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Bobby Charles obituary

Dave Laing, Guardian, The, 15 January 2010

THE ROCK'N'ROLL CLASSICS 'See You Later, Alligator' and 'Walking to New Orleans' are among the compositions of the Louisiana-born singer-songwriter Bobby Charles, who has died aged 71. The son of a gas company truck-driver, he was born Robert Charles Guidry in the small town of Abbeville, Louisiana. He recalled that his life "changed for ever" when he retuned his parents' radio set from a local Cajun station to one playing records by Fats Domino. He led a local group, the Cardinals, for whom he wrote a song called 'Hey Alligator' at the age of 14. The song was inspired by an incident at a roadside diner, when his parting shot to a friend – "See you later, alligator" – inspired another customer to respond with: "In a while, crocodile."

Total word count of piece: 763

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