Friday, 08 April 2011 15:53

Grammys Cajun, Zydeco Drop Bad News For Louisiana Music

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Louisiana Music Hall of FameWell, this week brought the bad news that, after years of wrangling and working to create the "Best Cajun or Zydeco Album" category in the Grammys, and after only 4 years of presentation of this Grammy, it has been eliminated. Our artists are now lumped into "American Roots Music," "Best Regional Roots Music Album." Prior to the eliminated category's creation, only 4 of our Cajun/Zydeco artists, in 49 years of Grammys, had been winners.


Hmmmmmm.   I didn't plan to revisit the "holistic approach" situation from my March 25th article, but...

Could this be a result of no one steering the ship? The result of no one looking toward the needs of the "parts" such as this, as in "holistic approach?" It has to be related to some degree.

Just Tuesday, I sat on a music related panel discussion, where a fellow panelist correctly referred to the fact that Louisiana does not have a music industry and infrastructure like Los Angeles or New York.

I followed up on his statement, citing that Louisiana, where so many modern music genres and so much music was, and is, created, had, in fact, never developed such an industry. But, with the creation a "new" overall music industry to reflect the digital challenges, we now, today, have the opportunity to correct that problem.

That statement resulted in the greatest positive audience response of the day.

Our lack of music industry stems from the fact that, in the late 40's/early 50's, the new music and new genres were being born at an alarming rate in a world where there was no industry or mechanisms to handle the situation. Other states took the lead and, building on previous music genres history and industry, created an industry to handle it.

Louisiana didn't.

We just created the music, the artists, the songs, therecords, and the genres.

This current re-structuring of the overall music industry is Louisiana's opportunity to "catch up," maybe to take a lead role, as we are capable of.  We still have the talent, the artists, the songs, the music: just no industry.

However, it will take a little more than simply a "holistic approach."

We can't afford to miss this possible "second chance" to establish a current, viable music industry in Louisiana.

Author Mike Shepherd is the President & Executive Director of La Musique de Louisianne Inc., The Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame, a 501c3 dedicated to "preserving Louisiana's greatest renewable natural resource"


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