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History of Goldband Recording Corporation

The Goldband Recording Corporation of Lake Charles, La., has played a key role in documenting and shaping musical traditions, tastes, and trends, both regionally and on an international level since 1944, when Eddie Shuler made his first recording to promote his band, the Reveliers. In 1942, Eddie Shuler moved from Texas to Lake Charles to work as a dragline operator. He found additional part-time work in a music store, leading him into a career in the music business. His experience recording songs and messages on acetate discs for store customers gave him the knowledge he needed to begin recording his own band and other local musicians.

From 1943 to 1945, Eddie Shuler sharpened his song writing and musical skills by playing with the Hackberry Ramblers, an established string band in southwest Louisiana who blended country, western swing, traditional fiddle music, and Cajun songs. The Hackberry Ramblers had made a number of records in the late 1920s, and reportedly made the first commercial recording of "Jolie Blonde," the song that has since become the Cajun national anthem. After Shuler left the Hackberry Ramblers, he opened his own music store with a $250 loan from his mother. He formed his own band, "Eddie Shuler's All-Star Reveliers," and made his first recording with them in 1944. This recording, "Broken Love," was released in 1945.

In 1946, Shuler let Iry LeJune, a Louisiana accordion player, perform on his radio show. The station manager, who was unfamiliar with the Cajun style of music, threatened to fire Shuler if he ever had Cajun music on his show again, but in several months, Cajun business owners began buying air time to play more Cajun music on the radio. LeJune made a recording on the Opera label but it was unsuccessful, so he asked Eddie Shuler to record him. In 1949, Shuler made a recording of LeJune, and he placed the records on jukeboxes at local dance halls and nightspots. LeJune's subsequent recordings for Goldband were all hits. After LeJune's tragic death in an accident in 1954 the popularity of his music soared, helping to launch a revival of interest in Cajun music.

In the half century since the first recordings, Eddie Shuler and the Goldband Recording Company have helped document--and in many cases have created--some of the South's most important and distinctive musical styles and sounds, ranging from the thirteen-year-old Dolly Parton to Iry LeJune's sorrowful accordion, and others like Freddie Fender, Jimmy C. Newman, Rockin' Sidney, Boozoo Chavis, Al Ferrier, Gene Terry, Juke Boy Bonner, and Guitar Junior. Goldband has documented important Cajun artists including LeJune, J. B. Fusilier, Alphee Bergeron, Ron Bertrand, Sidney Brown, and Shorty LeBlanc. African American presence is strong in blues, zydeco, and r&b with groups and artists like Rockin' Sidney, Boozoo Chavis, Juke Boy Bonner, Guitar Junior, Big Chenier, Katie Webster, Cleveland Crochet and the Sugar Bees, Cookie and the Cupcakes, and Phil Phillips.

The early Goldband recordings reflect Eddie Shuler's musical preferences, shaped largely by the country and western record industry of the late 1930s and early 1940s. Through the 1950s, Shuler recorded many regional artists who played diverse styles of music, including Louisiana French music with fiddle and accordion, acoustic and electric blues, and gospel and sacred music. The early recordings were aimed at a regional market. Eddie Shuler distributed the recordings from the back of his car to record stores and to jukebox operators who placed the records on jukeboxes leased to local clubs, dancehalls, and restaurants. The Goldband Recording Company has released a number of hits, both locally and nationally. TEK Publishing Company complements the recording studio, publishing songs from lyricists all over the country.

The various labels included under Eddie Shuler's management reflect transitions in musical styles and also pioneering new ideas that took root nationally. The blending of traditional and modern musical styles led to hybrid forms of folk, rhythm and blues, rockabilly, and rock and roll.

In addition to the recording studio and Eddie's Music House, Eddie and his wife Elsie own and operate Quick Service TV Repair, which maintained a fleet of trucks, sold 45-100 TVs per day, and grossed $200,000 annually in the mid-1950s.

   
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Last Update: Mon Jan 29 18:29:35 2001
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