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Discover Lafayette: A Visit With Herman Fuselier

Jun 05, 2018 11:29AM ● By Jan Swift

Music and entertainment writer Herman Fuselier’s childhood home always had music playing. His parents, Matteal and Herman Fuselier, enjoyed the sounds of James Brown, Otis Redding, and Frank Sinatra. While Herman’s generation was into the 70’s genre of the Jackson 5 and the Carpenters, Herman always enjoyed Zydeco music and listened to it before it was “cool.”

In this podcast interview by Discover Lafayette, we shine the light on Herman Fuselier. As the music and entertainment writer for the Daily Advertiser and Times of Acadiana in Lafayette, Louisiana, Herman was originally hired as a sports writer for the Opelousas Daily World. After realizing that the only time great musicians were covered by the newspaper was when their obituary was published, he convinced his boss, Harlin Kirgan, to allow him to cover the music scene. Permission was granted, but only when he promised not to allow it to interfere with sports coverage!

Following his passion, Herman Fuselier has now covered the Louisiana music scene for more than twenty-five years. He’s contributed features to Offbeat Magazine of New Orleans, Oxford American, Living Blues, and other national publications. His articles in the Daily Advertiser and Times of Acadiana provide touching glimpses and insight into regional artists who exemplify our beautiful cultural heritage.

Herman has been interviewed for cultural stories done by NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and more. He’s written CD liner notes for Lil’ Nate, Leon Chavis, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas, Beau Jocque, Jeffery Broussard, and the World Music Network of Australia.

In sharing his love of music, Herman also hosts The Zydeco Stomp on KRVS 88.7, our local public radio station, each Saturday from noon to 3 pm. Listen to Herman also by visiting http://krvs.org/programs/zydeco-stomp-krvs.

Herman Fuselier is the author of Ghosts of Good Times: South Louisiana Dance Halls Past and Present, which examines the world of Cajun dance halls, Zydeco clubs, Chitlin’ Circuit R&B nightclubs, Swamp-Pop Honkytonks and other venues that at one time were prevalent throughout the region. Photographs by Philip Gould document the dance halls and blend architectural imagery of buildings still standing with historic photographs of the now defunct clubs that Gould took back in their heyday. Herman and other contributors provide a rich selection of historical accounts about their personal experiences in the clubs. The book also examines the dancehall scene today and how the venues have changed. The music following remains strong and people still come to dance, although the surviving dance halls and newer venues have had to adjust with the times to remain viable. Old or new, the dance halls are icons, a proud south Louisiana legacy of Good Times. The book was published by the UL Press in 2016 and is available at bookstores and through Amazon.

Herman Fuselier’s writings are a treasure trove for our region, as he shines the light on the soul of the performers he covers. His body of work will guide you if you are unfamiliar with Zydeco, Cajun or Swamp Pop music, as well as rock, jazz, and other genres. Please visit https://www.theadvertiser.com to enjoy the stories penned by Herman Fuselier.

Hearing Herman speak of his love of music is inspirational. He brings our local culture to life! Listen to Herman’s interview by visiting www.discoverlafayette.net where you can hear this episode and over 40 other interviews of local people who contribute to the rich fabric of our community.

Jan Swift is host of Discover Lafayette, an audio podcast focused on the people and rich culture of Lafayette, the Gateway to South Louisiana. www.discoverlafayette.net.

An attorney experienced in government and commercial law, she is affiliated with Swift & Rhoades, LLP. Jan most recently served as Executive Director of Upper Lafayette Economic Development Foundation.


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