Clifton Chenier didn’t invent zydeco, but he took the genre from a regional music enjoyed primarily by the black French-speaking Creoles of southwest Louisiana and placed it in the international spotlight. When Chenier started recording for Chris Strachwitz at Arhoolie Records in 1963, the music was dying out, supplanted by soul and R&B in the hearts of young Creoles. His success led to a rebirth of interest in the genre and paved the way for Rockin’ Sydney, Buckwheat Zydeco, Queen Ida, Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas and the other young bands now carrying the music forward. After he died in late 1987, his son C. J. Chenier took over his band.
Known today as the King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier was born in Opelousas, Louisiana in 1925. His... Read More