I just received an email from the Fabulous Boogie Kings website saying that their former lead singer Duane Yates has died. Yates died May 23, 2009 in a Alexandria, Louisiana hospital.
He went to high school with me at Pineville High School in Pineville, Louisiana and had sung The Lord’s Prayer at our 40th high school reunion in 2002.
When I saw him at the high school reunion I told him the Boogie Kings version of Walkin’ The Dog was better than the original version by Rufus Thomas and he said others had told him the same thing.
He was famous for his blue-eyed soul sound with the Fabulous Boogie Kings. He had started singing during high school with a group named the Capris, which had one of their songs played on American Bandstand during the Rate a Record segment of the program. The Capri’s record was rated higher than a record sung by the Rolling Stones.
He also sang in Las Vegas and Hollywood. He could sing soul music with the best of them and he also played trumpet in the horn section, which made the Fabulous Boogie Kings stand out from most bands. He was close friends with the Righteous Brothers.
The band is still active 54 years after being formed in 1955.
We want to send condolences to his family and may God comfort them during this time of loss.