DOUG KERSHAW-RAGIN’ CAJUN
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Saturday, 25 June 2011 00:16
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Born in 1936 (the seventh of nine children) to Jack, an alligator hunter, and Rita Kershaw on the small island of Tiel Ridge off of Cameron Parish, Louisiana. He is truly a Cajun as he and his family lived on a house boat where

 

the only language spoken was French. In fact Kershaw did not learn to speak English until he was eight years old. His ancestors were Acadians who came to Louisiana following the forceful expulsion by the British from Grand Pre’ in Nova Scotia in the late 18th Century.

He began playing his father’s fiddle at age 5 and by the time he reached 8, had mastered his first of, what would eventually become, 28 different instruments! He became interested in music when his parents would host parties on the house boat and he would listen and enjoy. At 11 years old, his mother accompanied him on guitar as he debuted at the Bucket of Blood, a local bar in Cameron. By the time he was 12, Kershaw formed a Cajun band known as the Continental Playboys. His brothers Rusty (10) and Peewee were also members of the group.

In 1955 Doug now 19, and Rusty performed on the famous Louisiana Hayride radio broadcast from Shreveport. Their energetic style caught the attention of the promoters of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and the two were invited to appear there in 1957.

In 1958 both Doug and Rusty felt the patriotic need to serve their country and enlisted in the US Army where they served with honor until discharged in 1961. While in the Army Doug wrote several songs; one was Louisiana Man which, without question, became and his most successful composition selling millions of copies. It was eventually recorded by over 800 musicians and in 1969, from the Apollo 12 Mission, became the first song ever broadcast back to earth from the moon.

Kershaw’s first network television appearance was on the premiere of the Johnny Cash Show. His national exposure created an overwhelming popularity and soon after Warner Brothers Records signed him to a long-term recording contract. Doug has never lost sight of his Cajun roots and still includes French lyrics in many of his songs. He has a personal relationship with his audiences and will take time to visit with fans following his concerts.

The Ragin’ Cajun, as he was dubbed by fellow musicians early in his career, married his wife Pam in 1975 prior to a baseball game at the Houston Astrodome; where he performed a concert following the game. Doug and Pam are the parents of five sons, all of whom are talented musicians. His son, Tyler often sits in as drummer for the band. Despite performing for nearly 60 years, he still continues to tour worldwide, where his high-energy style of fiddling, singing and dancing captivates hundreds of thousands.

The Kershaw family now resides in Lucerne, Colorado where they own Doug Kershaw’s Bayou House restaurant and the “Ragin’ Cajun” plays there several times a month. On September 3rd through the 7th he’ll be in concert in Laughlin, Nevado at the Riverside Casino and then on April 5, 2009 performing with the University of Northern Colorado Symphony in what has been dubbed “Classic Cajun Gumbo”.

You can find a wealth of information about Doug Kershaw through internet searches and additionally many of his 25 CD’s are available at your local music stores or accessible for download from the internet.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2011 16:26