Doug Ardoin and Bert Miller

Influenced by Fats Domino and Ray Charles, Eunice Louisiana teen Doug Ardoin set out in summer of 1955 to form a band. Initially he performed as a one man band playing guitar, harmonica, bass, drum, and hi hat. After noticing that the neighborhood dogs were the only ones appreciating his musical efforts and that his own voice wasn't going to cut it, Doug recruited Harris Miller on guitar and vocals. A few months later, drummer and singer Bert Miller (a native of Opelousas) approached Harris and Doug about joining up with them. The trio was now a band. Bert's sister named them the Boogie Kings as the band played boogie and blues. The Boogie Kings would then add Skip Stewart on bass, Mike Pollard, Norris Badeaux, Byron Legerdemain and Byron Lainey on horns. At the time, the band was tearing up clubs across southwest Louisiana. They played a date with Fats Domino at the Pelican Club in Marksville; Fats was so impressed he insisted Doug share his piano bench while he played. The Boogie Kings, led by Ardoin (whose stage name was Doug Charles) recorded their first single, "Southland" at J.D. Millers studio in Crowley, Louisiana with Bert and Skip on vocals.

While the Boogie Kings were bringing down houses on weekends, Doug was going to college, studying to become a physicist. With business and bookings booming, it was time for the band to turn professional. At that time, Doug left to band to focus on physics, after a time with the Swing Kings, and Bert also left to join The Swing Kings (with Roy Perkins on bass and Dickie Landry on sax). Led by Miller, The Swing Kings would record a few singles and an LP for the La Louisianne label - these sides have become favorites among fans of blue-eyed soul.

Ardoin enjoyed a long career with NASA and in the 90s, he started playing gigs with the Boogie Kings again. Following his retirement, he concentrated on music, forming the Originals with Miller, Skip Stewart, Mike Pollard and Byron Lainey of the Original Boogie Kings.

« Artists