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Cajun Zydeco

Zydeco, Buckwheat and Otherwise, is Fun

This is second zydeco post at The Daily Music Break. The first is the almost fun and infectious Don’t Mess with My Toot Toot by Rockin’ Sidney. As the name implies, it is more a novelty number. I feel ignorant, because despite the greatness of Buckwheat Zydeco, the king of the musical form is Clifton Chenier, as Buckwheat Zydeco’s profile says. Chenier definitely is next.

None of this take away from Buckwheat. Check out “Hey Ma Petit Fille” (above) and “Creole Country” (below). Here is how AllMusic describes Zydeco.

Contemporary zydeco’s most popular performer, accordionist Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural was the natural successor to the throne vacated by the death of his mentor Clifton Chenier; infusing his propulsive party music with strains of rock and R&B, his urbanized sound — complete with touches of synthesizer and trumpet — married traditional and contemporary zydeco with uncommon flair, in the process reaching a wider mainstream audience than any artist before him. Dural was born in Lafayette, LA, on November 14, 1947; with his braided hair, he soon acquired the nickname “Buckwheat” (an homage to the Our Gang character), and by the age of four was already touted as a piano prodigy. Although often exposed to traditional zydeco as a child, he preferred R&B, and by the mid-’50s was playing professionally with Lynn August; Dural’s acclaim as a keyboardist quickly spread, and he also backed notables including Joe Tex and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. (Continue Reading…)

Unfortunately, Buckwheat Zydeco has been diagnosed with cancer. Hopefully, the prediction of a full recovery will be accurate.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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