GUITAR GABLE

Born Gabriel Perrodin, 17 August 1937, Bellevue, Louisiana Learning guitar in his teens, Gable was influenced by the ringing, melodic style of Guitar Slim. He recorded for Jay Miller with his band the Musical Kings in 1956/7, and several successful singles were issued on Excello Records. The music was very much in the south Louisiana R&B mould, with a touch of New Orleans rock 'n' roll. His first record was "Congo Mombo" (Excello 2082), a fast-paced percussive instrumental, which took off in southern territories. Even better, the record became a two-sided regional hit when Gable's vocalist King Karl (Bernard Jolivette) sang "Life Problem", a bluesy ballad which is now a Louisiana swamp-pop standard. Guitar Gable's band became the nucleus of Miller's studio group : Gable himself on lead guitar, his brother Clinton "Fats" Perrodin on bass guitar, and Clarence "Jockey" Etienne, drums, augmented by the occasional presence of Tal Miller on piano. The band kicked up a storm behind artists like Slim Harpo, Lazy Lester, Classie Ballou, Skinny Dynamo (T.J. Richardson) and Bobby Charles. Guitar Gable and King Karl's second record adhered to the same instrumental/vocal format. This time King Karl took the honours with "Irene" (Excello 2094), another swamp-pop classic, which strongly influenced Jimmy Clanton's subsequent national smash "Just A Dream". The Guitar Gable flip was "Guitar Rhumbo", an undisguised variant of "Congo Mombo". As time went by, King Karl's virile vocals took precedence over Gable's instrumentals. Nothing else hit, although the King Karl-written "This Should Go On Forever" (2153) was the vehicle for Rod Bernard's claim to fame. Sadly for Gable and Karl, Excello did not release their original version until spring 1959, by which time Rod Bernard's Argo release (also recorded by Jay Miller, who had the publishing) was well on its way to the US Top 20. Gable and King did not record for Miller again, leaving in disgust. After serving with the armed forces, Gable continued with his own band, retaining his popularity in local clubs. During the seventies he played two or three nights a week with Lil Bob and the Lollipops. It seems he retired from performing in the eighties. There is still a lot of unissued material by Gable, some of which came out on a Flyright LP. Seven of his Excello tracks are available on four different Ace CD's.

 
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