Clifton Chenier,
Museum of the Gulf Coast,
Port Arthur, TX

Clifton Chenier, Museum of the Gulf Coast, Port Arthur, TX

Louisiana ‘Bayou Land’ has produced some of the greatest talents.....Fats Domino, Pete Fountain, Louis Armstrong to name but a few. But out of this comes a man and his accordion. The blues, the lonely boy, Clifton Chenier. The only black man that can play a lilly-white (sic) dance on Wednesday and a solid black dance on Thursday and pack them in each night. Then from Frisco Bay to the European Folk Festival.... satisfying the young and rearranging memories for the old.

Clifton is his own. When you hear his records anywhere you know it’s him....people don’t have to tell you. A very gifted man!

So read the notes to Clifton Chenier’s ‘Bayou Soul’ LP, originally released on Crazy Cajun Records. It is a typical piece of folksy whimsy by label owner Huey P. Meaux - the “Crazy Cajun”. Notice there is no mention of zydeco music, but there is reference to Clifton’s multi-racial appeal, the blues influence, the dance aspect, and most precious of all, his very identifiable sound.

Voices of Americana : Clifton Chenier

Clifton Chenier


Clifton Chenier was known initially as ‘King Of The South’ and now, forever, as ‘King Of Zydeco’. Almost single-handedly, he and his trusty piano accordion transported zydeco from an inward looking rural South Louisiana music into an internationally respected art form.

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