22 February 1936
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
5 July 2001 (aged 65)
Ernest Kador, Jr. (Feb 22, 1936 - July 5, 2001) was known as Ernie K-Doe, a colorful performer, who became the first artist from New Orleans to have a national charting #1 hit actually recorded in New Orleans (Mother-In-Law,#1 Pop, #1 R&B 1961). Doe was a self promotor extraordinaire, nicknaming himself "Emperor of The World" and “the Greatest Boy-Child ever conceived at Charity Hospital in New Orleans”. While never to top the charts again after his 1961 hit, he toured & recorded sporadically throughout the rest of his career until his last single, an anti violence plea "Children of The world" b/w "White Boy/Black Boy" in late 2000.
His most popular works are those from his early 1960's Minit records years, when he was associated closely with producer/composer Allen Toussaint. During this period he was managed by a local radio DJ named Larry McKinley, the co-owner of Minit, whose other partner was A-1 records distributor Joe Banashak. Other tunes made during Doe's 1961 chart attempts under Toussaint's tutelage included "I Cried My Last Tear" (#69 Pop) b/w "A Certain Girl" (#71 Pop), and "Te-Ta-Te-Ta-Ta" (#53 Pop, #21 R&B. Prior to recording with Minit, Doe had started his professional career on the gospel circuit, eventually joining The Four Blazes, a gig that earned him his first recording session in late 1953 for United but the session went unreleased. His first record ("Honey Love"/"No Mercy") came in 1955 with a group called The Blue Diamonds on Savoy. Solo releases on Specialty and Ember under the surnames Kador & Kado before finally becoming K-Doe were early career moves. After his Minit deal ran out he moved to the Instant & then Duke/Peacock labels, working again with Toussaint for an LP in 1970 on the Janus label.
During his tireless touring years he performed in venues like Harlem's Apollo Theater 8 times, and Chicago's Regal Theater a dozen times. He fell into a period of substance abuse & homelessness during the late 70's, before he began hosting a radio program in on New Orleans FM station WWOZ in 1982. Eventually cleaning up & marrying, he opened his own New Orleans nightclub called the Mother-in-Law Lounge. In the mid nineties, he finally recorded another album with Milton Battiste at the helm. His widow Antoinette still maintains the bar despite heavy flood damage after Hurricane Katrina, and ran her dead husband for mayor in the 2006 elections saying he was the only qualified candidate.
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