French Louisiana Music from Home and Dance Hall to Radio and Fred’s Lounge

  • Patricia Peknik


Fred’s Lounge, a tiny, concrete-block bar in the isolated village of Mamou, Louisiana, on the southern prairies of Evangeline Parish, seems an unlikely place to be memorialized as the starting point of the “French Renaissance” in America, as the plaque beside its front door reads. The building has the architecture of a bunker and the décor of a juke joint, and although Fred’s is a music venue, there is no stage for musicians. A handwritten sign on the wall reads “This is not a dance hall.” Its doors are only open on Saturday mornings, when third shift oil refinery workers crowd the bar beside crawfish farmers and men who work in the rice mills. It is not a dance hall, but the men have come to Fred’s to two-step and waltz with their wives and girlfriends, and posted signs ask patrons not to stand on the tables or the cigarette machine to get a better view of the dance floor.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia Peknik
    • 1
  1. 1.Berklee College of MusicBostonUSA

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