As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King's life and legacy this week, I would like to honor the racially defying artists that made South Louisiana a mecca for unique American music. Rhythm and blues and rock and roll had a big part in the civil rights movement, and our local artists had their role in bringing white and black communities together. 

Fiddle legend Dennis McGee and accordion pioneer Amédée Ardoin famously recorded and released not only some of the first French music in Louisiana but were also among the first black and white artists to record together in the U.S. Blues singer Slim Harpo of Lobdell, LA recorded what would become standards in the British Invasion; when English groups reintroduced American kids to the music their African-American neighbors created. Clifton Chenier and Boozoo Chavis would eventually desegregate dancing in Louisiana with their beloved blend of rock n' roll and traditional Creole music.

In this edition of Lafayette Weekly, I will be featuring some iconic recordings by black artists from Acadiana in honor of Martin Luther King Day. You'll hear Amédée Ardoin's "Les Blues de Voyage," "Clifton Chenier's heartfelt "I'm Coming Home," and Slim Harpo's hypnotic "Shake Your Hips." Lil Bob's social commentary on "You Know It Ain't Right," and Keith Frank's uplifting "Overcome" are also in the mix. All of that plus songs by Guitar Gable, Carol Fran, and Cedric Watson and a couple of Mardi Gras anthems.  

Scroll below to stream the playlist or click here.

Live stream concerts and live music in Lafayette this week

Wednesday, January 20 at 7:00 pm
Chalan Thibodeaux
My Place Bar and Grill

Friday, January 22 at 7:00 pm
Cedric Watson
The Hideaway

Friday, January 22 at 6:30 pm
The Good Dudes
Agave Mexican Grill and Cantina on Bertrand

Saturday, January 23 at 7:00 pm
Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet
The Hideaway 

Saturday, January 23 at 6:30 pm
LA-20
El Paso Mexican Grill on Pinhook