Thursday, October 18, 2012


A piece for the new Oxford American Music Issue. Cleveland Crochet and the Hill-Billy Ramblers. 50's era cajun garage-billy rock and roll. Real swamp music. At first, I was trying to get these guys all in the jaws of a giant croc, but then I thought it would be great to have a band on a Croc/Swamp tour boat. Thanks to Oskar for picking out the orange.
These guys have like two songs but  Sugar Bee was a major regional hit and even cracked the Billboard top 100.
As usual for these kind of assignments, except for some weirdo-obsessive music blogs there are hardly any photographs or other evidence these guys existed. These are the two reference photos I had to work with.
Early promo shot of the band.
The bandleader, Cleveland Crochet.

I'm honestly not usually a fan of Cajun or Zydeco music, the insistent oompah beat grates on me after a while. But this early stuff when rock and country and R & B were a little less defined is very interesting. Think a white Little Richard backed with a lap steel, fiddle and an accordion and you got yourself some Hill Billy Rambling jam.

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