HARRY CHOATES, THE ‘GODFATHER OF CAJUN MUSIC,’ TO BE CELEBRATED AT ALBUM RELEASE PARTY FEATURING KEVIN ANTHONY & G-TOWN
Galveston Island, Texas, August 14, 2019 – Harry Choates may be all but forgotten today, but in the 1940s he was Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, and Jimmy Hendrix all rolled into one. Unmatched in both his ability on the fiddle and his propensity for self-destruction, Choates burned hard and fast in the honky-tonks, bars, and dancehalls of Louisiana and Texas. Honoring that legacy, Gulf Coast musicians Kevin Anthony & G-Town will release a tribute album on October 5 at Hendley Green, 2028 Strand, from 6-8 p.m. Hosted by Galveston Historical Foundation, admission is free to the public, and craft beer, wine, and refreshments will be available. Details on the event can are available at www.galvestonhistory.org.
“Harry Choates’ music and Kevin Anthony & G-Town’s celebration of it is a perfect fit for us. Not only do we get an opportunity to invite people to our downtown green-space, but we can also acknowledge our regions deep musical history,” says Will Wright, Chief Creative Officer for Galveston Historical Foundation.
Choates never left the Gulf Coast’s warm embrace but his impact, while often unacknowledged, is still felt in both Cajun music and the Texas coast gumbo of country, Texas swing, blues, and Tejano. Choates died at 28 from alcohol withdrawal in an Austin jail cell. In his short time on Earth, his recordings captured the meeting of cultures along the Gulf Coast and propelled Cajun music into the national consciousness. Best known for his reworking and recording of Jole Blon, Choates is the only musician to take a Cajun song into the top five of the Billboard Charts. While known for his Cajun songs, Choates loved Texas Swing, and his live shows were a mixture of songs in English and French.
“Harry did so much to bring these different types of music together,” Kevin Anthony explains. “Whether it’s Cajun music or Swing or Blues or Tejano, they are all talking to each other. They can all work together. That’s what we’ve been trying to do in this band since we started. He has a lot of great songs, and he wrote a lot of good, original music, and we just want to do our part in making sure those songs get out and are still heard today.”