ARHOOLIE FOUNDATION COLLECTIONS:Audio Interviews
Audio interviews by Chris Strachwitz during his research into the music he was recording for his label Arhoolie Records as well as for his radio programs on KPFA-FM (Berkeley, CA) in the 1960’s through 1980’s, and by Dr. Manuel Peña during his research for his several books on Mexican American music.
You probably won’t see Cheese Read at the local dance halls around Eunice because he is not a professional musician. He prefers to play music at home or at parties with a few friends. But a more powerful singer or a more precise, knowledgeable fiddle player couldn’t be found in Southwest Louisiana.Listen Here
“Since I was four, five years old I liked music. I’d rather play music than eat.”….“George Jones, I’m the one who put him where he’s at…That man was poor. He begged me to play. I didn’t need him, I had a 7 piece band. I hired him anyway…five dollars a night…After the dance he would just sleep on the table ‘til daybreak and get a ride back to Beaumont.” – Chuck GuilloryListen Here
Harry Choates was a complete musician and entertainer. All of his life he ate, drank, and slept music. It is sometimes difficult to unravel the facts and myths surrounding the life and times of the man who immortalized Jole Blon, a song many Cajuns claim as their national anthem.Listen Here
The late Cajun musician D.L. Menard’s biggest hit was “La Porte En Arrière” (“The Back Door”) which he wrote. He was often called “the Cajun Hank Williams”. In this interview from around 1988, Chris Strachwitz, Maureen Gosling, and Les Blank talk to D.L. about his first guitar, Cajun music, meeting Hank Williams, world travel, song writing, and making chairs.Listen Here
“First I used to be a bad, bad, boy, run around with street gangs. After I got to playing music well all this here bad stuff got out of my mind and I got interested in playing music. My first guitar that I ever bought I bought from Sears and Roebuck. I paid a dollar down and fifty cent a week.”Listen Here