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By Ryan A. Brasseaux

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Extra resources for BAYOU BOOGIE: THE AMERICANIZATION OF CAJUN MUSIC, 1928-1950 (M.A. Thesis)

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With his professional tape recorder in tow, Rinzler visited septuagenarian Cajun fiddler and balladeer Edius Naquin at his home in rural Evangeline Parish. ” While Naquin could very well have adapted the Gaspard’s arrangements, striking similarities in the ethnic composition of both Avoyelles and Evangeline Parishes suggest that these melodies were fixtures in specific locations within the musical landscape, where persons of French, white Creole, and French-Canadian extraction came into contact with one another.

Recordings by Blind Uncle Gaspard were a contemporary interpretation of traditional material in 1929, as the guitarist explored the Cajun repertoire from the northern fringe of Cajun country. Gaspard’s recording also engaged in a discourse with Americana through the national commercial musical context by recording for Vocalion. He negotiated his position between popular culture and tradition as his recordings became part of the commercial Cajun repertoire, and part of Cajun popular culture. 49 Fiddler Dennis McGee also straddled several traditions.

As a child he learned to play a variety of instruments including accordion, upright bass, fiddle, and guitar. In 1887, a degenerative nerve disease left Gaspard almost completely blind. Like other visually impaired musicians of the period, music became Alcide’s main source of income. He traveled around Avoyelles Parish playing house dances and occasionally at a dancehall in his hometown of Dupont. A sort of Cajun troubadour, Blind Uncle Gaspard often walked alone along parish roads with his Montgomery Ward guitar, delighting neighbors with his skills as a raconteur.

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