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Retro Redux: Lobo Still Loping Along

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I can honestly say that I don't remember Lobo's "Me and You and a Dog Named Boo" back in 1971, when it was climbing the charts. You'd think I would have noticed it, if for no other reason because I would have found it odd that a musician who chose to identify himself by the Spanish word for 'wolf' would have a best-selling record that featured a dog with a cute name.

But even though I'm more familiar with it now, I wasn't into that kind of music at the time. And if someone had mentioned it, I probably would have mixed it up with a song that came along a little later, Hoyt Axton's "Della and the Dealer (and a Dog Named Jake);" a completely different animal — er — type of song.

By the time he took the name 'Lobo', Florida-born Roland Kent LaVoie was already an experienced singer and songwriter. He'd spent a few years working with people like Jim Stafford, Jon Corneal, and Gram Parsons, and by 1969 had even made a solo record — "Happy Days in New York City" — that did moderately well.

LaVoie felt that he was poised for big success with his plan to record a new song he'd written — "Me and You and a Dog Named Boo" (clip). However, it was the era of 'one-hit wonders' and he was wary of being too closely tied to a distinctive hit song. So the story goes, his solution was to issue the record under the name Lobo.

The song was a breakout hit, although many listeners were a little unsure of the exact identity of Lobo. Still, the song sold well, as did his debut album, Introducing Lobo, which — given its title — presumably offered fans more information about their favorite. In any case, he continued to call himself Lobo for the follow-up album, 1972's Of A Simple Man, which yielded hit singles of "I'd Love You to Want Me," and "Don't Expect Me to Be Your Friend." The following year his third album, Calumet, also had some highly-charted songs, but as the Seventies wound down so did his record sales.

In the years since, LaJoie has enjoyed success from time to time and even ran his own record company for a while. His music has also become very popular in Asia, which has in turn led to new tours and studio appearances. Lobo is certainly more than a one-hit wonder.

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