Found Performance: “Barefootin'” by Robert Parker

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One of my favorite tunes from back in the mid-sixties, when I listened to Kirk Wilde, Gary Shannon and Harvey Brown on KPUG, was “Barefootin'” by Robert Parker. Parker was born in Mobile, but he grew up in New Orleans. In his early years Parker was better known for his sax than his singing. He played sax for the legendary musician Professor Longhair on the Professor’s 1949 hit “Mardi Gras In New Orleans.” Parker played sax with the best known New Orleans’ performers including Fats Domino and Irma Thomas.

In the early ’60s, Parker experienced some lean years and had to take jobs outside the music industry. Then he wrote “Barefootin’.” It was released on Nola Records (a New Orleans label), and it peaked in June 1966 — reaching No.2 on the U.S. Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles chart and No.7 on the Billboard Hot 100. Outside the US, it went to No.7 in Canada and No.24 on the UK Singles Chart. “Barefootin'” sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA. Parker had another minor R&B hit (No. 48) with “Tip Toe” but he never had another smash hit. Parker continued to perform and tour for many more years, and he remained very popular in the UK. Parker died in January of this year (2020).

I don’t know the source of the video or what TV show it came from, but it is a fun and nostalgic soulful performance.

 

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Steven L. Smith

Author: Steven L. Smith

Presently editor and historical writer with Puget Sound Media in Seattle. Former radio broadcaster and radio station owner, 1970-1999. Journalism and speech communications degrees. I enjoy researching articles and online reporting that allows me to meld together words, audio and video. P.S. I appreciate and encourage reader comments and opinions.

19 thoughts on “Found Performance: “Barefootin'” by Robert Parker

  1. I think I have confused Robert Parker with Junior Parker!…anyway, the thought of dancing barefoot with other people really grossed me out…IMO, feet are ugly, smelly human appendages…thank God we mostly wear shoes!

      1. The fact that you know of Candy Samples, gives me a strange feeling of being in an obscure cult of elderly perverts!…Makes my day, actually.

      2. Jack…..you need to just groove to the beat and not think about smelly feet. I have seen some ladies who looked pretty good barefoot or in thongs back when thongs were something you wore on your feet.

  2. For some unknown reason, this song REALLY bugged my dad when I was a kid, which was unusual because he was not a complaining type of person. But he would grumble every time the song came on. He thought it was stupid.

  3. It was one of the first songs they were playing when I first listened to the radio. I do not know why but, forever, I cannot get the line out of my head about “Hey little girl with your red dress on.”

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