From the War on French to the War in France: World War II and Cultural Identity

  • Patricia Peknik


World War II transformed the music culture of French Louisiana by exposing Southwest Louisianans to a national pop and country music soundtrack that was, both on the home front and on military bases, the aural backdrop of a bombastic American nationalism. Country music, heralded by Nashville promoters as the language of patriotism, blared over radios on American military bases. Kate Smith proclaimed in the 1942 “My Great, Great Grandfather” that her Revolutionary War ancestor had migrated to the United States because “in America, a man is free,” and in “This is My Country,” Fred Waring asked “What difference if I hail from North or South/Or from the East or West?” The World War II years heightened Southwest Louisianans’ awareness of the outsider status of French Louisiana language, music, and heritage as they joined other Americans in rallying around symbols of national culture.


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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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