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Robert Tharpe, 72, half of "Tom & Jerrio'' duo who recorded the novelty hit "Boo-Ga-Loo'
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Hoodoo
2010-08-02 19:55:29 UTC
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Novelty hit helped fuel 'boogaloo dance craze'

ROBERT THARPE | 1937-2010

August 1, 2010
BY SARAH BARABA
http://www.suntimes.com/news/obituaries/2556242,CST-NWS-xtharpe01.article

Robert Tharpe's music is credited with fueling the "boogaloo dance craze.''

Performing with singer Jerry Murray as "Tom & Jerrio,'' the two recorded
the novelty hit "Boo-Ga-Loo,'' which earned a spot on the Billboard Hot
100 chart in 1965, spending eight weeks there and topping at No. 47,
according to Robert Pruter, author of Chicago Soul, which chronicles the
emergence of soul music in Chicago.

"It was a funky little number. A little singing, a little dancing, a
little comedy,'' said Pruter. "It was a hit, and it helped fuel the
boogaloo dance craze.''

Mr. Tharpe died July 20 of complications from colon cancer, according to
family. He was 72.

He was born Dec. 6, 1937, and grew up on the West Side, attending what
is now Crane Technical Prep High School. In the early 1960s, he and some
buddies formed the Ideals.

Playing school dances and community centers, the band broke into the
national scene in 1963 with their recording of "The Gorilla.'' Selling
more than 90,000 copies, the song was a local hit and sat on the WLS Top
40 chart for six weeks, peaking at No. 19, according to Pruter.

Eventually known to fans and friends as "Tommy Dark,'' Mr. Tharpe became
better recognized by his stage name thanks to the advice of an "American
Bandstand"-era expert.

"He had a conversation with Dick Clark, and he was the one who
encouraged him to use the name Tommy Dark,'' said Mr. Tharpe's son Mario.

"The majority of people who knew my dad would have no idea who you were
talking about if you asked them about Robert Tharpe.''

Mr. Tharpe went to work for Prevue Pet Products, where he was an
assistant manager for several years until he retired last year,
according to the company. Mr. Tharpe married twice, with both unions
ending in divorce.+

Though his recording days ended in the 1960s, he never strayed far from
the music scene. In 1967, he became a valet and driver for Gene "The
Duke of Earl'' Chandler. He worked for Chandler as a road manager until
the late 1990s.

"He had a sweet personality,'' said Chandler. "He did whatever he could
to help other people. He took care of business, and I could trust him.''

In addition to his son, Mr. Tharpe is survived by his mother, Mildred
Tharpe; a brother, Billy Travis; another son, Robert Jr.; a daughter,
Joy Evett, and two grandchildren.

Services have been held.
--
Trout Mask Replica

KFJC.org, WFMU.org, WMSE.org, or WUSB.org;
because the pigoenholed programming of music channels
on Sirius Satellite, and its internet radio player, suck
r***@gmail.com
2020-07-19 02:32:49 UTC
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Post by Hoodoo
Novelty hit helped fuel 'boogaloo dance craze'
ROBERT THARPE | 1937-2010
August 1, 2010
BY SARAH BARABA
http://www.suntimes.com/news/obituaries/2556242,CST-NWS-xtharpe01.article
Robert Tharpe's music is credited with fueling the "boogaloo dance craze.''
Performing with singer Jerry Murray as "Tom & Jerrio,'' the two recorded
the novelty hit "Boo-Ga-Loo,'' which earned a spot on the Billboard Hot
100 chart in 1965, spending eight weeks there and topping at No. 47,
according to Robert Pruter, author of Chicago Soul, which chronicles the
emergence of soul music in Chicago.
"It was a funky little number. A little singing, a little dancing, a
little comedy,'' said Pruter. "It was a hit, and it helped fuel the
boogaloo dance craze.''
Mr. Tharpe died July 20 of complications from colon cancer, according to
family. He was 72.
He was born Dec. 6, 1937, and grew up on the West Side, attending what
is now Crane Technical Prep High School. In the early 1960s, he and some
buddies formed the Ideals.
Playing school dances and community centers, the band broke into the
national scene in 1963 with their recording of "The Gorilla.'' Selling
more than 90,000 copies, the song was a local hit and sat on the WLS Top
40 chart for six weeks, peaking at No. 19, according to Pruter.
Eventually known to fans and friends as "Tommy Dark,'' Mr. Tharpe became
better recognized by his stage name thanks to the advice of an "American
Bandstand"-era expert.
"He had a conversation with Dick Clark, and he was the one who
encouraged him to use the name Tommy Dark,'' said Mr. Tharpe's son Mario.
"The majority of people who knew my dad would have no idea who you were
talking about if you asked them about Robert Tharpe.''
Mr. Tharpe went to work for Prevue Pet Products, where he was an
assistant manager for several years until he retired last year,
according to the company. Mr. Tharpe married twice, with both unions
ending in divorce.+
Though his recording days ended in the 1960s, he never strayed far from
the music scene. In 1967, he became a valet and driver for Gene "The
Duke of Earl'' Chandler. He worked for Chandler as a road manager until
the late 1990s.
"He had a sweet personality,'' said Chandler. "He did whatever he could
to help other people. He took care of business, and I could trust him.''
In addition to his son, Mr. Tharpe is survived by his mother, Mildred
Tharpe; a brother, Billy Travis; another son, Robert Jr.; a daughter,
Joy Evett, and two grandchildren.
Services have been held.
--
Trout Mask Replica
KFJC.org, WFMU.org, WMSE.org, or WUSB.org;
because the pigoenholed programming of music channels
on Sirius Satellite, and its internet radio player, suck
robert tharpe

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