site logo

Home              Index          Email
Robert "Bobby" Charles Guidry
February 21, 1938 - January 14, 2010
In memory of a good friend and a great songwriter

bobby charles photo

Click Here for a list of all of Bobby Charles' songs from MOG.COM.

      Robert Bobby Charles Guidry, 71, better known only as Bobby Charles, is no longer writing his great songs. The cause of his death is unknown at this time. He had several health problems including diabetes, and was in remission from kidney cancer. Just three days before his death, he was seen having breakfast at his usual place, the Park Avenue Cafe.
      He was a great songwriter who didn't play an instrument, nor could he read music. He wrote songs for many of the greats in the music business. Musicians such as Fats Domino, Ray Charles, Etta James, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Bo Diddley, Lou Rawls, Dr. John, Clarence ‘Gatemoutht Brown,’ Joe Cocker, Kris Kristofferson, Tom Jones, Marcia Ball and the Grammy-winning Cajun band BeauSoleil.
      His songs included: ‘See you later Alligator,’ which was made famous by Bill Haley and the Comets; ‘Walking to New Orleans,’ written for Fats Domino; ‘I Don't Know Why, But I Do’, Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry's 1961 hit; ‘The Jealous Kind.’ recorded by Joe Cocker in 1976, followed by Ray Charles, Delbert McClinton, Etta James; ‘Tennessee Blues,’ was recorded by Shannon McNally, Johnny Adams, Kris Kristofferson and Gatemouth Brown; and ‘Why Are People Like That’ was recorded by Muddy Waters and was included in Tab Benoit's Grammy-nominated album ‘Brother to the Blues.’ Other songs included: ‘Before I Grow Too Old’ and ‘It Keeps Rainin.’

      The Baton Rouge Advocate wrote: "Writing songs in as little as 15 or 20 minutes, he thought of himself as a medium through which music flowed. ‘Everything he wrote came from inspiration,’ manager Jim Bateman said. ‘He called it divine inspiration.’ Revered by musician peers, Charles' own recordings feature guest appearances by Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Paul Butterfield and members of The Band. He's also featured in The Band's classic concert film, ‘The Last Waltz.’Charles' new album, ‘Timeless,’ will be released Feb. 23, three days before Fats Domino's 82nd birthday." Click here to read entire article.

      Keith Spera with The New Orleans Times Picayune wrote: Leaving a cafe one night, Mr. Charles bid farewell to friends with " see you later, alligator." As the cafe door closed behind him, a drunken stranger replied, "after while, crocodile." Not sure he heard correctly, he went back inside and asked the stranger to repeat it. That couplet inspired him to write "See You Later Alligator." He sang it over the phone and landed a recording contract, sight unseen, from Chicago blues and R&B label Chess Records. The company's owners assumed he was black until he stepped off the plane in Chicago. Click here to read entire article.

      Jeff Moore wrote in the Lafayette Daily Advertiser: Swamp pop legend Robert "Bobby" Charles Guidry, who penned hits such as "Walking to New Orleans" and "See You Later Alligator," died Thursday after collapsing at his home near Abbeville. He was 71. Better known as Bobby Charles, he helped pioneer the musical genre that came to be known as swamp pop. His compositions included the hits "See You Later, Alligator," which he wrote at age 14 and was later covered by Bill Haley & the Comets; and "Walking to New Orleans," written for Fats Domino.
Click Here to read entire article.

      Dave Laing wrote in the Guardian newspaper in London: The rock'n'roll classics See You Later, Alligator and Walking to New Orleans are among the compositions of the Louisiana-born singer-songwriter Bobby Charles, who has died aged 71. The son of a gas company truck-driver, he was born Robert Charles Guidry in the small town of Abbeville, Louisiana. He recalled that his life "changed for ever" when he retuned his parents' radio set from a local Cajun station to one playing records by Fats Domino. He led a local group, the Cardinals, for whom he wrote a song called Hey Alligator at the age of 14. The song was inspired by an incident at a roadside diner, when his parting shot to a friend "See you later, alligator" inspired another customer to respond with: "In a while, crocodile." Click Here to read entire article.

      William Michael Smith wrote for Houston Press Music Blog: It's a sad day in the swamps of South Louisiana as Bobby Charles, a founder of the musical genre known as swamp pop and one of the most under-rated songwriters of his time, has passed away at 71.