There are certain songs that are One Hit Wonders, but also have become iconic. One of those songs was ERNIE K. DOE's 1961 hit, MOTHER IN LAW. The competition was fierce then; the week before Ernie got his one week at the Top of the Hot 100, he'd been preceded by Del Shannon's, "Runaway," and the week after Ricky Nelson's, "Travelin' Man." New Orleans legend and total gentleman, Allen Toussaint, wrote, produced and played piano on "Mother In Law."
Ernie had a hard time singing the song because there were a lot changes in the timing and melody, and frustrated he began to leave the Studio. His buddy and backup singer, Willie Harper, stopped him and said that this song would be a major Hit Record and persuaded Mr. K. Doe to give it another shot....Ernie sang it again and hit it out of the Park.
There's a downside to this tale, Ernie K. Doe (born, Ernest Kador, Jr.) became a dissolute alcoholic, growing up and living in The Big Easy will do that to you. But 20 or so years later he sobered up, got his act together and opened the "Mother-In-Law Lounge" in the Vieu Carre', where most nights about 11:00 PM if you'd slide by he'd be in there either telling incredible stories (He loved Fats Domino whom he considered his mentor) and singing.
Fun Fact: Ernie used to tell folks that there were only three songs that would exist for eternity: Amazing Grace, The Star Spangled Banner and Mother-In-Law, "because every one's got one." I'm truly sad to report that Ernie K. Doe passed away in 2001 at 65 do to cirrhosis of the Liver, the downside of drinking too much booze in his life.
He was a great entertainer and a warm, gentle man, and when he died and The Parade to the cemetery commenced, there were very few eyes that weren't having tears wiped away along the route. Scott came up with a really good video both picture and sound-wise, of Ernie on local TV in New Orleans doing, "Mother-In-Law, Live. @therealdonrocks
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