Born in Norfolk, Virginia in August 1926, he was a founding member of the 1960s band The Church Street Five, which recorded for the locally based label, Legrand Records, operated by Frank Guida. The band included Gene Barge (sax), Ron "Junior" Farley (bass), Willie Burnell (piano), Leonard Barks (trombone), and Emmet Shields (drums).
In 1961, the Dovells reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 with a song called "The Bristol Stomp", which refers to Bristol, Pennsylvania, and includes the line "We ponied and twisted and we rocked with Daddy G". Since Gene Barge had earlier co-written "A Night With Daddy 'G' - Part 1" and "A Night With Daddy 'G' - Part 2" (Legrand LEG 1004), many applied the pseudonym 'Daddy G' to him. It is not known whether the 'Daddy G' of that 1961 song lyric was intended to be Gene Barge or Bishop 'Daddy' Grace, a Norfolk, Virginia evangelist, whose church address was the inspiration for the naming of the group.
The lyrics to Gary U.S. Bonds' 1961 hit on Legrand, "Quarter To Three", which were added to the original Church Street Five instrumental, mentions the Church Street Five and Daddy G, and contains the exhortation "Blow, Daddy!"
Barge moved from Virginia to Chicago in the early 1960s to widen his music and acting careers. He worked with Chess Records during the 1960s, playing on recording sessions and providing arrangements along with some production work. In the 1970s, he continued to produce as well as arrange records, including Natalie Cole's early hits.
Barge has toured and played with such notables as Fats Domino, Bo Diddley, Big Joe Turner, LaVern Baker, Ray Charles, Chuck Willis, the Rolling Stones and Natalie Cole; and he had roles in major movies starring Gene Hackman, Chuck Norris, Harrison Ford and Steven Seagal. He has also toured in recent years under the pseudonym 'Daddy G.'
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With Bo Diddley
- The London Bo Diddley Sessions (Chess, 1973)
With Jack McDuff
- Gin and Orange (Cadet, 1969)
With Malachi Thompson
With Muddy Waters
- Muddy, Brass & the Blues (Chess, 1966)
- "Church Street Five". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
- Saxophonist Gene Barge helped shape the sound of Chicago R&B
- "Gene Barge". Rockabilly.nl. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
- He currently sings and plays regularly in the Chicago area with "The Chicago R&B Kings", a band he records with and produces. "Gene Barge - Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
- "Gene Barge". IMDb.com. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
- "Gene Barge - Dance With Daddy "G"". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2015-11-03.