Just got word from my pal Lincoln of Red Jacket Mine that the great Bobby Charles passed away. I had the pleasure of chatting with the Louisiana swamp-pop great a couple years ago for the Oxford American’s 10th Annual Music Issue. He was ill when we spoke over the phone and I’ll never forget the sound of his laughter erupting into fits of phlegmy coughing. Despite his illness, he was still in good spirits, for which I am thankful…it’s a good way to remember someone like him. Among other things, Charles was responsible for writing now-standard American classics “Walkin to New Orleans” and “See You Later Alligator”. But it was his self-titled album that was his true masterpiece.