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Clifton Chenier

In the history of popular and vernacular music it is usually hard to pinpoint the genesis of a new genre or style on one particular individual. Many musicologists acknowledge today that blacks in Louisiana adopted the accordion before their white Cajun counterparts. Modern zydeco music even includes Caribbean and Latin rhythms along with strains of modern rock and pop. Clifton Chenier did not create zydeco a credit generally given to Amédé Ardoin, a diatonic accordionist who in 1929 cut the first zydeco record though he certainly codified the way this Louisiana Creole music is still played in the bayous and beyond.

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