Belton Richard Interview

Belton was the most modern and the most locally famous I interviewed. My friend Hadley Castille went with me to his house in Lafayette because it helped to have someone who knew Belton to give me access to his house. Belton was sort of the Cajun Elvis and would draw a crowd anywhere he would perform. He wasn’t a big talker, but he had recorded so many beautiful old country songs in French, and he had a beautiful “croony” type voice. Cajun women were wild about him.

-Ann Savoy

  • Belton Richard 00:00
Interviewee: Belton Richard
Interviewer: Ann Savoy
Date: June 9, 1983
Location: Belton’s Home in Lafayette, LA
Language: English

This is an interview originally recorded for research purposes. It is presented here in its raw state, unedited except to remove some irrelevant sections and blank spaces. All rights to the interview are reserved by the Arhoolie Foundation. Please do not use anything from this website without permission.

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.