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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