Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sunday Morning Vault: Louisiana's LeRoux--New Orleans Ladies (1978)

    A couple of days ago, I asked my wife the question, "Was there a local band that everyone listened to when you were a kid". She is from Southern Mississippi, but was heavily influenced by music which came from New Orleans which is just 90 minutes to the West. Her answer was immediate, "Louisiana's LeRoux". I have to admit total ignorance to the group, which of course piqued my interest
     They began from the remnants of a group called the Levee band in 1977, who had backed Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and Clifton Chenier. They first called themselves The Jeff Pollard Band, then Louisana's LeRoux (it would be later shortened to LeRoux). The group first consisted of Jeff Pollard (vocals, guitar), David Peters, (drums, percussion, backing vocals), Leon Medica (bass, backing vocals), Tony Haselden (vocals, guitars), Rod Roddy (keys, synths, vocals), Bobby Campo (horns, violin, percussion, vocals). They quickly scored a contract with Capitol and went to work on their first album.
     That album, "Louisiana's LeRoux", spawned the single, "New Orleans Ladies" which reached #59 on the US charts, but at least in their home base, it became their signature song. They released a couple more well received albums, but it wasn't until the 1982 album, "Last Safe Place" that they hit big with the single, "Nobody Said It Was Easy" which reached the top 20 (#18) and it looked as thought the future was bright for the band.
     However after a couple more singles which reached the bottom rungs of the top 100, Campo and Pollard both left the band. They faded from view until the 2000 release of the album, "Ain't Nothing But a Gris Gris" which showed a group that was still musically strong. You can check out their big hit, but at least for a generation of girls in the late 70's/early 80's this song became the band's theme.
You can read a lot more about this great band here:

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