A “comments” exchange with a fellow blogger about Louisiana and my brain locked in “Cajun Country” for hours. I have only visited that incredible land twice but the first time doesn’t count.
The first time I was 12 years old and somehow the nuns let my Grandmother pull me out of school for a week in February to attend the Mardi Gras. I just remember parades, catching beads and eating oysters. There was a food wagon down below our hotel room and I remember hearing “Tutti Frutti, aw rutti Tutti Frutti, aw rutti” blasting all night long. What made it worse; it was the Pat Boone version.
But a few years ago I met a friend for a long week of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and friendship that I will never forget. If you don’t have a Cajun friend, get one; they will show you a world you never knew existed. I’m lucky, I have had 2 Cajun friends. The first told me about the “bayou,” and the second showed me. Let me tell you about my first Cajun-buddy.
He was called the “Ragin’ Cajun” because of his hit record—Louisiana Man. Doug Kershaw had sold millions of records, went to college and served in the military before the music world even knew who he was. The “south” already loved him.
I was fortunate to meet Doug in 1981 when he fell in love with my guitar line and became an “Alvarez” endorser.
Doug was living in Canoga Park in the San Fernando Valley and we had many cups of coffee in his small kitchen. We talked of our childhoods, our golf game, our sports teams and the music business. The music business hadn’t been very good for Doug Kershaw since his early hits back in the late 60s and 70s. He was happy that he had finally licked drugs and alcohol which almost destroyed his life. We walked the grounds of the Mid-State fair in Paso Robles and loved partying in the green room at the famous “Crazy Horse Saloon” in Santa Ana.
But most of all, Doug talked about Louisiana, Breaux Bridge and the Cajun music scene in the Bayou. His words painted pictures in my mind. I longed to go there someday.
I bid farewell to Doug Kershaw in 1986 when he decided to move to Greely, Colorado. He still resides there and will play music until his last breath. He’s now 75 years young and still fiddlin’ up a storm.
I didn’t know it would take me 20 years to finally visit his beloved “bayou country,” but it was worth the wait; more on that in my Wednesday blog.
Have a great week! Why not check out the “Ragin’ Cajun” doing “Louisiana Man?”