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Toggle Content ZOL Today in History
One day like today...
1949
Southern Soul and Blues singer Isaac “Big Ike” Martin was born Isaac Martin on July 28, 1949, in Lake Charles, Louisiana. One of his earliest, fondest recollections was of his mother and three aunts who, during the early and middle 50s, led the congregation of the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church singing spirituals. "They were my first inspirations and I couldn't wait to start singing in the choir, myself," he confessed. Big Ike became lead singer of the Southern Soul and Blues band called the Episodes (later changed to the Lake City Show Band). The group became a regional sensation opening for singers Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and Bobby Blue Bland in grand arenas like Ball's Auditorium and Jones' Fine Fox. Big Ike was a reclusive musician, and even the music professionals in the Deep South who had heard of him seldom if ever saw him in person. Big Ike was on the verge of "breaking out," with--among other things--a major blues label (Mardi Gras) recording contract in the works for the Teddy Bear album.

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    Toggle Content What is Zydeco?
    Zydeco Music is a unique form of musical expression that originated in rural southwest Louisiana. Locally known as "la la" music, Zydeco music was formed and forged in a time best forgotten--a time when African-Americans had to struggle in the fields from sunup to sundown as sharecroppers so that their children might reap a better life.

    It was these backbreaking hard times that help to define one of the most vibrant and successful musical traditions in the world. The phrase "Zydeco sont pas sale'" means "The snapbeans are not Salty" in Creole French, and the music draws upon French, Creole, West African, Cajun, Caribbean, and R & B musical traditions. Zydeco Music is characterized by the use of the accordion, spoons, scrubboard, fiddle and triangle.
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    Toggle Content Today in Zydeco History
    One day like today...
    1949
    Southern Soul and Blues singer Isaac “Big Ike” Martin was born Isaac Martin on July 28, 1949, in Lake Charles, Louisiana. One of his earliest, fondest recollections was of his mother and three aunts who, during the early and middle 50s, led the congregation of the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church singing spirituals. "They were my first inspirations and I couldn't wait to start singing in the choir, myself," he confessed. Big Ike became lead singer of the Southern Soul and Blues band called the Episodes (later changed to the Lake City Show Band). The group became a regional sensation opening for singers Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and Bobby Blue Bland in grand arenas like Ball's Auditorium and Jones' Fine Fox. Big Ike was a reclusive musician, and even the music professionals in the Deep South who had heard of him seldom if ever saw him in person. Big Ike was on the verge of "breaking out," with--among other things--a major blues label (Mardi Gras) recording contract in the works for the Teddy Bear album.

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