Walter B

The dynamic Walter B (or Bee on Robot) used several names for his backing band - the New Breeds, New Breed Band and the Untouchables - but his own high baritone voice, with its noticeable vibrato and rather quavering tone, is unmistakeable however he styled himself. He came from Louisiana originally - possibly Baton Rouge where the Allied and New Breed 45s were located - and his surname was Boligny, as his only album makes clear. ListenShe Was Wrong is a fine deep side in the grand southern tradition and must have been released before 1968 and the collapse of the Crescent City's Dover concern. Walter's next release will have been a few years later as the recording studio in Bogalusa didn't open it's doors until the early 70s, but the wait was well worth while as ListenA Man's Way Of Life was equally good. I'm sure there's an interesting story in how this 45 got from Walter's own label to Sunshine records in Philly but it remains a mystery for now.

She was wrong - APOLLO 010By 1974 Walter was on the West Coast for his final releases, and Robot would appear to be his own label. Despite being released twice the melodic toe tapper "Angel Man" doesn't seem to have sold at all, but the flip of the second release ListenGive Me A Chance makes an excellent hat trick of soulful ballads from the man. This may have seen the light of day in 1977 but I'll bet it was recorded a few years earlier.

UPDATE~ I've now got hold of a copy of the LP "At Work" and sadly it doesn't live up to the standard of some of Walter's 45s. It's from 1978 so many of the rhythms are not really to my taste and there are no deep ballads. A studied slowie called "Oh Sylvia" and a string laden "That's What I'll Do" are about the nearest thing to one of those, but sadly too many of the cuts are derivative disco and funk. The good news is that Walter's Otis Redding stylings are well to the fore particualy on the soul version of the lively "I'll Go My Way", easily the pick of the album. This has two versions - a country one as well as the soul cut - and this is fine as well, although you won't be surprised to know that it's the soul one with it's much more fiery vocal that gets my vote.


A man's way of life - NEW BREED  Give me a chance - ROBOT 101



Something wrong / High sailing ~ ALLIED 24070
I can't stop loving you / ListenShe was wrong ~ APOLLO 010
Before I fell in love / ListenA man's way of life ~ NEW BREED / SUNSHINE 146
Butter toast / Tight squeeze ~ PLAYGROUND 1
Glad I came to your rescue / Angel man ~ ROBOT 101 (1974)
ListenGive me a chance / Angel man ~ ROBOT 101 (1977)

At work - ROI LP 2101 (1978) (as Walter Bouligny)

Thanks a lot to Dante Carfagna (see Links) and to Hitoshi Takasawa for extra info.

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