Personalities | Clifton Chenier | Sixties | Jazz & Blues

(Accordion, vocals, 1925–87)

This Opelousas, Louisiana native cut his teeth on French dance tunes flavoured by Creole blues, as played by his musical forebear Amédée Ardoin. Chenier invented the zydeco style by adding elements of R&B, country and rock’n’roll, combined with a swinging beat. He enjoyed a string of hit singles, including his career-making 1955 US hit ‘Eh, Petit Fille’. Chenier’s son C.J. joined his band in 1978, and today C.J. carries on his father’s musical tradition, updated with a twist of funk. Clifton’s blues guitarist cousin Roscoe Chenier also regularly tours.

Styles & Forms | Sixties | Jazz & Blues
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Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel


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