Bobby Harden, “Except For One”


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Time for a kick-ass shuffle. Bobby Harden’s career got off the ground in the mid-60s when the Harden Trio, the group he formed with his sisters Arlene and Robbie, took the place of the Browns on the Louisiana Hayride. They signed to Columbia and had a big hit right off the bat with “Tippy Toeing” and then…nothing. Who knows why, blame the fickle public I guess, as I think a number of the Harden Trio sides are quite worthy. Before long Arlene successfully went solo, Robbie got out of the business altogether, and Bobby kept hacking away in the trenches. After hopping from label to label, dropping 45s here and there, I think he eventually settled into a behind-the-scenes role as a song plugger for publishing interests. This is a record he cut for Starday shortly after the dissolution of the family band, and I think it’s excellent. The shuffle grooves hard, the steel player is really kickin’ it, and Bobby’s vocal is impassioned and rueful. He sounds great, doesn’t he? Sounds like Earl Sinks on the harmony vocal.