Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Lafayette native honors first ‘King of Zydeco’ Clifton Chenier by writing book about the originator of Zydeco

Chere Coen writes in The Advocate of Todd Mouton's new book “Way Down in Louisiana: Clifton Chenier, Cajun, Zydeco and Swamp Pop Music.” Chenier, credited as the originator of zydeco music, won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously in 2014. The book, to be published by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press in October, contains interviews with musicians who knew Chenier and whose music influenced their styles. Chenier was born in St. Landry Parish and began recording music in 1954. One of the many albums he made was “Louisiana Blues and Zydeco” in 1965 in Houston, a recording of 18 songs that Mouton believes was the definitive moment for zydeco as a musical form. “One of the biggest questions is: Did he invent zydeco?” Mouton posed. “If he did invent it, when and where did that happen? In my opinion, that happened in 1965 in Houston. It’s not about who used the word first but who put it on wax. And Clifton Chenier did. The question is when does a hybrid become a new variety, that special moment of combustion. I think the black and white musicians were forever changed after that.” Read the full feature at http://theadvocate.com/news/12423852-123/lafayette-native-honors-first-king

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