Happy birthday Ernest Kador, Jr., a New Orleans R&B singer who probably would be accurate to describe as a one-hit wonder.
Except for the fact that he's Ernie K-Doe.
He's the kind of artist whose work you'd like to think was full of hit potential -- even if he did in fact only have one, a smoldering little tune from 1961 called "Mother-In-Law," written by Allen Tousaint.
With or without Toussaint, Ernie kept plugging away, releasing records for decades after "Mother-In-Law," even though none of his releases made it as big as his signature tune.
And Ernie persevered, eventually becoming a beloved New Orleans fixture. In the 1980s he became a radio personality on WWOZ. And in the '90s, he opened his own club, Ernie K-Doe's Mother-in-Law Lounge on Claiborne Avenue in Treme.
Ernie died in 2001.
Here's his big hit:
And here's one that shoulda been a hit. This song has been sung by Warren Zevon, Mary Weiss and untold others.
Here's one called "Te-Ta-Te-Ta-Ta," which is secret New Orleans code talk for "Keep listening and maybe I'll play mother-in-law again."
Here's one called "I Got to Find Somebody."
Ernie was a real man ...