Rockin’ Dopsie Interview, 1984

I loved the zydeco of the Lafayette area very much and was happy to interview left-handed Rockin’ Dopsie. He, his wife Alvina and his baby son Dwayne (now a zydeco megastar) were sitting on the sofa of Dopsie’s house. He had his triple accordion and his double row, and he played them upside down. Dopsie talked about how Claude Faulk had a big influence on him musically. He would stand outside of clubs and listen to him when he was a boy. He believed it was important to stick with French language and old time style in his music.

-Ann Savoy

Rockin' Dopsie
Photo by Ann Savoy
  • Rockin' Dopsie 00:00
Interviewee: Rockin’ Dopsie
Interviewer: Ann Savoy
Date: 1984
Location: 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.

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.