Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Crazy Cajun RIP

Huey P Meaux - the Crazy Cajun - has died aged 82. The Louisiana record producer had the magic touch and produced a string of wonderful records from the late 1950s to the 1970s, before falling from grace in the 90s and going to jail for child pornography and drug possession.

A barber by trade, Huey got his Crazy Cajun nickname from a radio show in Port Arthur that he DJ'd. Others on the local scene at the time included George Jones, Moon Mullican and J P Richardson, the Big Bopper. He couldn't read music but knew what made a hit record and how to promote it. Just about everyone involved in swamp pop and Gulf Coast music was associated with him at some time. His early hits, recorded in Winnie, Texas, included Jivin' Gene's Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Joe Barry's I’m a Fool to Care, Rod Bernard's This Should Go on Forever and Barbara Lynn's You'll Lose a Good Thing and her subsequent classic records released on Jamie. Following these successes he moved to Houston where he latched on to the British invasion success with She's About a Mover by Doug Sahm's Sir Douglas Quintet and had another huge hit with Roy Head's Treat Her Right. Other hits included Clarence Frogman Henry's Cajun Honey and Talk To Me by Sunny and the Sunliners.

By the late 60s he had set up a variety of labels including Som, Tribe, Eric, Parrot, Crazy Cajun, Tear Drop and Jet Stream. Swamp pop artists who Huey recorded included Johnnie Allan, Jimmy Donley and Warren Storm, and he also cut records by Clifton Chenier, T-Bone Walker and several Cajun acts. He often recorded at Cosimo's studio in New Orleans but later bought the Gold Star studio in Houston and renamed it Sugar Hill. In the 70s he resurrected Freddy Fender's career with Before The Next Teardrop Falls and Wasted Days and Wasted Nights.

Here's a report of Huey's death, plus some of his great hits from YouTube.

Photo shows Barbara Lynn at the Ponderosa Stomp in 2008.


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