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seek info on Zachary Richard-Zydeco/Creole singer

GUEST,johnntm 20 Feb 05 - 07:06 PM
Peace 20 Feb 05 - 07:13 PM
Bob the Postman 20 Feb 05 - 09:47 PM
Dead Horse 21 Feb 05 - 06:14 PM
PoppaGator 21 Feb 05 - 06:51 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 22 Feb 05 - 03:19 AM
greg stephens 22 Feb 05 - 06:04 AM
PoppaGator 22 Feb 05 - 01:00 PM
Bob the Postman 22 Feb 05 - 07:31 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 21 Apr 10 - 09:46 AM
bankley 21 Apr 10 - 11:32 AM
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Subject: Zachary Richard
From: GUEST,johnntm
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 07:06 PM

Does anyone one know what has happened to this great Zydeco/Creole
singer? My wife and I loved his music but have seen no sign of him in the NY area for years. Is he still recording, performing?

John T M.


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Subject: RE: Zachary Richard
From: Peace
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 07:13 PM

Here fer starters

Just Google his name. Lots of stuff there.


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Subject: RE: Zachary Richard
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 09:47 PM

Surely Zachary Richard should be described as a Cajun or Acadien (Acadie du sud) singer? Don't the terms Zydeco and Creole refer to francophone African American music and people? I thought that Louisiana Creoles are cousins to the Cajun people but not identical with them?


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Subject: RE: Zachary Richard
From: Dead Horse
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 06:14 PM

Creole can mean several different things, but its mostly used to describe the original french speaking settlers, black & white, who came to Louisiana when it was still Spanish owned.


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Subject: RE: Zachary Richard
From: PoppaGator
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 06:51 PM

The word "Creole" indeed has many meanings, but in the context of discussing Zydeco music, it is essential to realize that one common contemporary use of the word "Creole" is to describe the community of French-speaking African-Americans in Louisiana whose culture gave birth to zydeco music.

The zydeco music of these Creole people is a sort of hybrid consisting of equal parts traditional Cajun music on the one hand and New Orleans rhythm-and-blues on the other.

Zachary is white and ethnically Cajun (Acadien). However, his music is a lot closer to rock 'n' roll than that of traditional Cajun artists, and is stylistically almost identical to the music created by black zydeco artists. So, it's reasonable to describe him as a "Zydeco" artist (musician) but not as a "Creole" (person).

More on vocabulary: "Creole" comes from a Spanish word "crillo," meaning pertaining to the first generation of non-native persons born in the New World. It was originally used to describe offspring of European settlers (Spanish and French), but eventually came to include people of African ancestry (and/or half-European and half-African ancestry) as well. Creole culture would be understood to refer to the entire colonial lifestyle, including slavery, plantation life, etc. Hence the confusion over whether it describes white or black people or both.

The term "creole" is not limited to Louisiana. Indeed, the mostly-French patois which serves as the language of Haiti is called "Creole."

In Louisiana, the word is variously used to describe several very different groups and their cultures:
~ The lily-white urban culture (especially cuisine) of old (pre-Louisiana-Purchase) New Orleans;
~ An elite faction of light-skinned African Americans (actually French-African Americans) with long-time roots in New Orleans society;
~ The rural, dark-skinned African-American people of southwestern Louisiana who gave us Zydeco.

Among white Louisianans of French ancestry, "Cajun" and "Creole" are mutually exclusive terms, and many Louisiana French surnames are generally recognized as being from one group or the other. Cajuns are historically a rural people, and Cajun cuisine, etc., is definitively "homestyle." The old white "Creole" society of New Orleans was urban, haughty, and status-conscious. (Both groups knew how to eat, by the way, and came up with some great recipes!).

PS: Zach's last name is pronounced in the French manner, "Ree-CHARD," not "RICH-erd." He has been described as "the Cajun Mick Jagger," among other things.


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Subject: RE: Zachary Richard
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 03:19 AM

Saw him on a late night US TV concert years ago. Thought he was great.


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Subject: RE: Zachary Richard
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 06:04 AM

I think, in slight contrast to Poppagator, that Zachary Richard should not be called a zydeco musician(because he doesnt play zydeco, basically). But he could be called Creole, according to some meanings of the word. Though not in the current meaning of the word in a Louisiana music context: because it now tends to be used to refer to the pre-zydeco black French music(Bois-Sec Ardoin, Lawtell Playboys, JC Gallow etc).
   Having said that, I may be talking bollocks because I havent heard him for years, and maybe he's started playing zydeco recently. Anyway, whatever you call him,he's well worth a listen!


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Subject: RE: Zachary Richard
From: PoppaGator
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 01:00 PM

Greg, as usual, has an astute and fairly scholarly take on Louisiana music ~ probably better than mine, despite how much farther away he is than me! More one thing, he's a legitimate player of the music in question while I'm pretty much just a fan/listener. (I can manage a bit of picking and singing, but not in any Cajun or Zydeco style.)

Zachary Richard is a pretty unique performer, and his music is definitely more "modern" and more rock 'n' roll than the typical Cajun band ~ perhaps moreso than any other Louisiana-French act.

Zydeco, to my ears anyway, is Cajun/Creole music combined with rock 'n' roll, and so is Zachary Richard's music. Of course, what Clifton Chenier was doing a half-century ago to establish Zydeco was incorporating the influence of Fats Domino's music into more traditional Cajun/Creole sounds, while Zach's rock influences are (to say the least) from a later era.

Same thing but different.


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Subject: RE: Zachary Richard
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 07:31 PM

I heard a piece on CBC Radio about ZR, done by journalist Bernard St. Laurent, emphasizing ZR's mission to promote and preserve Francophone culture in Louisiana, and talking about his journey from angry quasi-separatism to a more moderate but potentially more likely-to-succeed strategy. But what really sticks in my mind about the piece was Bernie talking about the first time he heard Reveille. He was driving when the song came on the car radio and he had to pull over because he was weeping so hard.


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Subject: RE: Zachary Richard
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 09:46 AM

I came across this clip on Youtube recently wherein Zachary talks about Cajun and Zydeco with Letterman.

Zachary meets Letterman.


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Subject: RE: Zachary Richard
From: bankley
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 11:32 AM

I remember when he came to Montreal with a band called 'Bayou Mystere' in the early 70's.. the Hotel Nelson, hardly anybody there..really trad. Cajun stuff... I hung out with them for quite awhile...they were right out of the swamp and didn't know anyone in town..... Quebec really launched his carrer in a big way later on... the people loved him and bought his records as they did in France... he did a lot of bluesy things later... had a hot band with Sonny Landreth on guitar for awhile... I believe he still lives in Rayne LA.


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