swamp pop

November 2, 2006

While doing some research to help answer a reference question today, I came across a fascinating Wikipedia article about swamp pop. From the article:

Swamp pop is a musical genre indigenous to the Acadiana region of south Louisiana and an adjoining section of southeast Texas. Created in the 1950s and early 1960s by teenaged Cajuns and black Creoles, it combines New Orleans-style rhythm and blues, country and western, and traditional French Louisiana musical influences. Although a fairly obscure genre, swamp pop maintains a large audience in its south Louisiana and southeast Texas homeland, and it has acquired a small but passionate cult following in the United Kingdom, northern Europe, and Japan.

I had no idea such a genre existed. My music collector tendencies are piqued though. Interestingly, one of the few Beatles songs that I really, really like a lot – “Oh! Darling” – is according to this article influenced by swamp pop.

The swamp pop sound is typified by highly emotional lyrics, tripleting honky-tonk pianos, undulating bass lines, bellowing horn sections, a strong rhythm and blues backbeat, and mournful, lovelorn lyrics.

Oh yes, I’m going to have to check this out some more.