Little Caesar (singer)

Little Caesar (February 18, 1928 – June 12, 1994) was an American singer and actor. He began his recording career in 1950's, recording for labels such as Modern and Recorded In Hollywood. He had a hit on the R&B chart with "Goodbye Baby" in 1952. As an actor, Harry Caesar was best known for his roles in The Longest Yard (1974) and A Few Good Men (1992).

BiographyEdit

Little Caesar was born Harry Caesar to Alex Caesar and Hattie Chambers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 18, 1928.[1][2] He had several older siblings. When Caesar was one, his mother died from meningitis. In 1930, his father moved to Youngstown, Ohio, looking for work and left Caesar and his siblings with relatives. By 1940, Caesar and his brother Richard had joined their father in Youngstown. Caesar attended Rayen High School in Youngstown. During his teenage years he was rebellious and joined the Wolf Gang, going by the nickname "Kid Wolf". He ended up in jail and was drafted into the army in 1948. In the Army, he represented Fort Ord as a heavyweight boxer.

When Caesar was discharged in 1950, he intended to pursue a boxing career, but after a disappointing match which ended in a draw, he switched careers to R&B music. Caesar moved to the San Francisco area and worked with The Peter Rabbit Trio. He later relocated to Oakland, California and recorded for the Bihari Brothers at Modern Records and John Dolphin's Recorded In Hollywood.[1] In July 1952, Caesar performed at the 3rd Annual Blues Jubilee held at the Shrine Auditorium and presented by KLAC DJ Gene Norman.[3] His single, "Goodbye Baby", released on Recorded In Hollywood was very successful, reaching No. 5 on Billboard's Best Selling R&B chart in November 1952.[4] In 1953, he released singles on Big Town Records and Modern's subsidiary RPM.[5] In 1960, Caesar and his band the Ark Angels recorded for Jack Bee Records which soon became Downey Records.

Caesar turned to acting in 1960, and until 1993, he appeared in numerous films and television shows. He appeared on the shows Julia, Sanford and Son, Good Times, The Dukes of Hazzard, and L.A. Law. Caesar appeared in films such as The Longest Yard (1974), Murder in Mississippi (1990), and A Few Good Men (1992). In between acting jobs, Caesar continued to perform. He appeared with Joe Liggins in the 1980s. In 1992, Casesar performed at the Desert Dixieland Jazz 7 at the Riviera Resort Hotel in Palm Springs, California.

Caesar was married to Marion Kane Bernot, they had three daughters: Jacqueline, Valerie, and Kimberly. He died on June 12, 1994 in Los Angeles. He is buried at Inglewood Cemetery.[2]

DiscographyEdit

AlbumsEdit

  • 1983: Lying Woman... Goodbye Baby (Route 66)
  • 2008: Your On The Hour Man: The Complete Modern, Dolphin And Downey Recordings 1952-1960 (Ace Records)

SinglesEdit

  • 1952: "Going Down To The River" / "Long Time Baby" (Recorded In Hollywood 234)[6]
  • 1952: "Goodbye Baby" / "If I Could See My Baby" (Recorded In Hollywood 235) – peaked at No. 5 on R&B chart[4]
  • 1952: "Move Me" / "Lying Woman" (Recorded In Hollywood 236)
  • 1953: "Here Is A Letter" / "You're Part Of Me" (Recorded In Hollywood 237)
  • 1953: "Your Money Ain't Long Enough" / "Do Right Blues" (Recorded In Hollywood 238)[7]
  • 1953: "Atomic Love" / "You Can't Bring Me Down" (Recorded In Hollywood 239)
  • 1953: "Big Eyes" / "Can't Stand It All Alone" (Big Town 106)
  • 1953: "Chains Of Love Have Disappeared" / "Tried To Reason With You Baby" (RPM 393)[8]
  • 1960: "I Hope That It's Me" / "What Are They Laughing About" (Jack Bee 1005)[9]
  • 1960: "The Ghost Of Mary Meade" (Jack Bee 1008)
  • 1964: "Show Me The Time" / "What Are They Laughing About" (Ride M-140)

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role
1960 All the Fine Young Cannibals uncredited
1970 There Was a Crooked Man... uncredited
1972 Lady Sings the Blues The Rapist
1972 Trouble Man Walter - Pool Room Patron (uncredited)
1973 Emperor of the North Pole Coaly
1974 The Longest Yard Granville
1975 Farewell, My Lovely Bartender
1978 Casey's Shadow Calvin Lebec
1978 The End Hospital Orderly
1978 The Big Fix Burke
1979 Boulevard Nights Guard in Juvenile Hall
1980 A Small Circle of Friends Jimmy
1982 Barbarosa Sims
1982 The Escape Artist Sax player
1984 City Heat Locker Room Attendant
1984 Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo Byron
1987 Retribution Charlie
1987 From a Whisper to a Scream Felder Evans
1987 Stranded Officer Miller
1988 Hot to Trot Gideon Cole
1989 Ghetto Blaster Mr. Dobson
1989 Homer and Eddie Street Person
1990 Bird on a Wire Marvin
1992 Roadside Prophets Jesse
1992 A Few Good Men
1993 Josh and S.A.M. Father on Bus

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role
1969 Julia Herby the Handy
1970 Mannix Inmate
1970 Barefoot in the Park Jack Lewis
1972 Room 222
1973 Roll Out
1973 Sanford and Son Homeless Man at the Mercy Mission / Burglar #1 (uncredited)
1975 The Blue Knight Walter
1975 Baretta Tucker / Cliff Johnson
1977 The Amazing Spider-Man Cab driver
1977 The Greatest Thing That Almost Happened Bonner
1977 Police Story Henry Wiggins
1978 Good Times Mr. Clements
1979 Disaster on the Coastliner Northbound Conductor
1979 Hart to Hart Lt. Doyle
1980 B.J. and the Bear Jason
1980 CBS Afternoon Playhouse Jack
1980 Angel on My Shoulder
1981 The Dukes of Hazzard Homer
1982 The Ambush Murders Emmett Medford
1982 Thou Shalt Not Kill
1983 Cagney & Lacey Fisher
1983 Murder 1, Dancer 0 Morgue Attendant
1983 Hardcastle and McCormick Sid the Bailiff / Sid the Bailliff
1983-1984 Hill Street Blues Charles Morris / Fred
1984 The New Mike Hammer Jake
1984 The Paper Chase Evidence Room Clerk
1985 MacGyver Al Tennyson
1986 North and South, Book II Joseph
1986-1989 L.A. Law Dwight / Pike Johnson
1987 What's Happening Now!
1987 The Ladies Desk Sergeant
1989 Alien Nation Man Buying Car
1990 Murder in Mississippi Hollis Watkins
1993 Evening Shade Repairman

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Komara, Edward M. (2006). Encyclopedia of the Blues: A-J, index. Taylor & Francis US. pp. 175–176. ISBN 978-0-415-92700-0.
  2. ^ a b Eagle, Bob L.; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues: A Regional Experience. ABC-CLIO. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-313-34424-4.
  3. ^ "Round The Wax Circle: Los Angeles" (PDF). Cash Box: 7. August 9, 1952.
  4. ^ a b "Best Selling Retail Rhythm & Blues Records" (PDF). Billboard: 48. November 8, 1952.
  5. ^ "Big town Diskery Signs Little Caesar" (PDF). Cash Box. June 13, 1953.
  6. ^ "Rhythm & Blues record Reviews" (PDF). Billboard: 35. August 30, 1952.
  7. ^ "The Cash Box Rhythm 'N Blues Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box: 20. March 7, 1953.
  8. ^ "Reviews of This Week's New Records: Rhythm & Blues" (PDF). Billboard: 30. October 31, 1953.
  9. ^ "Reviews of New Pop Records" (PDF). Billboard: 40–41. March 21, 1960.

External linksEdit