Goldband Records








Boozoo Chavis
Boozoo Chavis

Wilson "Boozoo" Chavis was born in Lake Charles in 1930. He learned to play the button accordion at age nine, and was well known on the local dance circuits by the late 1940s. Chavis recorded for Goldband in 1952 in what was effectively the first studio session of zydeco music. Accordion player and Goldband recording artist Sidney Brown introduced Eddie Shuler to Boozoo Chavis, but Boozoo did not have a band with him. His zydeco accordion style was something Shuler had never heard before, as this was several years before Clifton Chenier recorded his first record. Shuler hired Classie Ballou (who later became a well-known R&B singer) and his band to back up Boozoo for the session. "I didn't know this, but Classie Ballou and his band had never heard of Zydeco music, let alone played it, and after eight hours in the studio no mentionable results were forthcoming," Shuler remembers. However, when Shuler released the best song of the session, "Paper in My Shoe," on the Folk Star label in 1954, it became a classic hit, and the largest seller Goldband had to date.

Boozoo Chavis dropped out of sight for many years after this initial recording session, but his musical career came roaring back in the 1980s. Today he continues to tour widely, and is known for his energetic and commanding musical presence. His band the Majic Sounds includes members of his own family, and Classie Ballou Jr., son of the Classie Ballou that joined him for the first zydeco recording session in 1952.

Selected Recordings by Boozoo Chavis
FC-11971 /
Swampland Jewels



"Paper in My Shoe" / streaming mp3 * streaming realaudio
FC-12038 /



"Paper in my Shoe"
Home Copyright SFC UNC Libraries

© 2000, The Southern Folklife Collection
URL: http://www.lib.unc.edu/wilson/sfc/goldband/artists/boozoo_chavis
Last Update: Mon Jan 29 18:29:35 2001
Questions or comments