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Gene Barge

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Information about Gene Barge

Profile image of Gene Barge

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Saxophonist
Songwriter
Music Producer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Look Alive.

Birthplace

Born:
8/9/1926
Birth Location:
Norfolk, Virginia

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Saxophonist
Songwriter
Music Producer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Look Alive.

Birthplace

Born:
8/9/1926
Birth Location:
Norfolk
See how Gene Barge is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Saxophonist, music producer and song writer Gene “Daddy G” Barge was born in Norfolk, Virginia on August, 9 1926. He graduated from Booker T. Washington High School and played clarinet in the school band. Barge then attended West Virginia State College where he first majored in architecture, but quickly switched to music because of his interest in the saxophone. After receiving his B.A. degree from West Virginia State College in 1950, Barge returned to Norfolk, Virginia and played with a number of bands and singing groups including the Griffin Brothers and the Five Keys.

In 1955, Barge recorded his first saxophone instrumentals entitled “Country” and “Way Down Home” on Chess Records’ Checker Label. He taught music at Suffolk High School while playing and singing in bands and touring with both Ray Charles and the Philadelphia vocal group The Turbans. In 1957, Barge played the saxophone on Chuck Willis’ “C.C. Rider,” which became a number one R& B hit. In 1960, he recorded “A Night with Daddy G” with his band the Church Street Five on Norfolk’s Legrand Label. From 1961 to 1962, Barge collaborated with Gary U.S. Bonds on a number of hit records including "School Is In," "School Is Out," "Dear Lady Twist," "Twist Twist Senora," "Copy Cat" and the number one pop hit, “Quarter to Three.” In 1964, Barge was hired as a producer, arranger, and saxophone player for Chess Records in Chicago, Illinois and played on Fontella Bass’ “Rescue Me” in 1965. Chess Records closed in 1971 and Barge was hired by Stax Records in their gospel division, Gospel Truth. Barge produced Inez Andrews’ “Lord Don’t Move the Mountain” and The Beautiful Zion Baptist Church's "I'll Make It Alright.” In 1974, Barge began working with pianist, Marvin Yancy and Charles Jackson. He was hired to do demos with Natalie Cole. He went to win a Grammy Award for co-producing Cole’s “Sophisticated Lady” in 1977.

Barge has toured with Fat Dominos, Bo Diddley, Chuck Willis, The Rolling Stones and Natalie Cole. He has had roles in many major motion pictures including Code of Silence, Above the Law, Under Siege, The Package and The Fugitive. Barge consulted for Martin Scorsese’s 2003 PBS documentary, The Blues. He also appeared in a 2010 episode of the TV documentary series Legends, entitled "Roll over Beethoven - The Chess Records Saga." Barge lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Gene Barge was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 20, 2012.

See how Gene Barge is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gene Barge's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gene Barge lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gene Barge describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gene Barge describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gene Barge talks about the legacy of slavery in Fayettesville, North Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gene Barge talks about his father's career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gene Barge describes his father's musical interests
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gene Barge remembers his parents' relationship
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gene Barge talks about his relationship with his paternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gene Barge describes his likeness to his parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Gene Barge describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Gene Barge talks about his experiences at J.C. Price Elementary School in Norfolk, Virginia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Gene Barge recalls the competitiveness of the local high schools
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Gene Barge describes the geography of Tidewater Virginia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Gene Barge talks about the black community in Tidewater Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gene Barge describes the prominent African Americans from Tidewater Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gene Barge remembers meeting Fats Waller
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gene Barge talks about the musicians from Norfolk, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gene Barge remembers joining the Booker T. Washington High School band in Norfolk, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gene Barge describes the political events during his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gene Barge remembers an influential teacher
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gene Barge recalls preparing to join the U.S. Army Air Forces
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gene Barge remembers his time in the U.S. Army Air Forces
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Gene Barge remembers his first saxophone
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gene Barge describes his transition to West Virginia State College in Institute, Virginia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gene Barge talks about the alumni of West Virginia State College, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gene Barge remembers Tuskegee Airman John Whitehead
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gene Barge talks about the alumni of West Virginia State College, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gene Barge remembers his mentors at West Virginia State College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gene Barge talks about Eleanor Roosevelt's civil rights activism
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gene Barge recalls his work experiences after graduating from college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gene Barge talks about the history of rhythm and blues
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Gene Barge remembers his early records
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Gene Barge talks about his recordings with Gary U.S. Bonds
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gene Barge describes the influence of Charles Manuel "Sweet Daddy" Grace on his music
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gene Barge talks about his half sisters
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gene Barge remembers the Norfolk Seventeen
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gene Barge recalls the discrimination against black artists in the recording industry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gene Barge describes the musicians he met at Chess Records
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gene Barge talks about the 'Cadillac Records' movie, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gene Barge talks about the 'Cadillac Records' movie, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gene Barge remembers Etta James
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gene Barge remembers Cash McCall and Billy Stewart
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gene Barge describes Little Walter's personality and character
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gene Barge talks about Muddy Waters' jingle for Hamm's Brewery
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gene Barge recalls recording albums with Howlin' Wolf
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gene Barge remembers recording doo wop and gospel music
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gene Barge describes his work with Natalie Cole
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gene Barge talks about his acting career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gene Barge remembers touring with The Rolling Stones
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Gene Barge describes the members of The Rolling Stones
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Gene Barge recalls his acting role in 'The Guardian'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Gene Barge describes 'The Blues' documentary television series
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Gene Barge talks about his saxophone style
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Gene Barge recalls his efforts to credit studio musicians
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Gene Barge remembers his influences and his influence on the music industry
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Gene Barge shares his advice to young musicians
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Gene Barge reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Gene Barge reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Gene Barge talks about his family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Gene Barge remembers playing in the Breadbasket Band
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Gene Barge describes how he would like to be remembered