Rhythm ’n’ blues singer Robert Parker, R.I.P. Rhythm ’n’ blues singer Robert Parker, who scored a top 10 hit in 1966 with the dance tune “Barefootin’,” has died, according to published reports in the New Orleans area. He was 89. His death, in his hometown of Roseland, LA., was confirmed by a nephew, who said Parker passed from natural causes. “Barefootin’,” which Parker also wrote, was actually the singer’s second record to chart on the Billboard Top Pop Singles chart. Parker made his debut back in 1959 with “All Nite Long (Part 1),” but that single peaked at #113. It appeared on the local Ron label, and Parker didn’t return to the chart for seven years, when “Barefootin’,” on the Nola label, and arranged and produced by Wardell Quezergue, rose to #7 on that chart; it also reached #2 on Billboard’s R&B singles chart. Parker scored twice more, with “The Scratch” in 1966 and “Tip Toe” the following year, but neither came close to repeating his big success. Robert Parker was born Oct. 14, 1930, in New Orleans and became a saxophonist. He played on the 1949 Professor Longhair hit “Mardi Gras in New Orleans” and went on to work with local artists like Fats Domino, Irma Thomas and Huey “Piano” Smith. He also led the house band at the Tijuana Club in New Orleans for five years, backing artists such as Little Richard and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. Another band, Robert Parker and the Royals, served a similar function, backing Big Joe Turner, Solomon Burke and others.