The Return of the Original Louisiana Man
Cajun music could ask for no better ambassador than fiddle master Doug Kershaw, though the Ragin' Cajun has also been a mainstream country star for nearly half a century. Doug and brother Rusty grew up in tiny Tiel Ridge, Louisiana, getting their feet wet as performers in older brother Peewee's band. Rusty and Doug made their recording debut as a duo in 1954 for producer J.D. Miller, and before long they were signed to Nashville-based Hickory Records. The pair dabbled in Louisiana-style rockabilly with "Hey Mae" in 1958, and after completing their military obligations, Doug wrote them the autobiographical Cajun rocker "Louisiana Man," their biggest seller, in 1961 ("Diggy Liggy Lo" came right behind it). The duo split a few years later; Doug's solo career really took flight after a galvanizing appearance on Johnny Cash's weekly TV variety program in 1969. Before long, he was manically sawing his fiddle at Fillmore East as opener for Derek and the Dominos.
(By Bill Dahl)