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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 25, 2019 06:12PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
This thread is about Zydeco.

Zydeco is a form of uniquely American roots or folk music. It evolved in southwest Louisiana in the early 19th century from forms of "la la" Creole music. The rural Creoles of southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas still sing in Louisiana Creole French.

Zydeco combines elements of an even older American musical style which began in the late 1700s: Cajun music, which comprises French fiddle tunes, Irish Celtic fiddle tunes, German button accordion, Latin rhythms, and Appalachian styles.

Zydeco music was born in the late 1860s as a blend of Cajun music and two other "new" American music styles: blues and rhythm and blues. Haitian rhythms were also added, as Haitian natives moved to Louisiana to help harvest the new cash crop - sugarcane.

Zydeco (French, from the phrase: "Les haricots ne sont pas salés", means "the snap beans aren't salty". This phrase is a colloquial expression that means 'I have no spicy news for you.'[citation needed] It has alternatively been referred to as meaning "I'm so poor, I can't afford any salt meat for the beans." When spoken in the regional French, it is spoken thus: "leh-zy-dee-co sohn pah salay...")

"In fact, the first Zydeco-ish recording was Clarence Garlows hit "Bon Ton Roula," issued in 1949 on the Macys label."[1] Zydeco music pioneer Clifton Chenier, "The King of Zydeco", made Zydeco popular on regional radio stations with his bluesy style and keyboard accordion.

Usually fast tempo and dominated by the button or piano accordion and a form of a washboard known as a "rub-board," "scrub-board," "wash-board," or frottoir, zydeco music was originally created at house dances, where families and friends gathered for socializing. Creoles do not consider themselves part of the black culture, but rather a mixture of Haitian, Native American, French, and Spanish known as "Quadronne" or "four-way".

The original French settlers came to Louisiana in the late 1700s, sent by the King of Spain to help settle the Louisiana Territory. Arriving in New Orleans on seven ships, the settlers quickly moved into the bayous and swamps. There the French culture permeated those of the Irish, Spanish, Native Indian and German peoples already populating the area.

Sometimes the music was performed in the Catholic Church community centers, as Creoles were mostly Catholic. Later it moved to rural dance halls and nightclubs. As a result, the music integrated waltz, shuffles, two-steps, blues, rock and roll, and other dance music forms of the era. Today, zydeco integrates genres such as R&B, soul, brass band, reggae, hip hop, ska, rock, Afro-Caribbean and other styles, in addition to the traditional forms.

Remainder of article on Wikipedia:

This thread is for Jill.

message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 21, 2012 04:29PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
JEFFERY BROUSSARD & THE CREOLE COWBOYS ZYDECO - Promo (Homespun and very creole)

Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys at home and on the road. Authentic traditional Creole Zydeco music from Opelousas, Lousiana, Zydeco Capital of the World.

message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys ~ It's So Hard To Stop

Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys Live on the Swamp and Roll Show in Opelousas,LA. Jan. 6th, 2010 Perform a song done by Buckwheat Zydeco called "It's So Hard To Stop". Dedicated to Joe "Dr.Feelgood" Burge

message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Opelousas Music & Market (Zydeco Dancing)

message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Queen Ida and The Bon Temps Zydeco Band - Rosa Majeur

message 6: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Thanks for this thread on one of my favorite genres of music.

Professor Longhair and the Meters - Tipitina

Beau Soleil - Zydeco Gris Gris

message 7: by Becky (last edited Feb 21, 2012 06:41PM) (new)

Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments Bentley wrote: "Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys ~ It's So Hard To Stop

Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys Live on the Swamp and Roll Show in ..."

There is very little music I will stop and listen to but Zydeco is one of them. Love it! And today is Fat Tuesday! - Mardi Gras! This clip is from 2 years ago.

message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 21, 2012 06:39PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Goodness Becky it is Fat Tuesday. I love it too.

message 9: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas - one of my personal favorites! I think Zydeco music is best live and Nathan knows how to deliver.

message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
It makes you want to get up and dance.

message 11: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Oh goodness yes! It's hard to sit still listening to this style of music.

message 12: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) One of my favorite groups is a local band, Mitch Cormier and the Can't Hardly Playboys. There is one video on Youtube of them but the quality is not good enough to post here. They are the house band at the Cajun Cabin in New Orleans and they rock the joint. It is always my first stop when visiting the Big Easy. Lots of dancing the two step and Cajun waltz!!!!

message 13: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1830 comments Thank you all! I love it so. Dancing in my computer chair once again.

message 14: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) We can't forget the great Clifton Chenier.

Petite Fille - Clifton Chenier

message 15: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) He is one of a kind......Rockin' Sidney. You can dance to his music.

Mais Yeah Chere - Rockin' Sidney

message 16: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Jumpin' Johnny Sansone - Gimme a Dollar (and watch me dance!)

message 17: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Rock Me - Rockin' Dopsie and the Twisters

His son carries on the tradition in New Orleans. I saw him there at the Krazy Korner in the French Quarter and he sounds a lot better than the link below.

Sweet Litte Lottie Mae - Rockin' Dopsie Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters.

message 18: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Love the Rockin' Dopsie album cover. (I still call them album covers . . . ) that is one serious accordian!

message 19: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) They will always be album covers.........I still talk about records!!!!!

message 20: by Jill (last edited May 31, 2013 10:49AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) One of the great Cajun fiddlers was Dewey Balfa. This video is a solo with his nephew Todd on the sticks.

J'ai Ete Au Bal

message 21: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Here is Beausoliel fronted by Michel Doucet performing one of the most recognizable Zydeco songs.

Kolinda (sometimes styled as Colinda)

message 22: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) I always like a little Buckwheat Zydeco to charge up my day. They put on a great live show!

Hey Ma Petit Fille -

message 23: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The first modern Zydeco recording that got the public's attention was Paper in My Shoe by Boozoo Chavis. Here it is, recorded a little later in his career.

message 24: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) If you haven't visited this "kingdom", you are missing some of the greatest music in the world. This book will take you there.

The Kingdom of Zydeco

The Kingdom Of Zydeco by Michael Tisserand by Michael Tisserand (no photo)


There's a musical kingdom in the American South that's not marked on any map. Stretching from the prairies of Louisiana to the oil towns of East Texas, it is ruled over by accordion-squeezing, washboard-wielding musicians like Clifton Chenier, Buckwheat Zydeco, and Boozoo Chavis. This is the kingdom of zydeco.

message 25: by C. (last edited Nov 03, 2013 06:05PM) (new)

C. | 21 comments I believe it was on the country TV variety show~Hee-Haw... that I used to see Doug Kershaw[The Ragin Cajun] play Zydeco.Love~ 'Diggy, Liggy,LO.

Also,not sure if it's Zydeco,but believe it's cajun~ John Fogarty's~'Blueboy'.

message 26: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) If you love Zydeco, you will love this book.

Cajun Music and Zydeco

Cajun Music and Zydeco by Philip Gould by Philip Gould (no photo)


"Imagine," writes Philip Gould, "a remote club nestled in a rural community that is barely on the map, where upon entering through worn screen doors one feels the flow of air from the wall-sized floor fans working hard to relieve the sultriness. Folks of all ages glide across a worn wooden dance floor as a Cajun or zydeco band belts out spirited two-steps and waltzes..." In this engaging book Gould takes us into the fascinating world of south Louisiana's celebrated musical cultures. Cajun Music and Zydeco contains more than one hundred color photographs of the performers, dance halls, and appreciative fans that have made the state's indigenous music a national, even worldwide, phenomenon.

The photographs span a period of some ten years. They include portraits of Cajun musicians like Zachary Richard, Dewey Balfa, Wayne Toups, Michael Doucet, and Steve Riley and such zydeco performers as Terrance Simien, the Ardoin family, Canray Fontenot, Boozoo Chavis, and the legendary Clifton Chenier. Gould photographs many of the venues in which these musicians have performed, including El Sid O's Club and Hamilton's Place, in Lafayette; La Poussiere and Mulate's, in Breaux Bridge; Smiley's Bayou Club, in Erath; Slim's Y Ki Ki, in Opelousas; and Tipitina's, in New Orleans -- not to mention Carnegie Hall. He also shows throngs of music lovers at annual events such as the Zydeco Festival in Plaisance and Lafayette's Festival International de Louisiane. Many of the images reinforce the importance of family and community among the musicians, and others emphasize the sheer power the music holds over performers and listeners alike.

Philip Gould first came to Louisiana in 1974, just as the revival of Cajun music and zydeco was beginning to take shape. Indeed, one of his early assignments as a photographer for the Daily Iberian newspaper was to cover the first Tribute to Cajun Music, which was held in Lafayette on March 26, 1974. A driving force behind that magical event was Barry Jean Ancelet, whose informed Introduction to this book provides a brief history of Cajun music and zydeco. Ancelet describes the multivarious ethnic mix that contributed to the development of the two musics, outlines their waning popularity during the early years of this century, and celebrates their reenergized vitality since the mid-1970s. He provides a vivid description of the 1974 festival, which unexpectedly attracted more than twelve thousand spectators. It proved to be a watershed in the renaissance not only of Cajun music and zydeco but of Cajun and Creole culture in general.

Deeply rooted in the unique world of south Louisiana, Cajun music and zydeco are an important part of the American folk tradition. This beautiful book is a fitting tribute to their enduring appeal.

message 27: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960)

Although he switches between pop music and zydeco, Aaron Neville has a voice that is not easy to forget. The Neville Brothers are iconic in the Big Easy and here is one of their most recognizable songs.

Yellow Moon

message 28: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The story of the Neville Brothers, the most recognizable voices in Zydeco music.

The Brothers

The Brothers by David Ritz by David Ritz (no photo)


Born to a music-loving family, the Neville brothers grew up immersed in the sounds and culture of New Orleans, and the blended rhythms of the city are reflected in their wide range of musical styles. The result, like their native city, is a rich gumbo of flavors: Art, with his keyboard wizardry; Aaron, with his angelic voice; Charles, a spiritual seeker and jazz devotee; and Cyril, whose passion for music matches the intensity of his politics. In The Brothers, each tells his story candidly, recounting the early hits, the problems with drugs and the law, and the circuitous route to success. Along the way, the brothers tell the story of the New Orleans culture as well—the birth of rhythm and blues, the folklore behind the fabulous Mardi Gras Indians, the painful racial climate, and the family whose legacy is now a part of our musical history.

message 29: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) If you have seen a zydeco band, you've seen the frottoir. What? is the definition.

Frottoir: A vest frottoir is a percussion instrument used in zydeco music. It is usually made from pressed, corrugated stainless steel and is worn over the shoulders.

It is played as a rhythm instrument by stroking either bottle openers or spoons down it. Many of these instruments are home-made, but Don Landry of Louisiana is a renowned maker of frottoirs – or rub-boards as they are also known – making them for Clifton Chenier's band and Elvis Fontenot and the Sugar Bees, amongst others.

message 30: by Jill (last edited Nov 21, 2014 09:19PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) A feast for the eyes for the lover of zydeco music.


Zydeco! by Rick Olivier by Rick Olivier (no photo)


In eighty stunning portraits of the genre's leading people and places and through extensive interviews and historical commentary, photographer Rick Olivier and journalist/musician Ben Sandmel have created a book as spirited as the rollicking music it so vividly illuminates.Once an obscure regional tradition, zydeco now enjoys worldwide popularity. In this book two respected veteran observers draw on more than thirty years of combined professional experience to explore zydeco's rural roots and trace its emergence on the global stage. Through Olivier's innovative use of righting and Sandmel's skill as an interviewer, zydeco icons such as Clifton Chenier, Boozoo Chavis, and Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural guide readers through their music, its complex cultural context, and the unbounded joy they find in performing.

message 31: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Zydeco is the music of Louisiana!

Louisiana's Zydeco

Louisiana's Zydeco (Images of America Louisiana) by Sherry T. Broussard by Sherry T. Broussard (no photo)


The bayou sings and the trees sway with the untold stories of many unsung heroes, including Louisiana's amazing Zydeco musicians. The music is an extraordinary blend of the accordion, the bass and electric guitars, the drums, the rub or scrub board, and other instruments. It tells stories about finding and losing love, life lessons, and other revelatory events that rise from the skillful hands of musicians playing the diatonic and piano accordions. The diverse population of Louisiana creates a rich culture with Zydeco festivals, Creole foods, and the unique music that fills the air with a foot-stomping beat like no other. Louisiana's Zydeco is a snapshot of some of the many musicians who live and play the homegrown music known as Zydeco.

message 32: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The only female zydeco band leader, Queen Ida.

Rosa Majeur by Queen Ida and Les Bon Temps Zydeco Band

message 33: by Jill (last edited Apr 12, 2015 11:15AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Clarence Garlow was an American R&B, jump blues, Texas blues and cajun guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is best known for his recording of the song "Bon Ton Roula", which was a hit single on the US Billboard R&B chart in 1950. One commentator noted the track as, "a rhythm and blues laced-zydeco song that helped introduce the Louisiana music form to a national audience." (Source: Wikipedia)

Bon Ton Roula by Clarence Garlow

message 34: by Jill (last edited Jan 02, 2016 02:29AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Mardi Gras, Gumbo, and Zydeco: Readings in Louisiana Culture

Mardi Gras, Gumbo, and Zydeco Readings in Louisiana Culture by Marcia Gaudet by Marcia Gaudet (no photo)


Capturing this elusive culture and its charm has challenged many authors, anthropologists, and anthologists. Coming perhaps closest of any book yet published, this new anthology of readings affords reflections on southern Louisiana's distinctive traditions, folklore, and folklife. Crystalizing its rich diversity and character, these sharply focused essays are a precise introduction to aspects that too often are diffused in sundry discussions of general Deep South culture. Here, each is seen distinctly, precisely, and uniquely.

Written by leading scholars, the thirteen essays focus on many subjects, including the celebration of Mardi Gras and of Christmas, Louisiana foodways, the delineation between Cajun and Creole, the African Americans and Native Americans of the region, Zydeco music, and Cajun humor.

The essays show great range and are reprinted from hard-to-find publications. They include a description of Cajun Country Mardi Gras on the prairies of southwestern Louisiana, an analysis of the social implications of the New Orleans Mardi Gras parades, a study of the Houma Indians of coastal Louisiana, and an analysis of the devotion given to a young Cajun girl whom many regard as a saint.

Collected here, the essays portray a land and a people that are unlike any other.

message 35: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Not all Zydeco music is fast and snappy. Here is the talented Zachary Richard with a ballad that is also true Zydeco.

Au Bord du Lac Bijou (On The Edge of Lake Gem) by Zachary Richard

message 36: by Jill (last edited May 21, 2016 09:21PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Geno Delafose is one of the great zydeco singers who keeps more to the style of the original including singing his songs in the wonderful patois of Creole.

This song was nominated for a Grammy.

'Tite Mondo by Geno Delafose

message 37: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Thank you Jill for starting to update the music threads - great adds.

message 38: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) I'm trying to get caught target date is 2019!!!!! :0)

message 39: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) An in-depth look at the indigenous music of Louisiana.

South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous

South to Louisiana The Music of the Cajun Bayous by John Broven by John Broven (no photo)


"It's a great book-informative, funny, thoroughly entertaining, but most important of all it is an absolutely ESSENTIAL reference work for anyone who's interested in one of America's last great overlooked ethnic musics." -Houston Post "From the author of the best book ever written on New Orleans R & B, Rhythm and Blues in New Orleans, we now have the only book ever to be devoted to the music of southern Louisiana, a book that will probably never be equaled, let alone bettered." -Picking the Blues South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous is the first comprehensive look at the history of this distinctive style of music. The result of extensive research, fieldwork, and personal interviews, South to Louisiana details the South Louisiana sound from early Cajun and Cajun-Country through Zydeco and Blues to the current Cajun revival. Quoting the words of the musicians themselves, Broven examines the contributions of such legends as Joseph Falcon, whose "Allons a Lafayette" in 1928 was the first Cajun recording, Amadie Ardoin, Iry LeJune, and Nathan Abshire. Today such artists as Doug Kershaw, Jimmy C. Newman, and the late Clifton "King" Chenier have taken Cajun music to the national scene, and the music of Louisiana is now heard around the world.

message 40: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) This is the first Zydeco record ever recorded (1928). That music never changes.

Allons a Luafette by Joseph Falcon

message 41: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 25, 2019 06:56PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
The Kingdom of Zydeco

The Kingdom of Zydeco by Michael Tisserand by Michael Tisserand Michael Tisserand


This book “beautifully captures the world of one of America’s most unique, fascinating, and rockin’ musical cultures. The definitive work on the subject” (Bonnie Raitt).

An important book for anyone with an interest in life, American music, Southern culture, dancing, accordions, the recording industry, folklore, old dance clubs in the weeds, fortune tellers, hoodoos or shotguns” (Annie Proulx).

Stretching from the prairies of Louisiana to the oil towns of East Texas, The Kingdom of Zydeco is ruled by accordion-squeezing, washboard-wielding musicians such as Buckwheat Zydeco, Nathan Williams, Keith Frank, Terrance Simien, Rosie Ledet, and C. J. Chenier. With its African-Caribbean rhythms, Creole-French-English lyrics, and lively dance styles, has spread from its origins in Louisiana across the nation.

In this remarkable book full of anecdotes and interviews, Michael Tisserand reveals why zydeco’s irresistible blend of blues and Cajun influences has made it so popular.

"Michael Tisserand has given us a good one. The Kingdom of Zydeco is richly anecdotal, as moving and intimate as the music, a fine front-porch history of zydeco from the blackjack dirt farms of Louisiana to the oil refineries of coastal Texas.

It is as much about human beings and Creole culture as music, about personal foibles, misadventure, white/black tensions, work and parties, trouble in the night, and truly extraordinary characters.

The gritty, vibrant voices of the musicians—well-known, obscure, dead, living, recorded, unrecorded—give this work extraordinary vigor and juice.

This is an important book for anyone with an interest in life, American music, southern culture, dancing, accordions, the recording industry, folklore, old dance clubs in the weeds, fortune tellers, hoodoos, or shotguns.


Somewhere in the book a father tells his musician son, ‘whatever you do, give the people a satisfaction.’ Michael Tisserand does that for the reader.” —Annie Proulx

"The Kingdom of Zydeco beautifully captures the world of one of America’s most unique, fascinating, and rockin’ musical cultures. The definitive work on the subject." —Bonnie Raitt

“Exhaustive . . . riveting . . . The Kingdom of Zydeco is a back-road trip well worth making.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review

“This is a wonderful book, a comprehensive and enthralling look at zydeco. . . . [Tisserand] communicates his love for the music and makes you want to hear it." —David Nicholson, Washington Post

“Beyond Tisserand’s clear, enjoyable writing and his agile translation of the riding rhythms into prose, it is his interviews that make this book truly special. These strings of quotes—presented uncorrected and full of colorful colloquialisms—are treasures, bits of living history grabbed just in time, in several cases, to preserve firsthand accounts of customs and people now gone.” —Clea Simon, Boston Globe

“The first comprehensive history of the music and a delightful geography of a people and place as untouched by Wal-Mart homogeneity as any in the nation.” —Craig Havighurst, Wall Street Journal

“Tisserand delves into the music's past and present in The Kingdom of Zydeco, one of the first in-depth histories of the sound and a well-researched, insightful introduction to the culture that spawned it.” —Lynn Van Matre, Chicago Tribune

"[Tisserand] certainly does justice to the complexity of the zydeco tradition. . . . this comprehensive assessment is a must for fans." —Publishers Weekly

"Written in a style as lively as the music itself, journalist Tisserand's book is recommended for all music libraries and is essential in Louisiana, East Texas, and everywhere else that zydeco is king." —Library Journal

"Highly readable and informative stuff about some great homegrown music." —Booklist

“Tisserand's book is the gold mine. The product of years of research, interviews, and van, bus, and horse travel with zydecizers and their kin, Kingdom should do for the genre what Nick Tosches's books have done for country and Peter Guralnik's did for R&B and the blues. —Arsenio Orteza, Village Voice

"The definitive book on zydeco. Michael Tisserand presents a historical overview of one of America's last great regional musical cultures, then brings that history to life with vibrant profiles and immediate, on-the-spot reporting. Essential reading for zydeco fans as well as for anyone curious about how an indigenous musical form evolves." —Keith Spera, New Orleans Times-Picayune

“A book that’s as readable as a novel while being a font of historical and cultural information.” —Ed Ward, Mojo magazine

"Flavorful, sharply reported, and highly readable. The Kingdom of Zydeco is a groundbreaking book on a fascinating species of American music and the culture surrounding it. Michael Tisserand knows his way around zydeco's boulevards and back alleys, and he draws lively and insightful portraits of the musicians, promoters, spouses, and fans who inhabit them." —Tom Piazza, author of Blues and Trouble

"Every page of this extraordinary book pulses with humanity, rendered with intelligence, affection, energy, and keen observation—this book is a pure gift to everyone who loves Louisiana music and culture and fine writing about both." —Susan Larson, New Orleans Times-Picayune

“An exhaustively researched, intelligently analyzed and lovingly written guide to this most vital of regional musics.” —Don McLeese, Austin-American Statesman

“While shelves full of important books on blues have been published, no definitive work on zydeco has existed until now. Michael Tisserand’s The Kingdom of Zydeco is, and likely will continue to be, the best zydeco history available.” —Roger Wood, Living Blues

"Music aficionados may reminisce longingly about legendary scenes in the past—Beale Street in Memphis in the 1920s, New York's 52nd Street in the 1940s, or Chicago's South Side in the 1950s—when musical and social elements came together to create sounds that shook the world. Zydeco music is happening now." —Scott Billington, Rounder Records

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