How did you get the name "LOBO"? This is usually the very first question asked of pop star LOBO whose real name is Roland Kent Lavoie. Wanting to keep his german shepherd named "Boo" looked like a wolf and Lobo in spanish means wolf. It's also very easily remembered.
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LOBO has just recently moved to Nashville, Tennessee where he lives a quiet life with his wife Susie and their dogs and cats. He has been living in Florida and part of the year in his mountain home in North Carolina for the past several years.
Lavoie was born on July 31, 1943 in Tallahassee, Florida. He is one of seven children raised in Winter Haven , Florida which is in the central part of the state. He says he knew his mother had been a singer in a big band but never met his biological father. He came to find out later that his father had been a guitar player in a big band leading him to believe that his interest in music came from several genes from both parents.
A fender stratocaster guitar and a little amp were Lavoie's first purchases after being introduced to the magic of music from a kid living down the street who showed him an old worn out guitar and taught him a few chords. In 1961 he was asked to join a band named "The Rumors", the first rock and roll band in Winter Haven , due partly to the fact that he had such a "fancy" new guitar. They would play cover songs like Del Shonnon's "Runaway" and songs by "The Ventures" etc. Jim Stafford and Gram Parsons, who would later go on to be in "The Byrds". Were in the other band in town called "The Legends". Later on when both band had disbanded, Stafford and Parsons would join Lavoie in a revised version of "The Rumors". Parsons died at a young age and Stafford would later be coproduced by Lavoie resulting in the chart topping hit "Spiders And Snakes".
It was while he was attending the University of South Florida that Lavoie met Phil Gernhard. Gernhard who had produced Maurice Williams and The Zodiacs big hit "Stay" and would also go on to produce Dion's "Abraham Martin and John". Would record Lavoie's first regional hit called "What Am I Doing Here" with the band Lavoie was in called "The Sugar Beats". Lavoie while writing songs one day needed to have something that rhymed with "me and you " and as he pondered the thought he looked up to see his german shepherd named "Boo" just outside the sliding glass door. "Me And You And A Dog Named Boo" went on to be a monster international hit thus beginning a career that produced nearly 20 million record sales world wide and several top ten hits in the early seventies including "I'd Iove You To Want Me", "Don't Expect Me To Be Your Friend", "Don't Tell Me Goodnight", "How Can I Tell Her", and more . Lavoie later went on to record with Warner Brother Records and MCA Records in the late seventies and in 1979 hit the charts again with "Hold On For Dear Love" and "Where Were You When I Was Falling In Love?". In the 1980's he produced chart topping hits for country artists Joe Stampley and Christy Lane.
LOBO's popularity has recently taken a significant upswing in the asian market primarily due to his recent releases of new albums for Ponycanyon Records out of Singapore titled "Asian Moon" and a collection of standard favorites called "Classics" which includes some of his earlier hits and several new recordings of classic hits like "The End Of The World", "Dream Lover", "Will You Still Love Me Tomarrow" and many more. There are also three well known Asian melodies that english lyrics have been written for and traditional chinese instruments have been recorded and mixed into the tracks which results in avery unique sound for LOBO. He has also just released an album of all new original songs titled "Sometimes" recorded in Nashville, Tennessee with some of the top studio musicians in the world. His newest recording titled "You must remember this" is scheduled for release this summer with the new and innovative company "Springroll" in conjunction with Ponycanyon Records. This album is a collection of older standards such as, "Teach Me Tonight", "PS I Love You", "Moonglow" and more. The album was recorded in the traditional style of the generation they were first recored in which makes for a wonderful listening record.
LOBO has been touring Asia quite frequently to sold out audiences. Recently he played in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam to the largest audience ever to see a pop star perform.
Great songs and great records last forever. "LOBO" already leaves a legacy of great works but as they say ,
"Its not over till it's over" and he plans on many more years of writing and recording.
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