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Clifton Chenier


The undisputed “Ruler of Zydeco,” Clifton Chenier was the first Creole to become presented a Grammy award on nationwide television. Mixing the French and Cajun 2-techniques and waltzes of southwest Louisiana with New Orleans R&B, Tx blues, and big-band jazz, Chenier made the present day, dance-inspiring, noises of zydeco. A flamboyant character, appreciated for his silver tooth as well as the cape and crown that he used during concerts, Chenier established the standard for all your zydeco players who’ve implemented in his footsteps. Within an interview from Ann Savoy’s reserve, Cajun Music: Representation of the People, Chenier described, “Zydeco is rock and roll and French blended together, you understand, like France music and rock and roll with a defeat to it. It is the ditto as stone but it’s different because I’m performing in French.” The kid of sharecropper and beginner accordion participant, Joe Chenier, as well as the nephew of the guitarist, fiddler, and dance membership owner, Maurice “Big” Chenier, Chenier discovered his earliest affects within the blues of Muddy Waters, Peetie Wheatstraw, and Lightnin’ Hopkins, the brand new Orleans R&B of Fatty acids Domino and Teacher Longhair, the 1920s and ’30s recordings by zydeco accordionist Amede Ardoin as well as the playing of youth close friends Claude Faulk and Jesse and Zozo Reynolds. Obtaining his initial accordion from a neighbor, Isaie “Easy” Blasa in 1947, Chenier was trained the basics from the equipment by his dad. By 1944, Chenier was executing, with his sibling Cleveland on frottoir (rub-board) within the dance halls of Lake Charles. Shifting to New Iberia within the middle-’40s, Chenier proved helpful in the glucose fields cutting glucose cane. After shifting, to Interface Arthur, TX, in 1947, he divided his time taken between traveling a refinery pickup truck and hauling tube for Gulf and Texaco and using his sibling. In 1954, Chenier authorized with Elko Information. His 1st recording program, at Lake Charles radio train station KAOK, yielded seven music including the local hit solitary, “Cliston’s Blues” and “Louisiana Stomp.” Chenier’s 1st national attention was included with his initial one for the Area of expertise record label, “Ay Tete Fille (Hey, LITTTLE LADY),” a cover of the Teacher Longhair tune, released in-may 1955. The melody was among 12 that he documented during two periods made by Bumps Blackwell, most widely known for his use Small Richard. By 1956, Chenier acquired left his time job to spend his full-time focus on music, Touring along with his music group, the Zydeco Ramblers, including blues guitarist Philip Walker. The next year, Chenier still left Specialty and agreed upon using the Chess label in Chicago. Although he toured, alongside Etta James, through the entire USA, Chenier’s career experienced when the reputation of cultural and local music styles begun to drop. Although he documented 13 music for the Crowley, LA-based Zynn label, between 1958 and 1960, non-e charted. The turning stage in Chenier’s profession emerged when Lightnin’ Hopkins’ wife, who was simply a cousin, presented Chris Strachwitz, owner from the root base music label, Arhoolie, to his early recordings. Strachwitz quickly agreed upon Chenier to Arhoolie, making his initial one, “Ay Yi Yi”/”Why Do You Go YESTERDAY EVENING?,” in four years. Although they continuing to interact before early ’70s, Chenier and Strachwitz differed artistically. While Chenier wished to record commercial-minded R&B, Strachwitz inspired him to spotlight traditional zydeco. Chenier’s initial record for Arhoolie, Louisiana Blues and Zydeco, highlighted one aspect of blues and R&B and something aspect of French 2-techniques and waltzes. In 1976, Chenier documented one of is own greatest albums, Bogalusa Boogie, and shaped a fresh group, the Crimson Hot Louisiana Music group, offering tenor saxophonist “Blind” John Hart and guitarist Paul Senegal. Chenier reached the maximum of his recognition within the ’80s. In 1983, he received a Grammy award for his recording, I’m Here!, documented in eight hours in Bogalusa, LA. The next yr, he performed in the White Home. Although he experienced kidney disease along with a partly amputated feet and was necessary to go through dialysis treatment every three times, Chenier continued to execute until seven days before his loss of life on Dec 12, 1987. Pursuing his loss of life, his boy, C.J. Chenier, got over leadership from the Crimson Hot Louisiana Music group. A documentary video of Chenier’s shows at the SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Blues Festival, the brand new Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and on Louisiana tv premiered by Arhoolie.

Quick Facts

Full Name Clifton Chenier
Date Of Birth June 25, 1925
Died December 12, 1987, Lafayette, Louisiana, United States
Profession Singer, Songwriter
Education Texas Southern University
Nationality American
Children C. J. Chenier
Awards Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Grammy Hall of Fame, Grammy Award for Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording
Music Songs Zydeco sont pas salé, Tu Le Ton Son Ton, Ay-Te Te Fee, Zydeco Cha Cha, Josephine par se ma femme, Louisiana Stomp, Bon Ton Roulet, I'm on the Wonder, Louisiana Blues, Mardi Gras Zydeco, Eh, Petite Fille, Choo Choo Ch'Boogie, Je me reveiller le matin, Ti Na Na, Bogalusa Boogie, Tighten Up Zydeco, Why Did You Go Last Night, Ma mama ma dit, Zodico Stomp, Boppin' the Rock, The Cat's Dreamin', Squeeze Box Boogie, Louisiana Two Step, Black Gal, You Promised Me Love, Opelousas Hop, Mama Told Papa, Hot Tamale Baby, M'appel fou, I'm A Hog For You Baby, Quelque chose sur mon idee, The Things I Did for You
Albums Bayou Blues, Zydeco Legend, King Of The Bayous, Sings The Blues, Bogalusa Boogie, Boogie in Black & White, Live At St. Mark's, Live at Grant Street, Live at Montreux, Bon Ton Roulet! & More, Live! At the Long Beach and San Francisco Blues Festivals, The King Of Zydeco Live At Montreux, Switzerland, I'm Here, Get It, Louisiana Stomp: 1954-1960 Recordings, Voices Of Americana: Clifton Chenier, Live Zydeco Masters: We're Gonna Party, Milestones of Legends - Cajun & Zydeco, Vol. 10, Out West, Live Part 2, Zydeco Sont Pas Sale, Live Part 1, Louisiana Stop - Essential Masters, Louisiana Blues And Zydeco, Frenchin' the Boogie, Zydeco Dynamite: The Clifton Chenier Anthology, Best of Clifton Chenier, Zodico Blues & Boogie, 60 Minutes With The King Of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier's Rockin' Accordion, Squeezebox Boogie, Elko - Blues Vol. 1, Clifton's Squeeze-Box Boogie, The Big Wheel (Squeeze Box Shuffle) EP, Jazz & Blues Collection 44: Clifton Chenier, Elko Blues Vol. 2, Clifton Chenier King of Zydeco (The Rhythm and Blues Years 1954-1960)
Movies France, Incorporated

  • Facts
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1 Buried in All Souls Cemetery in Loreauville, Iberia Parish, Louisiana.
2 Creole, native French speaker.
3 Inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2011.



Mafia III 2016 Video Game performer: "Ay-Tete-Fee" - uncredited / writer: "Ay-Tete-Fee" - uncredited
Straw Dogs 2011 performer: "Release Me and Let Me Love Again"
Magic Trip: Ken Kesey's Search for a Kool Place 2011 Documentary performer: "Big Wheel" / writer: "Big Wheel"
In the Electric Mist 2009 performer: "I'm A Hog For You", "I'm Coming Home To See My Mother" / writer: "I'm A Hog For You", "I'm Coming Home To See My Mother"
The Yellow Handkerchief 2008 writer: "I'm Coming Home"
Schultze Gets the Blues 2003 music: "Johnny ne peut pas danser Johnny Can't Dance"
24 2002 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Coming Soon 1999 writer: "All Night Long"
Segno di fuoco 1990 performer: "When You Going To Sing For Me" / writer: "When You Going To Sing For Me"
Frank's Place 1987 TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Big Easy 1986 writer: "YOU USED TO CALL ME"



France société anonyme 1974



Dedans le sud de la Louisiane 1974 Documentary Himself
Hot Pepper 1973 Documentary Himself

Archive Footage

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The 56th Annual Grammy Awards 2014 TV Special Himself - Lifetime Achievement Honoree

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