Clifton Chenier

The undisputed "King of the Bayou," Clifton Chenier brought zydeco (the rousing black Creole party music) to a mainstream audience. Wearing a jeweled crown and flashing his gold tooth onstage, Chenier pumped his chrome-studded accordion and sang in Creole French and English. He also played the harmonica, piano, and organ. In 1966 he appeared at the Berkeley Blues Festival and continued to appear regularly on the West Coast. Suffering from diabetes since 1979, his recorded output slowed during his last decade. His son C.J. took over the Red Hot Louisiana Band after Chenier's death in 1987.

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