians knocking back a few cold ones after a Mardi Gras parade, or the South Louisiana natives who were fortunate enough to see the Lollipops in action on Lafayette’s KLFY-based “Saturday Hop” dance program. The title of one of his La Louisianne sides seemed to say it all: “Agent Double O Soul.”

But the Li’l Bob story by no means ends there. After their tenure with La Louisianne, the Lollipops moved over to Ville Platte’s Jin label where they cut an excellent LP, Sweet Soul Swinger, which featured classics like “Pouring Water On A Drowning Man.” (Both La Louisianne and Jin are said to be currently preparing first-time CD releases of the sides that Bob cut for their respective labels, so keep your eyes peeled and your hands on your wallets!)

Having recorded for Goldband, La Louisianne and Jin, Bob had only one stop to make in order to complete his tour of South Louisiana’s most distinguished record labels. He made that stop in 1972 when he walked into Jay Miller’s Crowley studio and recorded the supremely funky “Brother Brown” backed with “2 Weeks 2 Days Too Long” for Miller’s Soul Unlimited imprint. (“Brother Brown” was recently reissued on Ace/ BGP Records’ excellent Superfunk3 compilation). Bob made the Miller scene once again some years later with “Kill That Roach,” which was issued on Master Trak.

Since then, “I Got Loaded” has been recorded by everyone from the Boogie Kings and Van Broussard to Robert Cray and Los Lobos (who recently had Bob come out and sing it with them at New Orleans’ House Of Blues) and was also featured in the movie Bull Durham. Never seen without his trademark yachtsman’s cap, Bob’s live performances never cease to amaze, especially when he delves into nuggets like Jewel and the Rubies’ “Kidnapper” and James Brown’s “Try Me.” Agent Double O Soul indeed!!

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