Cajun and Zydeco Dance Music in Northern California:
Modern Pleasures in a Postmodern World

Frottoir

This account of a local dance scene for Cajun music and zydeco in California answers the fundamental ethnographic question, "What is going on here?" That is, how is it that one finds all of this dancing and live music two-thirds of a continent away from where these genres got started, in southwest Louisiana and east Texas?

The first three chapters introduce Cajun and Creole culture and history, and how cultural insiders and outsiders have managed to form social ties with each other in ways that keep music and dance going at the local level. Chapters 4-8 lay out a history of the Northern California scene in roughly chronological order. The core of each chapter consists of profiles of individuals, sandwiched by sections that provide national and local context.

Dancers
 

CHAPTER ONE

Prelude: Down At The Twist And Shout

CHAPTER TWO

Identity Issues, Research Methods, and Ethnography

Modern Pleasures

A Postmodern World

The Researcher's Identity and Its Relevance

Ethnographic Presentation

CHAPTER THREE

Music, Dance, and Social Capital

Un bal de maison: A House Dance

The Creative Power of Social Capital and Music

CHAPTER FOUR

Wartime and Postwar Creole Migration to California

Revaluation of Cajun and Creole Ethnicities Following World War II

"Queen Ida" Guillory

John Semien

George Broussard

Ray Stevens

Black and Creole Migration from the South to California during and after World War II

CHAPTER FIVE

Further Creole Migration and Bridging to Other Social Networks

Postwar Trends in Louisiana French Music

Danny Poullard

Betty Leblanc

Olivia Guillory

Andrew Carrière

The Contributions of Danny Poullard and Others

The Local Influence of Chris Strachwitz and Les Blank

CHAPTER SIX

Folk Revival Connection: The Musicians

Louisiana French Music within a National Folk Revival

Will Spires

Eric and Suzy Thompson

Delilah Lee Lewis

Louisiana French Music Meets the Bay Area Folk Music Scene

CHAPTER SEVEN

Folk Revival Connection: The Dancers

Folk Dancing across the Nation and in California

Gary and Maryanne Canaparo

Paul Strogen

Ron Rumney

Dana DeSimone

Louisiana French Dance Meets the Bay Area Folk Dance Scene

CHAPTER EIGHT

Later Gulf Coast Arrivals

The Rise of All Things Cajun in Popular Culture

Freida Fusilier

Susan Appe Ramon ("Louisiana Sue")

Ralph "Bobby" Gradney

Richard Domingue

Development of the Northern California Scene, 1985–2005

Ending Reflections

Notes

Bibliography

Discography

Filmography

Interviews

Index

Accordion