The Arhoolie Foundation’s Ann Savoy Cajun Interviews Collection consists of over 200 recorded interviews Ann Savoy conducted with Louisiana musicians over the past 45 years.

The Arhoolie Foundation provided a grant for its digital preservation, and we present the interviews here in streaming audio as a compliment to Ann’s seminal books: Cajun Music: A Reflection of a People Volumes 1 and 2, available from Bluebird Press. If you are interested in the history of Cajun Music and the people who make it, these books are simply indispensable. In them you will find text transcriptions of the interviews featured here, as well as rare photographs, artist biographies, and much more.  


Ann Savoy’s Biography

Selected Ann Savoy Interviews

Ann Savoy Collection: Adam Hebert, 1985 and 1986

I interviewed Adam twice, once at his house where I also took portraits of him and once at my house where I filmed him playing his wonderful music. The lyrics in Adam’s songs have more poetry in them than most and he always had excellent bands playing with him.

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Ann Savoy Collection: Aldus Roger

There can’t be enough said about the importance of Aldus Roger and the Lafayette Playboys. Their excellent band set the standard for Cajun dancehall bands. They actually were on TV on Saturday afternoons in Acadiana on channel 10 and both Cajuns and Black creoles would sit riveted to their TVs watching them, so proud for one of their own French speaking people to be on TV!

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Ann Savoy Collection: Ambrose Sam, 1990

Coming from the Mallet region, near Lawtell, Ambrose and his brother Hebert (father of the great child zydeco band The Sam Five) were primarily know as double row and triple row accordion players and played the style called Lala.

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Ann Savoy Collection: Bois Sec & Marceline Ardoin, 1984

When I lived in Richmond, Virginia, one of my first and favorite Louisiana LPs was an album from the Arhoolie label by Bois Sec Ardoin, Canray Fontenot, and his son, Morris. I loved the simplicity of the accordion style, the soulful tone of the vocals, and the way they spoke the French language.

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Ann Savoy Collection: Claude Faulk, 1983

I had met Clifton Chenier several times with my husband Marc, who was a good friend of Clifton. Marc used to go to listen to Clifton at various venues and Clifton would always ask him to come up on the stage and play his “little accordion” (in contrast to Clifton’s piano key accordion!).

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Ann Savoy Collection: Dennis McGee

Dennis lived in Eunice and was a constant visiter at Marc’s store, Savoy Music Center, and also at our house. Since he was the best living example of early Cajun music he was in high demand among musical historians and with young Cajuns and outsiders who wanted to learn the roots of the music.

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Ann Savoy Collection: Dewey Balfa, 1993

Dewey Balfa was one of our best friends. We spent a lot of time with him both on the road and playing music and partying at our house. Dewey was very handsome and had a magical way of touching peoples’ hearts everywhere he went.

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Ann Savoy Collection: DL Menard, 1983

When I first met Marc he was traveling extensively with DL Menard, Doc Guidry, and sometimes Dewey Balfa. They called themselves The Louisiana Aces. DL was always ready to tease everyone and laugh. He was such a character.

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Ann Savoy Collection: Edius Naquin, 1985

I had become fascinated with the ballads recorded by Mr. Naquin and wanted to meet him. He lived on a tiny farm in the town of Reddell, Louisiana, near Mamou. I had heard many of his recorded ballads on field recordings made by friends and colleagues.

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Ann Savoy Collection: John Delafose, 1983

We would go to John’s dances at Catholic Church halls in and around Eunice. He had his whole family working for him-Tony on rubboard, Geno on drums…He also had two slim brothers, Charles and Slim Prudhomme, playing bass and guitar.

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Ann Savoy Collection: Julius “Papa Cairo” Lamperez, 1989

Papa Cairo was a big, brazen man and a big talker. He came to my house for the interview because I had my children at home and it was easier for him to come over. He didn’t have too much good to say about musicians in general, which he called “low lifes”. He had an amazing photo scrapbook which he allowed me to copy.

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Ann Savoy Collection: On Austin Pitre

Though I never personally met Austin I had heard him play at the Evangeline Club in Eunice. Marc and I stopped in one Sunday afternoon and entered a pitch black room, freezing cold due to the air conditioning. The music was rocking and the dance floor was packed.

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Ann Savoy Collection: On Blind Uncle Gaspard

I drove the two hour trip to the Avoyelles region in search of traces of Blind Uncle Gaspard and Delma Lachney. The recordings of Blind Uncle Gaspard had always been my favorite Louisiana recording due to their uniqueness and haunting, strange quality of sound.

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Ann Savoy Collection: On Nathan Abshire

I never got to interview Nathan though I had a tape of an interview he did with Shirley Bergeron. Fortunately, Floyd Soileau offered to take me over to see Nathan’s wife, Olla. Olla took out her old photos and we had a great time talking.

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Ann Savoy Collection: On The Babineaux Family

I went to Rayne in search of information about the Babineaux family who had a popular stringband there in the 1940’s. Somehow I found a relative of Sidney Babineaux, Wanda Wilson, who had a wonderful box of photos of the Babineaux family that she shared with me for my book.

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Ann Savoy Collection: Oran “Doc” Guidry, 1986

When I first moved to Louisiana in 1977 I travelled extensively with Marc, D.L. Menard and Doc Guidry, The Louisiana Aces. I often brought my baby daughter Sarah with us. This was before I was playing music with Marc in public. Doc was a superb Cajun fiddler, defining the best of the 1960’s dancehall fiddle sound when he recorded with Aldus Roger and the Lafayette Playboys.

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Ann Savoy Collection: Sullivan Aguillard, 1986

Every Christmas my husband Marc Savoy, fiddler Wade Frugé and I would play a Christmas dance and the local Catholic church. Our children would come along and there was always a Santa with a Cajun accent (easily recognizable local farmer) and a gumbo and all the local neighbors would come. – Ann Savoy

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Ann Savoy Collection: Walter Mouton, 1985

Walter has been a friend of our family for years. He lead the great Scott Playboys who played a nonstop run at La Poussiere Dancehall for 40 years. He actually started that band when he was a young boy-other young boy members of the band were Johnny Allan and Hubert Maitre!

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Ann Savoy Collection: Wilfred Latour, 1986

This gentle, quiet man came to visit at Savoy Music Center when he was in Louisiana on a visit from his current home in Los Angeles, where he had moved in 1984. I had thought of him as a zydeco man but his stories of the past were rich, deep descriptions of the legendary creole and zydeco musicians he had learned from in his childhood days in Louisiana.

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Deep Dives: The Ann Savoy Collection

Check out our Deep Dive video series featuring the Ann Savoy Collection for a curated look at some of the big names in the cajun music tradition.

Deep Dives: The Ann Savoy Collection

Books by Ann Savoy

The long awaited Cajun Music A Reflection of a People Volume II continues exploring the fascinating world of Cajun music, Cajun musicians, and the rich Louisiana culture surrounding the music. Beautifully illustrated with historical and recent photographs, thirty five English and Cajun French interviews and biographies, over 100 songs with French translations and phonetics, this book is a must have for lovers of the south and lovers of Louisiana culture everywhere. 

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“Perhaps the most comprehensive and stunning portrait of this music ever written.”
-The Washington Post

Savoy’s first compilation has become “The Cajun Bible” for all who are interested in the culture and music of the Cajuns of Louisiana.

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Photo by Raleigh Powell

Statement on the passing of Chris Strachwitz

Arhoolie Records Founder
July 1, 1931 – May 5, 2023

We celebrate the life of our founder, friend, and great record man Chris Strachwitz. He died peacefully at home in Marin County, CA, surrounded in his last days by dear friends and family. Over his 91 years, Chris captured the music that represents the best “down home music” the world has to offer.

He was at the forefront of nearly all the roots revivals over the last 60 years including blues, zydeco, Cajun, Norteño and Tejano music. His drive to document traditional music helped introduce the nation to our diverse musical heritage. He had the foresight to save music that might have otherwise been lost to obscurity and played a role in strengthening cultural traditions through his records, films, and most recently the Arhoolie Foundation. He cared for those around him, fought for royalties and recognition for Arhoolie artists, and provided counsel to countless musicians, writers, film makers, and academics.

Plans for a public celebration of his life will be announced in the coming weeks. Today we’re thinking of all that Chris brought to our lives and the lives of the musicians and fans with whom he shared his passion.