Jivin' Gene

Jivin' Gene is a bit of a musical anomaly. Unlike most swamp pop artists that hail from Louisiana, Jivin' Gene is from Port Arthur, Texas. Gene Bourgeois was born February 9, 1940. Backed by the Jokers, Gene sent a tape of "Going Out With The Tide" and Up "Up and Away" to Floyd Soileau who was beginning to issue rock and roll records on his Jin label. The single did well enough on the Gulf Coast for Soileau to dispatch Gene to J. D. Miller's famous Crowley, Louisiana, studio. The recording session produced the haunting, "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do," which was an immediate hit in the area. Leased by Mercury with the help of East Teas record man, Bill Hall, a national label which harvested several Gulf Coast area independent singles, "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do," reached an impressive No. 69 during it's four week stay in the national charts.

Jivin' Gene recorded several follow ups in the early 1960s for Mercury and Hallway, but their popularity was confined to jukeboxes and AM radio in East Texas and Southwest Louisiana. He later record for TFC (another Bill Hall label) and had a release on Chess. In the late 1960s, Memphis producer Jack Clement rediscovered him and recorded Gene under his given name for Capitol.

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