Sam Theard

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Sam Theard
Also known as Lovin' Sam from Down in 'Bam, Lovin' Sam Theard, Spo-Dee-O-Dee, Sam Tarpley
Born (1904-10-10)October 10, 1904
New Orleans, United States
Died December 7, 1982(1982-12-07) (aged 78)
Los Angeles, United States
Occupation(s) Songwriter, singer comedian
Years active Late 1920s–1970s

Samuel Allen Theard (New Orleans, 10 October 1904 - 7 December 1982, Los Angeles), was a singer, song-writer, actor and comedian. He also performed as Lovin' Sam Theard and a variety of other names.

His first recordings, as Lovin' Sam from Down in 'Bam, accompanied by Tampa Red[1] and Cow Cow Davenport, date from 1929, when he recorded one of his best-known songs, "(I'll Be Glad When You're Dead) You Rascal You", for Brunswick Records[2] in 1929 with Cow Cow Davenport,[3] and which was covered by several artists.

He recorded for Brunswick from 1929 to 1931.[4]

In 1930, he also recorded for the Gennett label as Sam Tarpley,[1] and for Decca in 1934 (backed by pianist Albert Ammons).[1] In 1936, again for Decca, he recorded "New Rubbing On That Darned Old Thing", which would later be recorded by Grateful Dead as "The Rub".[2] In 1937, he recorded "Spo-Dee-O-Dee" for Vocalion, and a watered-down version for Decca in 1940.[5]

His last recording as Lovin’ Sam was for the Bluebird label in 1938.[5]

Using the name Spo-Dee-O-Dee, Theard performed as a comedian at the Apollo Theater in Harlem during the 1930s and '40s,[1] and also recorded under that name in 1941.[5] Another well-known song, co-written with Louis Jordan, but credited to his wife, Fleecie Moore, was "Let the Good Times Roll",[2] written in 1942, which became a hit a few years later when Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five recorded it in 1946, one of many Theard compositions recorded by Jordan. Theard would later appear in Jordan's film Caldonia.[1][6]

With Rudy Toombs he co-wrote “Hard Ridin’ Mama”, which was recorded by Wynonie Harris in 1947.[5]

He also sang on records recorded by Tiny Parham and trumpeter Hot Lips Page,[1] possibly on Page’s “The Egg or the Hen” (1949), a song Theard may also have co-written.[5]

In 1950, he co-wrote, and recorded for Mercury Records, "Rock around the clock" with Hal Singer.[2]

Theard co-wrote several other songs, including "I've Been Around" with Henry Glover, and with the pianist Teddy Brannon, "If you see my baby", recorded by Count Basie in 1950.[5]

“Stormy Night Blues”, co-written with Henry Glover and Teddy Brannon was recorded by Wynonie Harris in 1950,[5] and the following year, Eddie “Cleanhead" Vinson recorded “Home Boy”, co-written with Brannon and Roy Eldridge recorded another Heard-Brannon composition, “Baby, What’s the matter with You?”[5]

In the last decade of his life he played in a few Hollywood television productions.[1][7]