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Boozoo Chavis

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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 Shreveport and Lafayette, Louisiana and Texas. Chavis waited until 1984 before returning to music. Signing a five-year contract with the Maison de Soul label, he recorded four albums — Louisiana Zydeco 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 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.

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  • AngelsJazztime

    and what was she talking about.....

    27 Mar 2009 Reply
  • dmaxRadio

    My mom, while I was growing up in southern LA, would talk frequently about her friend Boozoo, and I thought it was the weirdest name. Now, 40 years later, I realize who her friend was...

    10 Feb 2009 Reply

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