For years the music of South Louisiana was confined to the bayou country itself.
But today such artists as Doug Kershaw, Jimmy C. Newman, and Zydeco King
Clifton Chenier have gained national recognition, and the special sounds
of South Louisiana are being listened toappreciatedthroughout
North America and Europe. Now, in South to Louisiana, John Broven provides the
first comprehensive look at the history of this unique regional music.
Through months of field trips and library research, Broven has compiled an in-depth study
of the South Louisana sound, from early Cajun and Cajun-country through
zydeco and blues, swamp-pop, and the current Cajun revival. He
focuses on the creative and ambitious record men of
South Louisiana, their talented artists, and the music
they created together.
Using extensive personal interviews, Broven has interpreted the story of the music
in the words of the participants themselves. Rare photographs and song lyrics
provide additional insight.
Broven examines the contributions of such legendary greats as Joseph
Falcon, whose "Allons a Lafayette" in 1928 was the first Cajun recording;
Harry Choates, Amadie Ardoin, Iry LeJune, and Nathan Abshire; and an
incredible contingent of Baton Rouge blues artists led by Lightnin'
By the late 1950s the indigenous music had fused with nationally popular
sounds to form South Louisiana's contribution to rock 'n' roll; for a few
years swamp-pop artists like Joe Barry, Rod Bernard, and
Phil Phillips held their own on the national charts. Today the Cajun
revival is led by such artists as Dewey Balfa, Johnnie Allan and Michael
Also included are a detailed time chart of musical events, biographical
data on all the important artists, a list of clubs where South
Louisiana music can be heard, a roster of the important bands and their
members, and a comprehensive guide to popular singles and recommended
albums. Festivals and radio and television broadcasts are covered as well.
John Broven, an Englishman, has been an ardent fan and collector of Louisiana
music for more than twenty years. He is a regular contributor to "Blues
Unlimited" magazine, and the author of the highly acclaimed Walking to New
Orleans, published in the U.S. as Rhythm & Blues in New Orleans (Pelican).
In 1982 Broven was made an honorary member of the Louisiana Music
Commission for his research into the history of the music of the Bayou State.