2019-04-20 00:05:22 UTC
April 16, 2019) Soul music fans may not have known the name Kent "Boogaloo" Harris, but his compositions dotted the charts for more than two decades, making hits for artists ranging from The Coasters, Bo Diddley, and The Platters. Harris has reportedly died of cancer at his Southern California home at age 88.
Harris’s stock and trade in the 1950s was writing catchy novelty songs such as “Shopping For Clothes” for the Coasters - #83 10/60 - and “Cops and Robbers” for Bo Diddley. He also wrote for his own family group, The Harris Sisters (later called the Dimples Harris Trio), who had several modest hits during the decade, and recorded and performed with his own act, Boogaloo and His Gallant Crew.
Harris told the Ponderosa Stomp “I started doing that when I was just a kid,” he says. “I started off around the neighborhood where I lived. There were a lot of kids around there, playing around and stuff. And I used to make up songs about ‘em, make up different songs about different ones and the stuff they do. Everybody kind of liked it. It was a fun thing, and I just kept on doing it until I got a break.”
Harris became an entrepreneur, opening a Los Angeles record store in the 1960s and forming his own record label. He also continued to write and producer for a number of R&B and jazz artists, including Adoph Jacobs and Jimmy Ellis.
Harris continued to work into the new century, reportedly contributing to the music of the somewhat maligned Eddie Murphy movie, Norbit. He also would perform his delightfully humorous repertoire around the country with his act Boogaloo and His Gallant Crew.