A 1989 documentary called J’ai été au Bal (I Went to the Dance) explores the histories and dynamics of Cajuns and Creoles in Louisiana. Read more
SXSW is well underway, with thousands of music and film fans converging in the streets of Austin, TX to make new musical discoveries. One of those discoveries could be Clifton Chenier, as the late Louisiana bandleader is showcased in a recently uncovered concert film that will be screened at C-Boy’s Heart & Soul tonight. Read more
In 1999, Sports Illustrated crowned Muhammad Ali as Sportsman of the Century. Once vilified as a trash-talking troublemaker, Ali is now universally praised as an all-time great athlete with a principled punch that shook up boxing, religion, international politics, civil rights and more.
Inspired by John and Alan Lomax’s field recordings of the 1930s, Alex Steyermark and Lavinia Jones Wright began The 78 Project in 2011 as a way of connecting a thread from those early archival recordings to contemporary musicians. Armed with a 1930s Presto direct-to-acetate recorder and many painstakingly-crafted acetate disks, the Philadelphia area filmmakers travel across the country to encounter musicians of all styles. Read more.
Historians can look back to several junctures of time and place in American music when it was clear that something significant was happening. For Southern blues, it might have been Beale Street in Memphis in the early 1950s, when B.B. King and Bobby “Blue” Bland pioneered a modern blues sound that continues to resonate today. For bebop, it might have been 52nd Street in New York City in the 1940s, when Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk deconstructed jazz. For zydeco, I would argue that it was Southwest Louisiana in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when Boozoo Chavis came roaring back onto the scene at Richard’s Club in Lawtell. Read more.