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Allen Fontenot & The Country Cajuns

b. 1932, Ville Platte, near Grand Prairie, Evangeline Parish, Louisiana, USA. One of many members of the Fontenot family to establish a reputation in Cajun music, Allen, who has been described as ‘a squat, chain-smoking fiddler from Ville Platte’, learned to play in his early teens. He became engrossed with the music but, although playing at local dances for many years, he earned his living collecting outstanding bills for a local company. In the early 70s, he decided to form his Country Cajuns, which consisted of Leroy Veilloa (concertina), Darrel Brasseaux (drums), Hudson Dauzat (guitar) and non-Cajun John Scott (bass). They played a mixture of old and new Cajun numbers, genuine hillbilly music and occasional swamp-pop. They had a regular radio show, played fairs and festivals and made a film appearance in 1975’sHard Times and played on several major television shows includingAustin City Limits. The publicity gained with his band led Fontenot to become a very popular disc jockey on WSDL Slidell, Louisiana. Around 1977, he opened his club, the Cajun Bandstand, on Airline Highway in Kenner, which, until 1982, when he sold it, was the closest Cajun club to New Orleans. The Country Cajuns played the venue and it was regularly packed with students, tourists and Cajun couples who delighted in using the large dancefloor and partaking of the Cajun food and drinks available at the venue. Fontenot recorded for Antilles and Delta before retiring from active playing.
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