“It’s All French Music”: Patrons on the Trail

  • Patricia Peknik


The work being done at Fred’s Lounge to preserve and promote the French-language music of Southwest Louisiana came at a time when academic and governmental interests were focused on discovering, preserving, and promoting the art and music of regional cultures. The work of intellectuals and the interests of community culture boosters came together in an ongoing conversation over three decades in which federal folklorists like Alan Lomax and Ralph Rinzler were collecting music to serve the culture interests of the nation, while academic music collectors like Harry Oster and commercial collectors like Chris Strachwitz went over the same ground in the interests of the state, the university and the record label. Government musicologists, record label executives, and folklore academics had very different ideas about the relationship between folk music, identity, and the larger culture.


  1. Ancelet, Barry Jean. Cajun and Creole Music Makers. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1999.Google Scholar
  2. ———. “Lomax in Louisiana: Trials and Triumph.” On Folklife in Louisiana, and originally published in Louisiana Folklore Miscellany, 2009.
  3. ———. “Mardi Gras and the Media: Who’s Fooling Whom?” In Mardi Gras, Gumbo, and Zydeco: Readings in Louisiana Culture, ed. Marcia G. Gaudet et al, 3–15. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2003.Google Scholar
  4. Brauner, Cheryl Anne. “A Study of the Newport Folk Festival and the Newport Folk Foundation.” M.A. thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland (Canada), 1986, ProQuest (MK68253).Google Scholar
  5. Brasseaux, Carl A. Acadiana: Louisiana’s Historic Cajun Country. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2011.Google Scholar
  6. Brasseaux, Ryan André. Cajun Breakdown, The Emergence of an American-Made Music. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Broven, John. South to Louisiana, The Music of the Cajun Bayous. Gretna: Pelican Publishing Company, 1983.Google Scholar
  8. Caffery, Joshua Clegg. Folklife Lecture on Louisiana Music, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, December 11, 2013.
  9. Cohen, Ronald D., ed. Alan Lomax, Assistant in Charge: The Library of Congress Letters, 1935–1945. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2010.Google Scholar
  10. Marcus, Greil. “Anthology of American Folk Music,” edited by Harry Smith. Folkways Records FP 252, 1997, compact disc. Liner notes.Google Scholar
  11. Myrdal, Gunnar, “Selection from An American Dilemma,” in The American Intellectual Tradition, Volume II: 1865 to the Present, sixth edition, ed. David A. Hollinger and Charles Capper (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 276–284.Google Scholar
  12. Oster, Harry. “Evolution of Folk-Lyric Records.” JEMF Quarterly XIV, No. 49 (Spring 1978): 148-149.Google Scholar
  13. ———. “Folksongs of the Louisiana Acadians.” Arhoolie Records, 1994, compact disc. CD 359. First released by Folk-Lyric in 1959. Liner notesGoogle Scholar
  14. ———. “Negro French Spirituals of Louisiana.” Journal of the International Folk Music Council 4 (1962): 166–167.Google Scholar
  15. ———. “Une ‘Tite Poule Grasse ou la Fille Ainee [A Little Fat Chicken or The Eldest Daughter]: A Comparative Analysis of Cajun and Creole Mardi Gras Songs.” Journal of American Folklore 114.452 (Spring 2001): 204–224.Google Scholar
  16. Reed, Revon. Lâche Pas La Patate: Potrait des Acadiens de la Louisiane. Montreal: Éditions Parti pris, 1976.Google Scholar
  17. Savoy, Ann Allen. Cajun Music: A Reflection of a People, Vol. 1. Eunice: Bluebird Press, 1984.Google Scholar
  18. Seeger, Charles, quoted in In Search of Authenticity, The Formation of Folklore Studies, Regina Bendix. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1997.Google Scholar
  19. Sexton, Rocky L. “Ritualized Inebriation, Violence, and Social Control in Cajun Mardi Gras.” Anthropological Quarterly 74.1 (January 2001): 28–38.Google Scholar
  20. Sigal, Andrew. “Jambalaya By Any Other Name.” PETITS PROPOS CULINAIRE 84 (2007): 101–119.Google Scholar
  21. Spitzer, Nicholas R. “Mardi Gras in L’Anse de’Prien Noir: A Creole Community Performance in Rural French Louisiana.” In Creoles of Color of the Gulf South, edited by James H. Dormon. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1996.Google Scholar
  22. ———. “Zydeco and Mardi Gras: Creole Identity and Performance Genres in Rural French Louisiana.” PhD diss., The University of Texas at Austin, 1986, ProQuest (8700283).Google Scholar
  23. Strachwitz, Chris. “Zydeco Music – i.e., French Blues.” The American Folk Music Occasional (New York: Oak Publications, 1970): 22–23.Google Scholar
  24. Tate, Paul. Letter to Gus Cranow, February 1, 1974. Ralph Rinzler Papers Fieldwork Box 4 Louisiana, Correspondence 1–3, Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  25. Times-Picayune (New Orleans), April 17, 1938; June 14, 1953.Google Scholar
  26. Tisserand, Michael. The Kingdom of Zydeco. New York: Avon Books, 1998.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia Peknik
    • 1
  1. 1.Berklee College of MusicBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations