Release Date: 2021
Publisher: Mercer University Press
Hardcover, 349 pages
*Oversized book – International customers must contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a shipping quote*
Doug Kershaw’s musical career as a fiddler, songwriter, and singer has spanned over seventy years. Born on a houseboat tied to a cypress tree in the swamps of Southwest Louisiana, his family followed the fishing up and down the Mermantau River. Alligators and snakes lurked beneath the waters. Alcoholism and violence lurked above. The fais do-dos, those popular houseboat dances, were the only escape from a harsh way of life.
Until the Kershaws were forced to move into town following a family tragedy, Kershaw spoke only Cajun-French. He got his first pair of shoes when he was eight years old, the same year he began supporting his mother by playing fiddle and shining shoes. Throughout his career, he has mastered twenty-eight instruments. Because of his signature style of music-making and entertaining, Kershaw is considered by many to be a consummate performer and storyteller.
His is a classic American story of how one young man rose from poverty in the swamps to the stage at Carnegie Hall. Despite the pitfalls known to many entertainers–alcohol and cocaine rehab, divorces, scandal, bankruptcy, music business woes, even cancer–Doug Kershaw’s life was filled with exciting and comic adventures. The proof is in the amazing people he met along the way: Roger Miller, Johnny Cash, Mary Tyler Moore, Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Jean Shepherd, Chet Atkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bill Wyman, and many more.
Kershaw recalls the bad and the good with the same humor that helped him survive it all. While many accolades have since come his way, his greatest pride was hearing his autobiographical song, “Louisiana Man,” broadcast back from space before Apollo 12 landed on the moon.