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About Bob Gaddy and his Alley Cats

b. 4 February 1924, Vivian, West Virginia, USA. Gaddy took a childhood interest in the piano from watching his minister, Clayton Jones, playing in church. Gospel music remained his musical focus until he was drafted into the army in 1943. Transferred to the San Francisco area, he frequented the local clubs and bars, encouraged by his friends to play the latest boogie hits. Demobbed in 1946, he made his way to New York, where he met Brownie McGhee and sat in with his band, the Three Bs. Soon afterwards, he and McGhee formed the Mighty Houserockers and played a four-year residency at Billys Tavern, a New Jersey nightclub. Through McGhee, Gaddy made records for Jackson, Jax, Dot Records and Harlem, before signing with Old Town in 1955. Over the next five years, records such as Operator, Paper Lady and Woe, Woe Is Me achieved success principally in the New York area, but were popular enough for him to tour the Midwest and the south. Other tracks from his nine singles tended to be minimally disguised rewrites of more popular songs by artists such as Chuck Willis and Ray Charles. As the 50s ended, Gaddy formed a new partnership with guitarist Larry Dale that lasted until the 70s. When rediscovered in 1986, he was working as a cook in a Madison Avenue restaurant.