July 2017


One of Cajun music’s great writers and performers, 85-year-old D. L. Menard, has passed away.   Menard was often called “the Cajun Hank Williams,” because of his well-written songs with catchy melodies and partly because of his meeting with Williams.  Menard had a warm voice and a percussive guitar style, often copied.  His song “The Back Door” (“La porte d’en arrière”) was one of Rolling Stones’ 100 Best Country Songs of all Time.  KLFY-TV Lafayette coverage. He was a favorite at music festivals, mostly playing with the Jambalaya Cajun Band in the last decade.

Selected discography:

D. L. Menard. Cajun memories. Swallow Records. SW 6125-2. 1995. CD.
D. L. Menard. No matter where you at, there you are. Rounder Records. C-6021. 1988. CS.
D. L. Menard. Sings The Back Door and other Cajun hits. Swallow Records. LP-6038. 1980. 33.
D. L. Menard. Happy Go Lucky. Swallow Records SW6219. 2010. CD.
Dewey Balfa, Marc Savoy & D. L. Menard. En bas d’un chêne vert. Arhoolie Productions, Inc.. CD 312. 1976 & 1989. CD.
Marc Savoy with Dewey Balfa & D. L. Menard. Made in Louisiana. Voyager Records. VCD 325. 1998. CD.
Eddie LeJeune, D.L. Menard, Ken Smith. Trio Cadien. Rounder Records. 6049. 1992. CD.

 

New Orleans’ WDSU-TV Channel 8 aired this short (2:58) video recently with background on the rubboard used so much in zyeco music.  It shows one being manufactured, in stop motion, by Tee-Don Landry.  Landry claims it was his father who made the first one for Clifton Chenier’s brother Cleveland to play in the band.  A transcription is included, if you’re having problems with Louisiana-accented English.