To round out their Sense of Place: Lafayette special, World Cafe dug into the archives and pulled out an interview with Louisiana musician Bobby Charles. Growing up twenty miles south of Lafayette in Abbeville, LA, Charles grew up surrounded by early forms of Cajun music that he would go on to modernize.
From World Cafe:
As a teenager in Abbeville, La., Robert Charles Guidry — better known as Bobby Charles — wrote songs that would become classics for Bill Haley and Fats Domino: “See You Later, Alligator” and “Walking To New Orleans,” respectively.
Charles’ compositions pioneered the then-nascent genre of “swamp pop,” a local style that mixed Cajun music with R&B and country. He continued to write music throughout his life, working with both Louisiana artists and major rock acts like The Band. He died in 2010.
Listen to the full archived interview here and listen to the original version of “Later Alligator” below.