THE ICON: Ernie K-Doe
THE LEGACY: By trade, Ernie K-Doe was a singer, the man behind the 1961 hit “Mother-in-Law.” But while his music is what made him famous, it wasn’t really what made him a star. Rather, that was owed to his Technicolor personality and overflowing brand of K-Doe charisma. Even after interest in New Orleans R&B faded in the wake of the British invasion, K-Doe through sheer force of will made sure he stayed in the public eye, whether he was spinning discs as a guest deejay at WWOZ or holding court at the bar he ran with wife Antoinette Fox, fittingly named the Ernie K-Doe Mother-in-Law Lounge. In the process, this much became clear: Ernie K-Doe — the self-proclaimed “Emperor of the Universe” — might have chosen singing as his profession, but even in character-rich New Orleans, he would have been a star no matter what he did.
THE ARTIST: Gabriel Flores, WhereYart.net
THE INSPIRATION: “He was a star on the inside, even before people noticed on the outside. He had that drive and desire for stardom. He had great faith in God as well as in himself.”– Allen Toussaint, talking about Ernie K-Doe in 2001