Monday, 18 April 2011 20:12

Anyone for the Louisiana Music Awards?

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Last week I commented on the loss of the Grammy Cajun/Zydeco category after several years of working to get it created, and only four years of awards. Let's not bemoan that too long. It's gone.

First of all, Cajun/Zydeco isn't Louisiana's only unique genre of music deserving of a category. In fact, it is, arguably, two categories, Cajun and Zydeco.


Tags: Grammy, Louisiana music, Louisiana music industry, Louisiana music awards, Grammy, Cajun, Zydeco, Swamp Pop, Dixieland, Louisiana Music Hall of Fame

Well, I guess since there's a regional Cajun/Zydeco awards, there used to be a Swamp Pop awards, there's plenty of  "Best of..." across the state, and there have been several other regional and genre driven awards, that we just don't need more.

Wrong! It is time that Louisiana steps up and has an annual event to honor the artists of Louisiana. The artists, descendants of artists and current artists carrying forward for Louisiana artists that created the original music of, not only, Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop, but Rock'n'Roll, Jazz, Dixieland, Rockabilly, R& B and more. And how about Country from Louisiana. Tim McGraw, Trace Adkins and Kix Brooks jump immediately to mind. And Blues, Buddy Guy (Louisianan) won that Grammy this year.

How about Mardi Gras music and the music of the Mardi Gras Indians? Would that be one category or two categories?

Louisiana has pioneered the way, basically inventing most of the music genres, as we now know them, of the 20th Century. Certainly we claim Cajun, and we claim Zydeco, and we claim Swamp Pop, but we should also lay claim to, and honor, Jazz, Dixieland, Rock'n'Roll, Rockabilly and some other genres.

The point is that Louisiana has basically given our amazing music to the rest of the country and the world, and maybe, just maybe, it's time that we promote ourselves by openly honoring the best of our music and artists on a statewide basis. It's not like we're lacking for nominees or music itself. We have always had that.

The mechanics of nomination, voting, protocols and declaration of winners would not be that hard to engineer. The event would not be that hard to plan. The venue wouldn't be that difficult to obtain, there are plenty of venues.

The will to do the event, now that's something interesting. Outside of the successes of Louisiana music like Cosimo's studio, the Louisiana Hayride and the other areas of Louisiana's music industry(?) that cooperated with each other, worked together and created amazing music, there is a lack of "cooperative spirit" within the community of Louisiana musicians and industry people.

And then there's the State of Louisiana. They would need to participate, bless, even help promote the process and event. Would that come from economic development? culture? tourism? or where?

Actually, any of those would be applicable as a "helper" in such an undertaking. It certainly could be construed as economic development and, in fact, that's where the state's authority for music, and entertainment in general lies. It certainly could be an asset for promoting our culture, as it is a part of our culture. It could be a promotional aid for tourism, right up there with our food and our scenic beauty.


All of those areas would benefit from such an event and its' promotion.


La Musique and The Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame stand ready to make this happen. But, we can't, well probably shouldn't, do this alone.


Participation from the state should be attainable, but to what degree?

Support, yes.

Participation, yes.

Promotion, well, that should be attainable.

Funding, Wellllll, someone in one of the proper departments would have to first see this for the opportunity that it is. But, that could happen.


The other missing piece would be a reasonably big corporate sponsor that would be able to see the importance and significance of such an undertaking, not to fill any one's pocket, but to move our State and our music industry forward, and for that corporate partner to step up and provide private sector funding to "make it happen."


We'll see.


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"

Visit the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame



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