I was looking for clips of zydeco king Clifton Chenier when I happened on the song above. It’s essentially irresistible, so I decided to feature it instead and circle back to Chenier — who really is a much more important figure — later.
Here Rockin’ Sidney’s bio, which appeared at ominously named Find a Grave. It’s a site on which you don’t want to be featured:
Grammy award winner, Rockin’ Sidney scored Zydeco’s first true international hit in 1985 with “My Toot Toot”. Born Sidney Simien on April 9, 1938 in Lebeau, Louisiana, he began playing harmonica and guitar professionally while in his teens, and made his first R&B-styled recordings on the Fame and Jin labels during the late 1950s; his first regional hit, “No Good Woman,” appeared in 1962. Sidney worked in a variety of blues, soul and R&B styles. Eventually he learned the accordion and began playing zydeco. His first zydeco record, “Give Me A Good Time Woman” was released on the Maison de Soul label in 1982 ; two years later he cut the album, “My Zydeco Shoes Got the Zydeco Blues”, which included the smash hit, “My Toot Toot”. This song, which was recorded in his home, and on which he played all the instruments, went on to win a Grammy Award in 1985. Over two dozen versions of “Toot Toot” have been recorded in the U.S. as well as dozens of foreign versions.
It’s great that he had that one big hit. Don’t Mess with My Toot Toot has been covered by many great performers, including John Fogerty and Fats Domino. For anyone who is interested, Simien is buried Immaculate Conception Church Cemetery in his home town of Lebeau, St. Landry Parish.