Cajun Swing Era
Cajun Swing Era
The historical and cultural forces pushing together traditional Cajun, hillbilly, western swing, jazz, and American popular music, and the musical synthesis that ensued, form the foundation of this chapter. Cajun swing embodied the growing popularity and availability of mass media. Cultural shifts also acted on the burgeoning style. The petroleum industry, compulsory English-only education, the disruptive effects of the 1927 flood, new roads, automobiles, and two world wars exposed rural Cajuns to a larger reality, while plugging the ethnic group into the pulse of American popular culture at an unprecedented pace. Disposable incomes generated by opportunities in the oil patch augmented the stratification of Cajun society and facilitated the acquisition of technological amenities—particularly phonographs, records, and radios. America was open to the Cajun community for those who opted to avail themselves of the opportunities this access afforded.
Keywords: Cajun swing, string bands, hillbilly, jazz, New Orleans, petroleum, industry, oil, Progressive Era, Americanization, Hackberry Ramblers, Luderin Darbone, radio, broadcasting, records, drums, western swing
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