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In the early ’70s, the success of the Wild Magnolias’ and Wild Tchoupitoulas’ funky amalgamations drew eyes and ears from around the world, sparking new documentary interest in what had been a relatively secret, highly localized African-American tradition.
Davis brought a reel-to-reel tape recorder, and as he later listened to the chants and clattering percussion he’d captured, he found himself drawn in again and again by one element in particular: Dollis’ raspy, powerful, soulful voice.
Davis booked Tee, who would soon form the seminal New Orleans funk band the Gaturs, to play a show alongside Bo Dollis and the Wild Magnolias on Tulane’s campus.
Onstage, the traditional sound of Indian chants, drums and tambourines met electric soul music likely for the first time.
After all, it isn’t called the “Cajun Music Capital of the World” for nothing.
Cajun music traditionally orbits around a triptych of fiddle, accordion and triangle, with lyrics warbled in Cajun French or, occasionally, their English translation.