Special Thanks

AARP Prime Time Radio is the distributor for Zydeco Nation. Fiscal sponsorship is provided by Deep Springs College and the International Documentary Association. This project was made possible with support from Cal Humanities, an independent non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, visit www.calhum.org.

Deep Springs College

Roots of Zydeco

Many people who have listened to Zydeco Nation have expressed interest in learning more about the deep roots of zydeco. Here, then, is a lovely documentary by Nicholas Spitzer, Zydeco: Creole Music and Culture in Rural Louisiana.


Nicholas Spitzer is a folklorist who has spent a large part of his life documenting the vernacular music cultures of the United States, with an emphasis on Louisiana. He is the host and producer of American Routes, and a professor of anthropology and American Studies at Tulane University.

Produced in 1986, Zydeco: Creole Music and Culture in Rural Louisiana is a gem of a time capsule. Spitzer does a great job placing zydeco within the context of the Creole communities that gave birth to it. Highlights include interviews of some key zydeco musicians, such as Bébé Carriere. You will also see wonderful footage of rural life in and around Opelousas, LA, including men chanting jurer; dancers enjoying the music of John Delafose at Slim’s Y-Ki-Ki club; and the Inseparable Friends Benevolent Society hosting their annual Mardi Gras chicken run.

In English and French (with English subtitles.)