Zydeco and Cajun music
The first recordings of Cajun music date back to the 1930s.
They were made privately, in the Hoffpauir and Segura families. Later,
Cajun music, which was the successor to Franco-Acadian songs and was mainly
played with violin and accordion, diversified into swamp pop and
traditional Cajun. Swamp pop surfaced at the end of the
1950s, and introduced a rock beat into Cajun music.
At the borders of Creole and Cajun music, zydeco, born at the end
of the 1940s, heralded the return of black Creole music, which borrowed
instruments and certain melodies from Cajun music, but also taking inspiration
from rhythm and blues. The term "zydeco" comes from a contraction
of a well-known phrase among black Creoles, "les z'haricots sont
pas salés" [the beans aren't salted"], which returns
as a continual theme in their ballads to indicate that times are hard;
i.e. poverty too deep for families to afford salt pork for seasoning.
Clifton Chénier and Zachary Richard are zydeco's most famous