Claude Faulk Interview, 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!). Clifton had a friend named Helen Faulk and she was the daughter of Claude Faulk, the man, Clifton said, who taught him everything.

So of course I had to meet and interview Claude Faulk. Helen and Clifton took me to his house. He was a lovely, gentle man and had his buddy Dupré, his rubboard player, with him. So I interviewed him and then they sat on the sofa and played me some tunes, in the style they called Lala.This was the music from which zydeco developed, a non-electric, soulful, bluesy style. I also filmed them at his house the same day.

-Ann Savoy

Claude Faulk
Photo by Ann Savoy
  • Claude Faulk 00:00
Interviewee: Claude Faulk
Interviewer: Ann Savoy
Date: Summer 1983
Location: Claude’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.