Release Date: 2020
Publisher: LSU Press
Hardcover, 302 pages
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Louisiana’s unique multicultural history has led to the development of more styles of American music than anywhere else in the country. Encyclopedia of Louisiana Musicians compiles over 1,600 native creators, performers, and recorders of the state’s indigenous musical genres. The culmination of years of exhaustive research, Gene Tomko’s comprehensive volume not only reviews major and influential artists but also documents for the first time hundreds of lesser-known notable musicians.
Arranged in accessible A–Z format―from Fernest “Man” Abshire to Zydeco Ray―Tomko’s concise entries detail each musician’s life and career, reflecting exciting new discoveries about many enigmatic and early artists: Country Jim, Henry Zeno, Douglas Bellard, Good Rockin’ Bob, Blind Uncle Gaspard, Emma L. Jackson, and Rocket Morgan, to name just a few. A separate section features musicians from elsewhere who made an impact in Louisiana, such as Mississippi-born blues singer-songwriter-guitarist Eddie “Guitar Slim” Jones and celebrated jazz pianist Billie Pierce, a native of Florida. The final section highlights key regional record producers and studio and label owners, like J. D. Miller, Stan Lewis, and Cosimo Matassa, who have enabled future generations to enjoy music of the Bayou State.
Written with both the casual fan and the scholar in mind, Encyclopedia of Louisiana Musicians is the definitive reference on Louisiana’s rich musical legacy and the numerous important musicians it has produced.