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The Lake Charles Atomic Bomb

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Album Review

Boozoo Chavis vaulted to fame in zydeco circles during the mid-'50s, when his gritty, anthemic "Paper in My Shoe" helped get the fledgling zydeco industry off the ground. The 14 tracks on this 1990 anthology showcase a younger, more vocally spry and dynamic Chavis, singing short, simple, two-step tunes and zydeco/blues hybrids. There isn't anything intricate or complicated about pieces like "Hamburgers and Popcorn," "Oh Ho She's Gone," and "Telephone Won't Ring." They're either anguished heartache songs, novelty tunes, or wailing uptempo pieces, and Chavis doesn't vary his approach, attack, or treatment. But they are direct, honest, and often memorable. It's good to have them available on one anthology.


Born: 23 October 1930 in Lake Charles, LA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

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...
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The Lake Charles Atomic Bomb, Boozoo Chavis
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