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.
Papa Cairo was a big, brazen man and a big talker. He came to my house for the interview because I had my children at home and it was easier for him to come over. He didn’t have too much good to say about musicians in general, which he called “low lifes”. He had an amazing photo scrapbook which he allowed me to copy.Listen Here
I had become fascinated with the ballads recorded by Mr. Naquin and wanted to meet him. He lived on a tiny farm in the town of Reddell, Louisiana, near Mamou. I had heard many of his recorded ballads on field recordings made by friends and colleagues.Listen Here
A cantankerous character with a heart of gold, this feisty friend of Marc’s is credited with several musical firsts in Cajun music, like playing a fiddle in standard tuning and playing an accordion in third position.Listen Here
I interviewed Adam twice, once at his house where I also took portraits of him and once at my house where I filmed him playing his wonderful music. The lyrics in Adam’s songs have more poetry in them than most and he always had excellent bands playing with him.Listen Here
Sonny Treadway was born and raised in Michigan and grew up playing steel guitar with Bishop Ron Hall and Calvin Cooke under the guidance of “Uncle” Felton Williams. As a young man, he traveled throughout much of the United States with Church of the Living God Chief Overseer Bishop Mattie Jewell to play for worship services, assemblies and revivals, usually accompanying steel guitarist Bishop Lorenzo Harrison on standard (fretted) guitar.Listen Here
“So we went over there and there he was just ferociously playing on his electric guitar and singing really powerful stuff, it was just really, really amazing. And shortly after we had come in, he just segued during his singing by pointing his hand at me and singing ‘Whoa, this man come all the way from California just to hear poor Lightning sing…'”Listen Here