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Boozoo Chavis

Boozoo Chavis (born Wilson Anthony Chavis) was one of the pioneers of zydeco, the Cajun and blues hybrid originating in southwest Louisiana. Although his self-composed 1954 single, "Paper in My Shoes," was the first zydeco hit, Chavis was distrustful of the music industry and refused to perform publicly or record again until 1984. In an interview featured in the 1990 book, The New Folk Music, Chavis explained, "I got gypped out of my record. I get frustrated, sometimes. I love to play, but, when I get to thinking about 1955... They stole my record. They said that it only sold 150,000 copies. But, my cousin, who used to live in Boston, checked it out. It sold over a million copies. I was supposed to have a gold record." After leaving the music business, Chavis devoted his attention to raising champion racehorses in Shrevesport and Lafayette, LA and TX. Chavis waited until 1984 before returning to music. Signing a five-year contract with the Maison de Soul label, he recorded four albums -- Louisiana Zydico Music, Boozoo Zydeco!, Zydeco Homebrew, and Zydeco Trail Ride. Chavis' 1997 album, Hey, Do Right, was produced by Terry Adams, keyboardist for NRBQ, who paid tribute to Chavis in their 1989 song, "Boozoo, That's Who."

Chavis' performances, with his band, the Majic Sounds, included a much-heralded appearance at the Newport Folk Festival and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. The New York Times wrote, "(Chavis is) chaos on two feet. A little bullet of a man, he runs around onstage, shouting and yelling....(his) music can achieve a trancelike intensity". In a review of Chavis' performance at the Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Music Festival, Paul Scott wrote, "There are a lot of Boozoo prototypes coming out. They may be smoother than Boozoo but they try to get his hard accordion; that rough, raw, style; and his sore throat type of singing. And with that single-note and triple-note accordion, he's doing a lot to bring a return to basic zydeco."

The son of tenant farmers, Chavis acquired his nickname as a youngster. Chavis was raised by his mother, who cleaned houses and sold barbecue at horse races until raising enough money to buy a three acre tract of land where she and Chavis moved in 1944. Acquiring an accordion from his father and teaching himself to play, Chavis was soon playing at local barn dances and in the dance club opened by his mother, where he often sat in with Morris Chenier and his sons, Clifton and Cleveland. In 1994, Chavis appeared in Robert Mugge's video documentary, The Kingdom of Zydeco. He was inducted into the Zydeco Hall of Fame four years later. Continuing to release music into the new millennium, Chavis issued Johnnie Billy Goat in fall 2000. On May 5, 2001 Chavis died after suffering from complications related to a heart attack he'd had a month earlier. ~ Craig Harris
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Down Home On Dog Hill

1. Tell We What You Want

2. Keep Your Dress Tail Down

3. Negre Est Pas La (You Act Sick When I'm Around)

4. I'm Still Blinkin'

5. Sugar Bee

6. Rock Me Mama

7. Crying Blues

8. 'Tite Fille

9. Johnnie Billy Goat

10. The Twist

11. La Poule Pend P'us (The Hen Won't Lay)

12. Broke And Hungry

13. Henry Martin Two Step

x

Track List: Hey Do Right!

1. Zydeco Cha Cha

2. Bosco Stomp

3. You're Gonna Look Like A Monkey

4. What You Gonna Do

5. I Got A Camel

6. Mother's Blues

7. Jump The Boogie

8. Goin' To The Zydeco

9. Pass Me A Dozen Eggs

10. Hey Do Right

11. Crying Waltz

12. The Spotted Cow Died

13. Message From The Master

14. Zydeco Lady

x

Track List: Live! At The Habibi Temple, Lake Charles Louisiana

1. Do It All Night

2. Suzy Q

3. Motor Dude Special

4. Grand Mary's Two Step

5. Tee Black

6. Johnnie Billy Goat

7. Tell Me What's The Matter

8. Boozoo's Breakdown

9. Paper In My Shoe

10. Boozoo, That's Who

11. Lula Lula Don't You Go To Bingo

12. Don't Worry About Boozoo

13. Worried Life Blues / Oh Bye Bye / Farewell

x

Track List: Boozoo That's Who

1. Lula Lula Don't You Go To Bingo

2. Boozoo's Payback

3. I'm Going To The Country To Get Me A Mojo Hand

4. Grand Mary's Two Step

5. You Used To Call Me

6. Boozoo, That's Who

7. Oh Bye Mon Neg

8. Bill Goat Number Three

9. Oh Black Gal

10. Oh Bye Bye

11. Went To New York

12. Beg Leg Woman

13. Oh Ya Oh Ya My Foot Hurts

14. Boozoo's Shuffle

x

Track List: Boozoo Chavis

1. Boozoo's Theme Song

2. I'm Ready Me

3. Dog Hill

4. Keep Your Dress Tail Down

5. Johnnie Billie Goat

6. Gilton

7. Goin' To La Maison

8. Forty One Days

9. Oh Yae Yae

10. Tee Black

11. Zydeco Hee Haw

12. Don't Worry About Boozoo

13. Bernadette

x

Track List: The Lake Charles Atomic Bomb

1. Paper In My Shoe

2. Forty One Days

3. Hamburgers And Popcorn

4. Oh Yae Yae

5. My Love Just For You

6. Pallet On The Floor

7. Oh Ho She's Gone

8. Bye Bye Catin

9. Brand New Mojo

10. Telephone Won't Ring

11. Tee Black

12. Bottle Up And Go

13. Comma Lemma Chapo Sha

14. Lost The Paper In My Shoe

x

Track List: Zydeco Homebrew

1. Johnnie Billie Goat

2. Suzy Q

3. Make It To Me

4. Last Dance Waltz

5. Pray For Me

6. Zydeco Hee Haw

7. Keep Your Dress Tail Down

8. Sugar Bee

9. Jolie Catan

10. Zydeco Homebrew

11. Make Up Your Mind

12. Jealous Man Two-Step

13. Dancin Sassy One-Step

14. You Ack Sick When Your Man Is Here

15. Boozoo's Baby

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Boozoo was one of my dad's friends and became one of mine. Now his grandsons do their magic .May God bless us all.
Report as inappropriate
coleman3.edw i n
Legend!
Report as inappropriate
I love the old time music just like this and my good budy goldman thibedeaux also
Report as inappropriate
Love that Gumbo there in N-orleans Louisiana along with some Zydeco or Cajun Music in tow.
Report as inappropriate
Love me some gumbo!!!!!!
Report as inappropriate
Ya! I can shake my tail feathers! Somebody scream!
Report as inappropriate
I dare you to not be motivated to dance with or without your better half. :o))
Report as inappropriate
afunnyman2
I love it!!!
Report as inappropriate
Yes indeed!!!!
Report as inappropriate
I can remember the days at horse races.Tekel , my dad Nonc' Sid Pierfax.Grea t days. The club music. All fun
Report as inappropriate
Ynot. Zydeco. Loiuisiana bred

Report as inappropriate
I was 17yr old stubborn creole girl when boozoo came to my uncle 's club in delcambre la . He told my uncle " " "dan-e"Denni s that black cat girl will make you want to kill her before she makes you proud.sad enough that was true boozoo and uncle Dennis we miss u!
Report as inappropriate
I got into Zydeco when I married my creole wife over 27 years ago(I'm from NC) and Boozoo was and still is one of my favorites, :)
Report as inappropriate
I’m the oldest granddaughte r of BooZoo…He is truly missed…I wished that he was still here to see his Great-Grand kids…they were too young to remember him but, BOY do they know him….I recently went to a Keith Frank dance…And when he played 41 days..it sounded just like my grandfather… I closed my eyes and I could picture him standing there playing…It brought back so many memories…The King has died… and no one has been crowned YET to take his place..Anybo d y want to go to DOG HILL …”Where all the p
Report as inappropriate
Boozoo was my favorite
Report as inappropriate
Go ahead Boozoo! Wish you were still with us. Many try to play like Boozoo but there's always something missing.
Report as inappropriate
aaaahhhheeee e e
Report as inappropriate
You're right about Chubby Carrier. But for good old time zydeco, Boozoo was the greatest.
Report as inappropriate
Would love to hear Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic. He really mixes the old with his new unique style to make Zydeco music appeal to everyone.
Report as inappropriate
tallguy274
How about some Chubby Carrier (originally on Blind Pig Records and currently on Swampadellic Records)Ain' t no party like a Chubby party! or C.J. (Chenier Alligator records)?
Report as inappropriate
i love boozoo but mix it up more
Report as inappropriate
very good, original, authentic Zydeco!

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