Irma Thomas, (You Can Have My Husband But Please) Don't Mess With My Man.
Meet Ms. Irma Thomas, who has one thing to say to you ladies: do what you want with her deadbeat husband, but leave her lover alone.
The money my husband made was for red beans and rice
But my man keeps me in steaks, now ain't that nice?
Thomas, born in 1941 in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, knew something about husbands--she had had two before she was 19 years old, and four kids to boot. As a teenager, she had sung in a gospel quartet at the Home Mission Baptist Church, and was working as a waitress in a New Orleans club when bandleader Tommy Ridgley discovered her. Soon, she was singing regularly with Ridgley's band, which led to her being fired from her waitressing job.
"Don't Mess With My Man" was Thomas' first recording, a powerhouse single for the newly-founded New Orleans label Ron. Ron and its sister label, Ric, were both owned by Joe Ruffino--these labels, along with the just-formed Minit, represented a new wave of New Orleans indies that would produce some of the heaviest, rhythm-saturated and most purely enjoyable records of the allegedly "fallow" 1959-63 period.
Recorded in late '59, released as Ron 328 c/w "Set Me Free," and charted in early 1960; on the aptly-titled We Got a Party.