Cover image for Cajun and Creole music makers = Musiciens cadiens et créoles
Cajun and Creole music makers = Musiciens cadiens et créoles
Ancelet, Barry Jean.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Makers of Cajun music
Publication Information:
Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, [1999]

Physical Description:
176 pages : color illustrations, color map ; 30 cm
General Note:
Originally published: Makers of Cajun music. Austin : University of Texas Press, 1984. With new epilogue.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML3477.7.L8 A53 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



The virtual renaissance of all things Cajun and Creole has captivated enthusiasts throughout America and invigorated the culture back home. Who, just fifteen years ago, could have predicted that this regional music would become so astonishingly popular throughout the nation and the world?

This new edition of a book first published in 1984 celebrates the music makers in the generation most responsible for the survival of Cajun music and zydeco and showcases many of the young performers who have emerged since them to give the music new spark. More than 100 color photographs, show them in their homes, on their front porches, and in their fields, as well as in performance at local clubs and dance halls and on festival stages. In interviews they speak directly about their lives, their music, and the vital tradition from which their rollicking music springs.

Many of the legendary performers featured here--Dewey Balfa, Clifton Chenier, Nathan Abshire, Dennis McGee, Canray Fontenot, Varise Connor, Octa Clark, Lula Landry, and Inez Catalon--are no longer alive. Others from the early days continue to perform--Bois-sec Ardoin, Michael Doucet, D. L. Menard, and Zachary Richard. Their grandeur, humor, and humility are precisely the qualities this book captures.

Featured too are young musicians who are taking their place in the dance halls, on festival stages, and on the folk music circuit. Cajun and Creole music makers, both young and old, still play in the old ways, but as young musicians--such as Geno Delafose and the French Rockin' Boogie, and Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys-- experiment and enrich the tradition with new sounds of rock, country, rap, and funk, the music evolves and enlivens a whole new audience. Barry Jean Ancelet, a native French-speaking Cajun, is chair of the Department of Modern Languages and director of the Center for Acadian and Creole Folklore at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. Among his many books are Cajun Country and Cajun and Creole Folk Tales (both from the University Press of Mississippi). Elemore Morgan, Jr., is an artist and retired professor of visual art at University of Southwestern Louisiana.

Author Notes

Barry Jean Ancelet, a native French-speaking Cajun, teaches at the University of Southwestern Louisiana.

Table of Contents

Ralph Rinzler
Foreword/Avant-proposp. 7
Preface/Prefacep. 11
Photographer's Statement/Preface du photographep. 13
Acknowledgments/Remerciementsp. 15
Cajuns and Creoles: A Note on Terminology/Cadiens et Creoles: Un mot sur la terminologiep. 16
Introduction/Introductionp. 19
1. Dennis McGee and Sady Courville/Dennis McGee et Sady Courvillep. 35
2. Lula Landry, Inez Catalon, and D. L. Menard/Lula Landry, Inez Catalon, et D. L. Menardp. 43
3. Lionel Leleux and Don Montoucet/Lionel Leleux et Don Montoucetp. 57
4. Varise Connor/Varise Connorp. 67
5. The Fontenots and the Ardoins/Les Fontenots et les Ardoinsp. 73
6. Clifton Chenier and His Red Hot Louisiana Band/Clifton Chenier et son Red Hot Louisiana Bandp. 89
7. Zachary Richard/Zachary Richardp. 93
8. Nathan Abshire/Nathan Abshirep. 101
9. Octa Clark, Hector Duhon, and the Dixie Ramblers/Octa Clark, Hector Duhon, et les Dixie Ramblersp. 107
10. The Balfa Brotherhood/La Confrerie des Balfap. 119
11. Marc Savoy/Marc Savoyp. 129
12. Michael Doucet, dit Beausoleil/Michael Doucet, dit Beausoleilp. 141
13. Et ca continue/Et ca continuep. 151
Epilogue, 1999/Epilogue, 1999p. 153
Map of Southwest Louisiana/Carte du sud-ouest de la Louisianep. 176
Selected Bibliography/Bibliographiep. 179