Parts I, II, & III of ‘Pre-Nashville Days: The Louisiana Connections” described my very early years of growing up in the great State of Louisiana; the Bayou State. These posts pointed out the positive and powerful influence my grandparents and parents had on my artistic & musical inclinations…for which I am forever grateful.
These three posts also mentioned some good folks who, either directly or indirectly (by affecting my elders), had an impact on my early life; namely… Slim Whitman, Elvis Presley, Governor Jimmy Davis, and others.
Part IV of ‘The Louisiana Connections’ starts to focus on my life in the Louisiana delta as a local and regional performing artist. While playing a ‘gig’ at a club in Monroe, Louisiana…while yet a teenager…a ‘lone figure’ entered the back of the club during one of our sets. He stayed for quite a while, listening. We found out that he was the legendary rocker, Jerry Lee Lewis (also a Louisiana boy). A few years later, I met his cousin; Gospel Music great, Jimmy Swaggart. And, a few years after that, I met another cousin; Country Music great, Mickey Gilley…all three were Louisiana boys, from the Ferriday, Louisiana area. And, I also worked with/for Jimmy Swaggart’s father (uncle to Jerry Lee and Mickey) for a while.
I lived and breathed music! Pop, Rock, Soul, R&B, Country, Blues, Swamp Pop, Cajun, Gospel, et cetera. There was just something very wonderful about growing up in Louisiana; its people, diverse culture, roots, spirit, flavor, soul, history, vibrancy, et cetera!
And, even years later after I had a couple of Country Music songs in the charts (USA and Internationally), the then Governor of Louisiana, Buddy Roemer, invited me to the Governor’s Mansion for a private breakfast with his family because they loved my music and my being an ‘International Ambassador’ for Louisiana, to the world! How cool is that?! I’ll tell you how all of that transpired and evolved in another post, sometime. 🙂
Well, that’s enough for this post.
Ciao for now. Your pal,