About this Blog

"In the future everybody will be world-famous for 15 minutes." So said the bleached-out, late lamented artist Andy Warhol. Having lived and worked in New York City, Warhol came to fully grasp the hold celebrity has on us. In this very famous sentence, he meant to point out that in a culture fixated on fame, many people will suddenly flash brightly onto the public screen, then--poof--will just as quickly disappear from public view--like shooting stars. Other individuals derive their celebrity from one stellar accomplishment (one hit song, one iconic role, etc.) that they never again match.

This blog is devoted to the one part of our celebrity culture that no one has written much about: temporary/one-shot celebrities.

The pace of modern life has quickened, and now we hear people speaking of someone's 15 seconds of fame. These "celebrities with a lower-case c" who will appear in this blog sometimes come to us from the world of entertainment, sometimes from the world of news. All are fascinating.

The need of our communications media for a continual stream of new material assures that we will have no end of colorful people who go quickly, where celebrity is concerned, from zero to hero (or villain) and back to zero. Now you see 'em, now you don't. What a crazy world, eh?

Temporary celebrities coming from the world of entertainment include one-hit recording artists; TV and movie icons who, although they might have had a great many accomplishments in their career, are remembered for one big role; standouts of reality TV; sports figures remembered for one remarkable accomplishment; and people whose celebrity came from one big role in a commercial or print ad.

News-based temporary celebrities come in many forms: mass/serial killers, other murderers of special note, sex-crime offenders, disgraced figures of government/military/business/media/religion, spies/traitors, hoaxers, femmes/hommes fatale, heroes, whistle blowers, inventors/innovators, and victims.

Celebrity Blogsburg will consider each category in turn.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

One-hit wonder Ernie K-Doe

A rock song beloved by those of us who were teenagers in the 1950s and early '60s is Mother-In-Law, a chart topper in 1961. Born in New Orleans as Ernest Kador, this Baptist minister's son, like many young black performers of that era, started as a gospel singer, then edged into rock and blues music. He sang with a group called The Blue Diamonds before adopting the stage name Ernie K-Doe. His one great hit appeared in 1961, accompanied by deep-voiced Benny Spellman performing this song written by Allen Toussaint, who later became quite famous.

K-Doe had a New Orleans radio show for a while in the 1980s, and in 1994, he opened a club, the Mother-In-Law Lounge, in that city. He took his energeic act to clubs and theaters in other cities, liked playing drums as well as singing, and sometimes took the stage wearing a cape and/or a crown. He died in 2001 and was given a proper sendoff in the form of a jazz funeral-- as only New Orleans can do it.

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