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Rock 07/09/2004

'Swamp Pop' singer Joe Barry dies at 65

CUT OFF, LA. (Top40 Charts) - Joe Barry, the south Louisiana musician has died after a long struggle with heart problems. He was 65. Born Joseph Barrios, 13 July 1939, Cut Off, Louisiana, USA. Barry was one of the best-known disseminators of a specialized style of early rock 'n' roll peculiar to Louisiana that later came to be called "swamp pop".
Like many swamp pop artists, Barry was a 'Cajun' (the local term for French-American).

In his youth he performed in Cajun music bands, and in 1956 made his first rock 'n' roll recordings. Barry's first record to garner recognition, albeit local, was "Greatest Moment Of My Life" in 1960.

His "I'm A Fool To Care" (No 24) in 1961 was a national hit and an archetypal swamp pop record, being a slow, melancholic ballad heavily influenced by R&B. It entered the UK chart in 1961 at number 49.
Barry had one other national hit, "Teardrops In My Heart" (No 63), also from 1961.

Barry continued to enjoy local success for several more years, but in 1967 ended his full-time career in the music business, thereafter making only occasional forays into the recording scene. The most ambitious enterprise took place in 1976, when he recorded in Houston under producer Huey P. Meaux an entire album of country ballads, Joe Barry, that did not reflect his swamp pop roots. The country audience liked it, however.

In 1980 Barry independently recorded an album of religious songs, Sweet Rose Of Sharon. Swamp Rock legend, Joe Barry's last album 'Been Down That Muddy Road' (NTI CD 7140), was released on Night Train Records on April 22, 2003.

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