Ernie K-Doe, the R&B singer who hit it big with the novelty song “Mother-in-Law” has died at the age of 65.
Born Ernest Kador Jr., his moment in the sun came in May of 1961, when his recording of producer Allen Toussaint’s song replaced Del Shannon’s “Runaway” as the No. 1 song on the U.S. pop charts. The song was a winking insult at the titled relative, who according to the lyrics was “sent from down below” and was so awful “Satan should be her name.”
K-Doe once told the Chicago Tribune that it “wasn’t a hard song to sing because my mother-in-law was staying at my house. I was married 19 years and it was 19 years of pure sorrow … Oooh, she was lowdown.”
The singer is survived by his wife, four children, and of course, his mother-in-law, who said she never really liked him either.