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Swamp Pop: Cajun and Creole Rhythm and Blues

Swamp Pop: Cajun and Creole Rhythm and Blues

by Shane K. Bernard

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A search for the sources and sounds of an often overlooked sister genre of Cajun and zydeco music


A search for the sources and sounds of an often overlooked sister genre of Cajun and zydeco music

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Don't fret if you never notice the latest swamp pop hit blaring out of the music store at the mall. The sad truth is, you probably won't find many of the artists mentioned in this thoroughly researched and well-documented book alongside the Jerry Lee Lewis or Neville Brothers discs. Unless, that is, you live deep in the heart of Louisiana bayou country, where this frisky subgenre of rock and roll really has its hold. If swamp pop never garnered broad national attention, this anonymity may have been a blessing, allowing the various influencesmostly acoustic Creole and Cajun folk music and Detroit- and Chicago-style electric rhythm and bluesto evolve uninterrupted into an even more flavorful musical gumbo. Written for the serious musicologist more than for the casual radio listener, Swamp Pop simultaneously chronicles the achievements of the subgroup's earliest movers and shakers (Johnny Preston, Cookie and the Cupcakes) as well as the efforts of its few contemporary practitioners (C.C. Adcock). Bernard forgoes drawing many parallels to better-known bands or subgenres, but Creedence Clearwater Revival and their San Francisco peers in the '60s and this country's current underground garage-band scene immediately pop to mind. That said, Bernard's annotated discography and endnotes should lead the most curious reader in the right direction. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Son of Louisiana swamp pop musician Rod Bernard, the author, who has written various articles on the history and music of Louisiana and is the compiler of several retrospective swamp pop CDs, draws on his master's thesis for this comprehensive work. Bernard considers swamp pop to be a Creole/Cajun hybrid form unique to southern Louisiana and southeast Texas, whose golden age was from 1958 to 1963. Though much of this music achieved popularity only in the area, several records became national hits, Phil Phillip's "Sea of Love" (1959) being one of the better known examples. Bernard makes good use of the musical connections that few others would have to analyze the music and profile some of the musicians who made it. Moreover, he ties swamp pop into the rich cultural history of the region and investigates the music's surprisingly wide influence. Little has been written on swamp pop, making this a desirable selection for ethnic music and regional collections.James E. Ross, WLN, Seattle

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University Press of Mississippi
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