Clifton Chenier Interview, 1984

Clifton didn’t grant many interviews and I was worried I wouldn’t get to talk with him. His wife, Margaret, was fiercely protective of him and wouldn’t let me into the house when I went to interview him. Fortunately for me somehow it happened that his friend Helen Faulk said I could interview Clifton at her house. He was so charming and friendly, kind of shy. There was a loud parakeet screeching all the way through the interview but what was I to do? Clifton said he would let me film him playing old time Lala music with his brother Cleveland. Sadly, he became very ill shortly after that and passed away before I could do it.

-Ann Savoy

Clifton Chenier, 1983
Photo by Chris Strachwitz
  • Clifton Chenier, 1984 00:00
Interviewee: Clifton Chenier
Interviewer: Ann Savoy
Date: February 12, 1984
Location: Helen Faulk’s Home in Louisiana
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.