Clifton Chenier invented Zydeco back in the 1950's when he began to mix the rural Creole music of his native southwest Louisiana with Blues and R&B along with some intricate Caribbean syncopation heard along the Gulf Coast. Born on a farm near Opelouas, La., he took his accordion music from the house and casual parties back home to dancehalls of the Creole-speaking centers in Louisiana, south-east Texas and California, on to nightclubs, concert halls and festivals.
His recording career started in 1954 first signed to the Elko Record label where he received some mainstream success,then joining Chess Records followed by the Arhoolie label where he recorded this album "Zydeco Sont Pas Sale". This album contains 15 excellent examples of the early zydeco sound, with 'bluesy' foundations and light 'spring-in-the-step' overtones. It is party dance music at its very best, none more so than "Zydeco Sont Pas Sale", and "WeeTee Ta Robe". More blues/Caribbean influence is heard in "Cher Catin", and "J'ai Conet, C'est Pas Ma Femme".
He and his band travelled throughout the world with his popularity peaking in the 1980's. In 1983 he was given a Grammy Award for his album "I'm Here."
Chenier's sound, as exemplified in "Zydeco Sont Pas Sale" is of light, bouncy, dance-along blues without the heavy, mournful, 'music-to-commit-suicide-to' style often associated with the blues genre, which would explain Zydeco's popularity as the ideal choice for happy occasions, family and friend's get-togethers and joyous moments generally.