Leroy “Happy Fats” Leblanc, 1986

I interviewed Happy Fats at my house in Eunice. He and his old friend Doc Guidry came over for coffee and talked about the old days. Happy talked about his career from the early stringband days with the Raynebo Ramblers up to his popular Sunday morning TV show Mariné (1956-8) on Lafayette channel 10. I love Happy’s earliest recordings.

They were before things got slick and had a drone lostness about them.

– Ann Savoy

  • Leroy "Happy Fats" Leblanc, 1986 00:00
Interviewee: Leroy “Happy Fats” Leblanc
Interviewer: Ann Savoy
Date: October 18, 1986
Location: Eunice, 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.