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Joe August

Joe August

American blues and R&B singer
Joe August
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American blues and R&B singer
Was Singer R&B musician Blues musician
From United States of America
Type Music
Gender male
Birth 13 September 1931, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, USA
Death 9 August 1992 (aged 60 years)
Star sign VirgoVirgo
The details


Joe August (September 13, 1931 – August 9, 1992) was an American blues and R&B singer and songwriter who performed and recorded as "Mr. Google Eyes" or sometimes "Mr. G".


Born Joseph Charles Augustus in New Orleans, Louisiana, he sang in his church choir and as a teenager worked for local restaurateur Dooky Chase, who gave him the nickname "Mr. Google Eyes" for his habit of ogling attractive female customers. Chase also sponsored a local jazz band, with whom August would occasionally sing. After earning enough money to buy his own PA system, August began performing regularly at the local Downbeat Club, appearing with Roy Brown. He made his recording debut in 1946 for the local Coleman record label, with the song "Poppa Stoppa's Be-Bop Blues", on which he was credited as "Mr. Google Eyes -- the world's youngest blues singer". The song became a local hit, and he followed it up with another hit, "Rock My Soul".

In 1948, his contract was bought by Columbia Records, and he released the single "For You My Love", followed by several others on the label. Although none of his records became national hits, he toured with Al Hibbler and appeared at the Birdland jazz club in New York City on bills headlined by Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. He married and settled in Newark, New Jersey in 1951. There, he met Johnny Otis, who was working in A&R for the Duke and Peacock record labels, and signed for the Duke label. He also wrote the song "Please Forgive Me", a hit for Johnny Ace with the Johnny Otis Orchestra in 1954. August released several records for Duke, but none were successful, and in 1955 he moved with Otis to Los Angeles. He performed in clubs there, and continued to record for small local labels.

He returned to New Orleans in 1960, and worked as a nightclub MC on Bourbon Street. After his marriage broke up, he began dating a white woman. The pair were harassed by the police and, when he tried to end the relationship, his girlfriend shot him in the abdomen. Though he recovered, he was charged under miscegenation laws, and the incident had a detrimental effect on his career. He made his last recordings, produced by Allen Toussaint, in 1965, and thereafter worked as a bartender and MC in New Orleans, performing occasionally with Earl King and Deacon John Moore in the New Orleans Blues Revue.

He died in New Orleans in 1992, aged 60. At his jazz funeral, Mac Rebennack (Dr. John) said: "It is with great pride that we carry the message of the blues that you instilled in us as children."

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 07 Jul 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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