Louisiana's Legendary Musicians: A Select List
These 35 short biographies provide a sampling of legendary Louisiana musicians who maintain Louisiana music traditions or have been heavily influenced by them. It is not meant to be exhaustive. They are divided into the three major folk regions of Louisiana: New Orleans, South Louisiana, and North Louisiana (see the Three Major Folk Subregions of Louisiana map). Note that some genres are found in more than one region.
For more suggestions, refer to Some Louisiana Musicians. For an introduction to Louisiana traditional music, see The Treasured Traditions of Louisiana Music, by Ben Sandmel. For photographs of musicians and ensembles, instruments, venues, and dances, go to the Louisiana Folklife Photo Gallery and select "Music and Dance."
New OrleansSidney Bechet - jazz
Pete Fountain - jazz
Louis Armstrong - jazz
Jelly Roll Morton - jazz
Marsalis Family - jazz
Bille and DeDe Pierce - jazz (audio)
Bo Dollis/Monk Boudreaux - Mardi Gras Indians(audio)
Ernie K-Doe - rhythm & blues (audio)
Irma Thomas - rhythm & blues
Fats Domino - rhythm & blues
Professor Longhair - rhythm & blues
Mahalia Jackson - gospel
South Louisiana Irvan Perez - Isleño (audio)
Iry LeJeune - Cajun
Marc Savoy - Cajun
Dewey Balfa - Cajun
D. L. Menard - Cajun
BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet - Cajun
Steve Riley - Cajun (audio)
Amede Ardoin / Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin and Canray Fontenot - Creole
Clifton Chenier - Creole / zydeco (audio)
Boozoo Chavis - Creole / zydeco
Cookie and the Cupcakes - swamp pop
Lucinda Williams - contemporary country (audio)
Stanley Dural, Jr. (aka "Buckwheat Zydeco") - zydeco
Mary Rosezla "Rosie" Ledet - zydeco
Terrence Simien - zydeco
North Louisiana and the Florida Parishes Leadbelly - blues (audio)
Slim Harpo - blues
Tabby Thomas - blues
Zion Travelers - gospel
Ever Ready Gospel Singers - gospel (audio)
T. E. "Brownie" Ford - cowboy / country
Webb Pierce - country (audio)
Governor Jimmie Davis - country / gospel
Cox Family - old-time country
Kenny Bill Stinson - rockabilly (audio)
Jerry Lee Lewis - rockabilly
Amede Ardoin / Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin and Canray Fontenot- Creole [1896 - 1941]; [circa 1914 -]; [1918 - 1995]
In the early 1930s, Creole accordionist Amede Ardoin made some of the first and most important recordings by a French-speaking musician from South Louisiana. In an era of strict segregation, many of these selections found him accompanied by Cajun fiddler Dennis McGee. This soulful and passionate body of work, including "The Midland Two-Step" and "Les Blues de la Prison" influenced the course of Cajun music and zydeco for decades to come. Amede Ardoin's nephew, accordionist Alphonse "Bois-Sec" Ardoin, is the most direct heir to this legacy. Born circa 1914 and still active, Ardoin refers to his acoustic, old-time style as "la musique Creole." His longtime musical partner (and co-recipient of a National Heritage Fellowship) was fiddler Canray Fontenot. Since Fontenot's death, Ardoin performs with Balfa Toujours. His grandsons Chris and Sean are both the leaders of popular zydeco bands.
Bois Sec Ardoin
Louis Armstrong - jazz [1901- 1970]
American Routes / Browse by Artist (audio). Armstrong discusses his own efforts to document his life, marijuana, and his music.
Dewey Balfa- Cajun [1927 - 1992]
An accomplished fiddler and dedicated cultural crusader, Dewey Balfa was one of the first Cajun musicians to perform outside of Louisiana. Appearing at the Newport Folk Festival in 1964, he was pleasantly surprised to see that Cajun music was well received so far from home. Determined to preserve this legacy in Louisiana and spread the word far afield, Balfa and his brothers Will and Rodney recorded a definitive album entitled The Balfa Brothers Play Cajun Music. Released in 1965 on the Swallow label, out of Ville Platte, LA, this album helped plant the seeds for the Cajun/Creole renaissance of the next decade, and reinforced the popularity of such songs as "Tit Galop Pour Mamou," and "Parlez-nous a boire." Balfa came to be regarded as an important spokesperson for Cajun culture, receiving a National Heritage Fellowship. Since his death this role has been taken on by his daughter, Christine, and her band, Balfa Toujours.
BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet- Cajun [1951 - ]
Founded by fiddler Michael Doucet in 1975, in Lafayette, BeauSoleil has played a key role in the on-going Cajun / Creole cultural renaissance. In the early 1970s Michael Doucet began researching traditional Cajun music and visiting elderly fiddlers such as Luderin Darbone of The Hackberry Ramblers. While learning from these masters Doucet also infused Cajun music with such modern influences such as rock and jazz. This approach exposed young audiences to the Cajun legacy, brought new popularity to old songs, and created a lot of music that was brand-new. Over 25 years and nearly 25 albums later, this Grammy-winning band remains active and innovative. Michael Doucet has also recorded as a featured soloist with a wide variety of other artists. His brother David Doucet is an accomplished acoustic guitarist who has released several solo albums.
American Routes / Browse by Artist (audio).
Sidney Bechet- jazz [1987 - 1959]
Equally accomplished on the clarinet and soprano saxophone, Sidney Bechet was one of the first great jazz soloists. Like his contemporaries Louis Armstrong, Johnny Dodds, and Jelly Roll Morton, Bechet helped define the classic New Orleans style. Feeling that career opportunities were limited in the U.S., Bechet moved to France and spent his last years there, recording such hits as "Les Oignons." Today his influential contributions to jazz are more fully appreciated.
The Red Hot Jazz Archives / Sidney Bechet (audio)
Boozoo Chavis- Creole / zydeco [1930 - 2001]
Zydeco accordionist Boozoo Chavis played in an old-fashioned, rural style with roots in the house-dance tradition known as "la-la." Chavis' hard-driving Afro-Caribbean rhythms made him a favorite on the Creole dancehall circuit. He recorded zydeco's first commercial hit, "Paper In My Shoe," in 1954. Disgusted with the business side of music, he stopped performing for 30 years and worked instead training race-horses. His return in the 1980s helped fuel the zydeco resurgence, and, curiously, paved the way for the rap-influenced zydeco nouveau of the 1990s. Chavis was recognized with a National Heritage Fellowship but, sadly, he passed away before the award was presented.
American Routes / Browse by Artist (audio).
Clifton Chenier- Creole / zydeco (audio) [1925 - 1987]
In the late 1940s accordionist Clifton Chenier began to craft the definitive zydeco sound that still sets today's standard. He did so by blending Afro-Caribbean folk forms such as juré music with the hits of the day in mainstream African-American music - rhythm & blues hits by such the likes of Fats Domino, Louis Jordan, and Ray Charles. Chenier adapted this material to the accordion and sang it, for the most part, in Creole French. Beyond these innovations, Chenier's skill as an accordionist has yet to be surpassed. A contract with the California-based Arhoolie label brought him world-wide exposure in the 1960s. By the late 1970s Chenier's career accelerated dramatically, while the 1980s saw him honored with both a Grammy award and a National Heritage Fellowship. Chenier summed up the appeal and purpose of his music quite simply: "If you can't dance to zydeco, you can't dance - period."
Welcome to Zydeco Kingdom / Tribute to Clifton Chenier (audio)Cookie and the Cupcakes - swamp pop [led by Huey "Cookie" Thierry, 1936 - 1997]
Swamp pop is a South Louisiana hybrid of rhythm & blues and early rock with Cajun music and zydeco. It uses the same song structures as rock and rhythm & blues from around the nation, but is set apart by intense, emotional singing. Perhaps the best-known and biggest national hit in this genre was Phil Phillips' &nquot;Sea of Love," released in 1959. But the most popular swamp pop group on the Louisiana / Texas circuit was Cookie and the Cupcakes. Led by singer Huey "Cookie" Thierry, their regional hits included "Mathilda" and "Got You On My Mind," which remain every bit as popular today.
Goldband Records / Cookie and the Cupcakes
Cox Family- old-time country [Willard Cox 1937 - ], [Evelyn Cox Hobbs 1959 - ], [Sidney Cox 1965 - ], [Marla Cox Ratcliff 1967 - ]
Formed in 1972, this north-central Louisiana family band began playing on the regional bluegrass-festival circuit and selling their own self-manufactured albums. In the late 1980s the renowned fiddler Alison Krauss helped The Cox Family make connections with a series of national record labels, and their career accelerated rapidly. Albums such as Everybody's Reaching Out For Someone and I Know Who Holds Tomorrow were well-received, the latter earning a Grammy nomination. The Cox Family recently appeared on the Grammy-winning soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Governor Jimmie Davis - country / gospel [1899
River of Song / Gov. Jimmie Davis (audio, video)
Theodore Emile "Bo" Dollis / Joseph Pierre "Monk" Boudreaux- Mardi Gras Indian (audio) [Bo Dollis 1944 - ], [Monk Boudreaux 1941 - ]
Vocalists Bo Dollis and Monk Boudreaux represent New Orleans' Mardi Gras "Indian" tradition. They are not Native Americans, however; these "Indians" are groups of African-American men who parade, chant and drum on Mardi Gras Day, dressed in elaborate hand-sewn costumes with beadwork and plumes. The intricate designs of these costumes often depict Native American garb. There is considerable debate about the origins of this tradition, which is also found throughout the Caribbean. There are many "tribes" in New Orleans; Dollis is the "Big Chief" of the Wild Magnolias, while Boudreaux is "Big Chief" of the Golden Eagles; these are positions of stature and cultural responsibility. Dollis and Boudreaux are unique among Mardi Gras "Indians" because they have blended their chants with popular music and enjoyed commercial success.
American Routes / Browse by Artist (audio). Look up these artists by the first letter of their last names.
Antoine "Fats" Domino- rhythm & blues [1928 - ]
A true icon and founding father in the overlapping genres of rock & roll and rhythm & blues, Fats Domino began making records in 1949. His powerful piano style draws on classic blues and boogie woogie, and he sings with a thick New Orleans accent. Along with Chuck Berry and Little Richard, Fats Domino was one of the first African-American musicians to be accepted by white fans of the then-new rock genre. Domino went on to become one of the most successful recording artists of all time, thanks to such hits as "I'm Walking," "Blue Monday," and "Ain't That A Shame" - yet he has never moved away from the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, and has never made any concessions to passing musical trends. Today, over fifty years later, Domino is still in peak form, and his distinctive sound remains gloriously unchanged.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame / Fats Domino
Stanley Dural, Jr.(aka "Buckwheat Zydeco") - zydeco [1947 - ]
Living legend, Buckwheat Zydeco, has a number of firsts to his credit. He was the first zydeco musician to sign to a major record label, establish his own record label, perform on national television; and release a children's album—amongst many other accolades. Born Stanley Dural, Jr., in Lafayette, Louisiana, he grew up with an affinity for R&B and funk music. Fats Domino was just one of his many influences. Dural is a skilled keyboardist, pianist, organist, and accordionist. But it was not until much later in his musical career that he gained an appreciation for the music that was the colorful backdrop to his upbringing. His father, an accomplished zydeco artist in his own right, encouraged him to embrace the music of his culture. Buckwheat eventually heeded, and apprenticed under one of zydeco's greats, Clifton Chenier. He played keyboard in Chenier's Red Hot Louisiana Band for a few years before branching out and establishing his own zydeco band, Buckwheat Zydeco and the Ils Sont Partis Band (1979). Dural's style is a unique blend of zydeco and contemporary music. His musical career has taken off like a jet. He is one of the few musicians in his genre to achieve mainstream success with 15 LPs to his credit, numerous top tens, and four Grammy nominations. His songs have been featured in many motion pictures and television commercials—not to mention he has collaborated with Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, Mavis Staples, and David Hidalgo. Additionally, he performed at the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Olympics, and both of President Clinton's inaugurals.
Ever Ready Gospel Singers- gospel (audio)
Like The Zion Travelers of Baton Rouge, Shreveport's Ever Ready Gospel Singers perform gospel music in the classic four-part harmony style. The group was founded in 1946 and maintains a sound that is similar to the classic a capella format but also employs some basic instrumentation. Members include Charles Graves, Elbert Green, Fortune Stephenson, Frank Edwards and Eddie Giles. The Ever Ready Gospel Singers have a loyal following in northwest Louisiana and east Texas, and were recently featured in the documentary "Rhythm 'n' Bayous" by the acclaimed film-maker Robert Mugge.
T. E. "Brownie" Ford- cowboy / country [1904 - 1996]
The late Thomas Edison "Brownie" Ford possessed a wide variety of traditional skills. He was a country singer and cowboy balladeer with a vast repertoire based on his personal experience as a ranch hand and rodeo rider. Ford also practiced such folk craft traditions as making cinches and bridles, and was a raconteur with a seemingly endless reserve of anecdotes. His musical legacy is preserved on the album Stories from Mountains, Swamps and Honky-Tonks, with accompanists including D. L. Menard and David Doucet. A native of the Indian territory that later became the state of Oklahoma, Ford lived and performed in Baton Rouge for many years, and later settled in the countryside outside of Hebert, in Caldwell Parish. He received a National Heritage Fellowship in 1987.
Brownie Ford: Lifelines of a Woods Cowboy
Pete Fountain- jazz (1930 - )
Fountain is a leading practitioner of the dixieland school of New Orleans jazz, a style that combines traditional concepts with mainstream popular music. He was influenced by such prominent fellow clarinetists as Sidney Bechet and Benny Goodman. Fountain rose to national prominence with weekly television appearances on The Lawrence Welk Show in the late 1950s. Still active and energetic, Fountain is a popular figure in New Orleans where he performs frequently at his own nightclub.
A Closer Talk with Pete Fountain
Slim Harpo- blues [1924 - 1970]
James Wesley Moore, a.k.a Slim Harpo, was the most talented and successful harmonica player to emerge from the musically-rich blues scene that has flourished in Baton Rouge for decades. Several of his songs, including "I'm A King Bee," "Rainin' In My Heart" and "Baby, Scratch My Back" are now regarded as standards that every young blues band must learn. In addition, "Baby, Scratch My Back" was an unlikely crossover pop hit during the height of the mid-1960s "British invasion," when bands such as the Beatles were at their peak.
Masters of Blues Harp / Slim Harpo
Mahalia Jackson- gospel [1911 - 1972]
A singer with great physical power and spiritual passion, Mahalia Jackson made some of gospel music's most definitive and successful recordings, including the original composition "Move On Up A Little Higher." Besides delighting listeners within the gospel community, Jackson brought African-American religious music to a broad new audience world-wide. Jackson refused to sing overtly secular material, reflecting a prevailing attitude with the gospel-music community towards "the Devil's music" - but she did embrace such songs as "You'll Never Walk Alone" that she perceived as containing a spiritual message. Jackson also performed in such secular settings as the Newport Jazz Festival and the inauguration of President Kennedy. A native of New Orleans, Jackson appeared at the first New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 1970.
American Routes / Browse by Artist (audio).
Ernie K-Doe- rhythm & blues (audio) [1936 - 2001]
New Orleans rhythm & blues singer Ernie K-Doe is best known for recording "Mother-In-Law," which was a national number-one hit in 1961. Several of his other records, including "Hello, My Lover," "T'aint It The Truth," and "A Certain Girl," were regional hits in the Gulf South and remain perennial favorites. During the 1980s K-Doe hosted a radio show on WWOZ-FM in New Orleans and gained a cult following as an eccentric cultural icon. Such recognition increased dramatically during the last five years of his life, as K-Doe became known as "the Emperor of the World" and reigned as the king of a Mardi Gras parade. His widow, Antoinette K-Doe, continues to operate the Mother-In-Law Lounge as a shrine to her husband and a meeting place for New Orleans' musical community.
American Routes / Browse by Artist (audio).
Leadbelly- blues (audio) [1889 - 1948]
When the Library of Congress sent folklorists John and Alan Lomax to record American folk music in the 1930s, perhaps the most significant musician whom they documented was Huddie Ledbetter, a.k.a. Leadbelly. A native of Mooringsport, Leadbelly was often labelled as a blues artist, but his vast repertoire also included pre-Civil War field hollers and work songs, as well as country music, ballads, and play songs for children. With his powerful voice and pulsing 12-string guitar work, Leadbelly was a solo artist who played with far more rhythmic drive than many full bands. Many of the songs that he recorded, such as "Goodnight, Irene" and "The Midnight Special," have become timeless favorites in American popular music.
The Lead Belly Foundation
Mary Rosezla "Rosie" Ledet - zydeco [1971 - ]
LSU Eunice Cajun, Creole, & Zydeco Music Page
Iry LeJeune- Cajun [1928 - 1955]
Cajun music is usually associated with the accordion. But the accordion faded from prominence during the 1930s and 1940s due to the influence of British-American country music and the popularity of electronically-amplified fiddles. The accordion became popular again after World War II, however, thanks in large part to Iry LeJeune, whose mastery of the instrument was matched by the soulful intensity of his high-pitched vocal style. Many songs recorded by LeJeune, including "J'etais au bal," "Lacassine Special" and "The 99-Year Waltz" have become perennial, popular favorites in the Cajun repertoire. A native of Point Noir, near Church Point, LeJeune died at the age of 27; his son, Eddie, maintained the family's musical tradition until his untimely death in 2001.
J'ai Ete Au Bal / Iry LeJeune (audios)
Jerry Lee Lewis- rockabilly [1935 - ]
A native of Ferriday, in Concordia Parish, singer and pianist Jerry Lee Lewis is revered as a founding father of both rock music in general and the rockabilly genre in particular. Lewis' passionate style combines elements of blues, gospel, rhythm & blues, and country music. He emerged in the mid-1950s with such passionate recordings as "Great Balls of Fire" and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On." These dynamic performances were released by Sun Records, the Memphis-based company that also launched the career of Elvis Presley. Lewis has continued on to record and tour prolifically ever since, inspiring future generations of rock-and-rollers around the world.
American Routes / Browse by Artist (audio).
Professor Longhair- rhythm & blues [1918 - 1980]
The late Henry Roeland Byrd, a.k.a. Professor Longhair, was one of the most unique stylists in New Orleans rhythm & blues. His piano style combined mainstream blues and boogie woogie with the Afro-Caribbean rhumba rhythms. This stylistic blend and Byrd's unorthodox way of playing, singing (and whistling) enlivened such songs as "Tipitina," "In The Night," "Big Chief" and "Mardi Gras In New Orleans." These songs became unofficial anthems of a cultural renaissance that swept New Orleans during the 1970s. In addition, Byrd was a major influence on the next generation of rhythm & blues pianists, including Dr. John, James Booker, Allen Toussaint, and Art Neville.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame / Professor Longhair
The Marsalis Family- jazz [Branford Marsalis 1960 - ], [Delfeayo Marsalis 1965 - ], [Ellis Marsalis 1934 - ], [Jason Marsalis 1977 - ], [Wynton Marsalis 1961 -]
For four decades, the Marsalis family has been an important force in contemporary New Orleans jazz. Patriarch and pianist Ellis Marsalis was a co-founder of A.F.O. (All For One) Records, one of America's first independent, black-owned record companies. A prolific recording artist, as both a bandleader and accompanist, Ellis Marsalis is also an eminent jazz educator; he is currently affiliated with the Jazz Studies program at the University of New Orleans. His sons include trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, who has won Grammy awards in both jazz and classical music, and who is the Artistic director for Jazz at Lincoln Center; the acclaimed saxophonist Branford Marsalis; trombonist and producer Delfeayo Marsalis; and drummer Jason Marsalis.
American Routes / Browse by Artist (audio): Look up these artists with the first letter of their last name.
D. L. Menard- Cajun [1932 - ]
Guitarist and songwriter D. L. Menard is a staunch Cajun traditionalist who also reinforces the connection between Cajun music and British-American country. Known as "the Cajun Hank Williams" for such original songs as "La porte d'en arriere," Menard has toured the world and recorded with such prominent colleagues as Dewey Balfa, Marc Savoy, and Eddie LeJeune. A National Heritage Fellowship recipient, Menard's band has served as an informal music school for such important young talents as fiddler Ken Smith and accordionist Horace Trahan.
River of Song / D.L. Menard with Christine Balfa (audio, video)
Jelly Roll Morton- Jazz [1980 - 1940]
Although Morton did not single-handedly "invent" jazz, as he claimed, he was among its most important defining figures, as both an accomplished pianist and a prolific composer. In addition to the African and European concepts that jazz drew upon, Morton introduced what he called "the Spanish tinge"-Afro-Cuban rhythms that underscored Louisiana's connections with Caribbean culture. These diverse elements are all evident on such Morton compositions as "Shreveport Stomp," "Black Bottom Blues," "Wolverine Blues," and "I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say," a song that refers to one of the very first documented New Orleans jazz musicians.
American Routes / Browse by Artist (audio).
Irvan Perez- Isleño (audio) [1923 - ]
Not far from the urban bustle of New Orleans, the coastal marshes of St. Bernard Parish are home to a small ethnic enclave known as the Isleños. Descendants of Spanish-speaking immigrants from the Canary Islands, the Isleño community has retained a rich tradition of a capella songs known as décimas that are sung in 18th-century Spanish. Some of these songs date from that era and before, while others are contemporary, original, and spontaneously composed on the spot. Irvan Perez is a renowned singer of décimas, and a dedicated guardian of a cultural tradition that is threatened by the spread of suburbia. Perez' artistry and dedication earned him a National Heritage Fellowship.
Isleño Décimas / Boatbuilding (video)
Billie and DeDe Pierce- jazz (audio) [Billie Pierce 1907 - 1974], [DeDe Pierce 1904 - 1973]
Pianist Billie Pierce and her husband, trumpeter DeDe Pierce, performed and recorded in New Orleans from the 1930s until the early 1970s. Their traditional jazz and blues repertoire embraced Afro-Caribbean rhythms and Creole French lyrics, along with a wide variety of pop songs and standards that are also heard in many other American genres. As longtime leaders of their own group, the Pierces employed such renowned musicians as clarinetist George Lewis. In later years they toured the world as members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
De De Pierce at Preservation Hall / Photography by John Spragens
Webb Pierce- country (audio) [1921 - 1991]
A native of West Monroe, Webb Pierce was one of the most popular country singers of the 1950s honky-tonk style. Like many country musicians from Louisiana and the neighboring states, Pierce's career was boosted by appearances on live radio broadcasts of the Louisiana Hayride, in Shreveport. His numerous hits included "Wondering" "Back Street Affair," "There Stands The Glass" and "Why, Baby, Why." As Pierce emerged as a major star, based in Nashville, he became equally renowned for his flashy lifestyle, and his guitar-shaped swimming pool is still a major tourist attraction.
Country Music Hall of Fame / Webb Pierce
Steve Riley- Cajun (audio) [1969 - ]
Accordionist Steve Riley represents the second generation of the Cajun/Creole resurgence that began with bands such as BeauSoleil. A disciple of Dewey Balfa, Riley began leading his own band, the Mamou Playboys, in 1988, along with fiddler David Greely. The group was quickly acclaimed as champions of traditionalism, and received a Grammy nomination in the Traditional Folk category. In recent years Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys have expanded their repertoire to include both zydeco and rock music with futuristic electronic effects; this has broadened their audience but troubled some purists. The eclectic Riley is also a member of the popular swamp pop group Lil' Band 'o' Gold.
American Routes / Browse by Artist (audio).
Marc Savoy- Cajun [1940 - ]
An impassioned, outspoken cultural activist and National Heritage Fellowship recipient, accordionist Marc Savoy has played Cajun music since the 1950s, and built highly-sought accordions since the '60s. A staunch traditionalist, he has watched the resurgence of Cajun and Creole music with mixed emotions and a strong disdain for commercial exploitation. During the 1960s and 1970s Savoy toured and recorded with such notable artists as Dewey Balfa and D. L. Menard. In the 1980s he formed the Savoy-Doucet Band with his wife, Ann - a renowned musician, author and producer in her own right - on guitar and vocals, and Michael Doucet on fiddle. Nearly the two decades later the band is still going strong now includes a second generation with sons Wilson on keyboards and Jo-el on fiddle.
Marc Savoy and Ward Lormand Apprenticeship
Terrance Simien - zydeco [1965 - ]
Terrance Simien's Official Website
Kenny Bill Stinson - rockabilly (audio) [1953 - ]
River of Song / Kenny Bill Stinson (audio, video)
Irma Thomas- rhythm & blues [1941 - ]
A powerful singer who is known as the "Soul Queen of New Orleans," Thomas began making records in 1959 and has crafted some of the most popular signature songs of the rich New Orleans rhythm & blues tradition - including "It's Raining," "I Done Got Over," "Time Is On My Side," and "You Can Have My Husband, But Please Don't Mess With My Man." A Grammy nominee, Thomas maintains a high profile in New Orleans as a civic activist, and performs at her own nightclub, The Lion's Den, between national tours.
River of Song / Irma Thomas (audio, video)
Tabby Thomas- blues [1929 - ]
Guitarist, songwriter, radio personality and entrepreneur Tabby Thomas is also a longtime champion of the Baton Rouge blues. The author of such classic songs as "Hoodoo Party," Thomas also owns a nightclub, The Blues Box, that nurtures the city's blues musicians by providing them with a performance venue. Thomas has inspired a young generation of local blues artists, especially his son, Chris Thomas King who appeared in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? Tabby Thomas remains active both by leading his own band and performing with such other notable Baton Rouge blues artists as the pianist Henry Gray.
Louisiana Folklife Center, Tabby Thomas
Lucinda Williams- contemporary country (audio) [1951 - ]
A native of Lake Charles and a former resident of both Lafayette and New Orleans, Lucinda Williams' original songs use such South Louisiana traditions as Cajun music and zydeco, blues, country, and swamp pop as stylistic points of departure. In addition Williams' articulate lyrics refer frequently to Louisiana locales and cultural traditions. This contemporary yet folk-rooted approach - as heard on such songs as "Lake Charles," "Crescent City" and "My Sweet Lafayette" - has brought Williams great artistic respect and commercial success.
Lucinda Williams, Official Site
Zion Travelers- gospel Since 1948, The Zion Travelers have delivered an inspirational message through the medium of four-part, a capella (unaccompanied) harmony. This style uses no instruments but the human voice, and uses the human voice as a musical instrument. A capella quartet singing originated in African-American churches in the early 20th century, and it continues to influence sacred and secular music alike. Every Sunday morning The Zion Travelers make a live radio broadcast on WIBR-AM. The personnel has changed over the years, and the group's founder, Reverend Burnell Offlee, has passed on - but The Zion Travelers resolutely continue to sing out their religious beliefs. Founding members are Joel Harvey, bass and Reverend Willie Washington, bass. Other members include baritone James Harvey; first tenor Ado Dyson; tenor Robert McKinnis; and second tenor Esau Wright.
The Gospel Train / The Zion Travelers Spiritual Singers
For a list of additional Louisiana musicians who could be researched, see Some Louisiana Musicians.