"Bobee" is Roger Hayward Lewis Jr., Roger's first-born son. How the child elicited is somewhere in the mists. Bobee joined the
U.S. Marine Corps as a teen-ager (see photo below). After his
stint, early 1980s, he returned to New Orleans, got married, and began a career. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Doctors and Hospitals in Houston couldn't help. Bobee passed at age 23.
That his father wrote such an exuberant yet serene tune about
Bobee is testament both their characters. The band that Roger co-founded with Gregory Davis, Kevin Harris, Charles Joseph,
Kirk Joseph, Benny Jones, and Efrem Townes in 1977, the genres-fusing, paths-makings Dirty Dozen Brass Band, recorded "Song for Bobee" on their New Orleans album, produced by Scott Billington for Columbia Records, in 1990.
The 2021-2022 version leads with Herlin Riley's polyrhythms and Kirk Joseph's deeply complementing bassline through his sousaphone. Roger's alto, baritone and tenor saxophones in their harmonies and melodies send something like an embrace of unspoken tenderness across the decades.
Roger Lewis, Herlin Riley, Kirk Joseph and I recorded the tracks that make up Roger's ALRIGHT! on August 3, 2021 and January 31, 2022. Michael Torregano Jr. joined them on the latter date. Rick G. Nelson was engineer in his Marigny Studio of New Orleans on August 3. Adam Keil was engineer on January 31. O We all knew that we were tracking for Roger's début album as leader.
Seven decades! His first professional gig as a saxophonist at age 15 in 1955. The Dew Drop Inn, the Royal Peacock, .... Backing Little Richard, Ray Charles, Etta James, Willie Tee, Irma Thomas, ....
Studying with Willie Metcalf and Kidd Jordan.... Shedding on the road with Fats Domino. Lee Allen, Herbert Hardesty, Carl LeBlanc, .... Shedding, shedding, shedding always with Frederic Kemp.... Co-founding the Dirty Dozen Brass Band 44, 45 years ago.... From The Glass House to Montreux. Clubs and beach with Dizzy Gillespie.... Mari, Mari, ... Playing out five nights a week when home and Second-Lines on Sunday.... "So many times,
I don't know how I played that!"
Roger Lewis, David "Fathead" Newman, Frederic Kemp
Roger, James Moody, Dizzy Gillespie, Nice, FR, 1990.
Roger with great-grandchildren ... "I've always been the oldest dude in the Band."