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Boozoo Chavis

Richard’s Club and Boozoo Chavis: The Golden Age of Zydeco

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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.

Listen: Boozoo Chavis interview on American Routes

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After recording the first hit song for zydeco in 1954 with "Paper In My Shoe," Boozoo Chavis left his musical career in favor of horse training. That is, until the eighties when he picked up his accordion again. American Routes' Nick Spitzer met Chavis in 1989 at the Zydeco Festival in Plaisance, LA and recorded the following interview. Read more.

Richard’s Club and Boozoo Chavis: The Golden Age of Zydeco

{ 0 comments }

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.