On Douglas Bellard

Douglas Bellard was the first black man to record Creole music in this area. In Vol 1 I put the lyrics to his two released songs and a beautiful portrait of him. The portrait came from a one armed black man in Eunice. Shortly after he lent me the photo to copy and I had returned it his house burned down with the picture in it, so I am thankful I went to get it. I had Joel with me when he was about four years old. He was wearing a raccoon cap I had made him. As I was leaving I absent mindedly slammed the car door and it slammed on little Joel’s hand!!! I will never forget my horror when that happened. I spent a few trips looking for traces of Douglas Bellard to get a more rounded portrait of him. All I had heard were negative and violent things. But our old friend Murphy Soileau knew him well and even picked up Douglas’ brother David to be interviewed. I also went to the home of Ida Jones, a very old black woman, who told me various stories about black musicians in the area in the 1920’s-1930’s.

– Ann Savoy

  • Ida Jones on Douglas Bellard 00:00
Interviewee: Ida Jones
Interviewer: Ann Savoy
Date: –
Language: French / français
  • Murph Soileau & David Bellard 00:00
Interviewee: Murph Soileau & David Bellard
Interviewer: Ann Savoy
Date: March 18, 1993
Language: English

These are interviews 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.

Rumbo a california

The Arhoolie Foundation is proud to present: Rumbo a California: Making Mexican Music in the Golden State, a bilingual digital exhibition that explores the history of Mexican music in California and the stories of the people, labels, and events that have shaped it.


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