D.L. Menard: “The Back Door”

Cajun music singer-songwriter D.L. Menard recently passed away on July 27, 2017. By all reports, Menard was a warm and engaging man who always had time for his fans. His most popular recordings include “Under the Oak Tree,” “Rebecca Ann,” “Bachelor’s Life,” “La Valse de Jolly Rogers,” and “She Didn’t Know I Was Married.” But his most endearing legacy may be “The Back Door” (“La Porte En Arrière”) which he wrote and performed for audiences around the world.

Menard was born Doris Leon Menard in Erath, Louisiana on April 14, 1932. He began performing music at the age of 17, and he met Hank Williams at the age of 18. Menard, who continued through his musical career to work as a craftsman, became a world-wide ambassador for Cajun music, so that he is sometimes called “The Cajun Hank Williams.”

“The Back Door” (“La Porte en Arrière”)

He wrote his biggest hit, “The Back Door,” during a shift working at a gas station. Menard’s song is about sneaking back home after a night of partying. It became a hit in 1962.  And music fans today recognize the song as one of the most popular Cajun songs of all time.

Menard talks about “The Back Door” and then performs it in the video below. Even if you do not recognize the title of the song, you might recognize it once you hear it. Either way, it will make you want to get up and two-step.

Menard drew inspiration for “The Back Door” from Williams’ “Honky Tonk Blues.” In the audio recording below, Williams sings “Honky Tonk Blues” live at The Grand Ole Opry in 1952.

In 2014, Rolling Stone listed Menard’s “The Back Door” (“La Porte en Arrière”) as the 72nd greatest country song of all time. It was even ahead of that other wonderful Cajan classic, Harry Coates’ “Jole Blon,” which was at 99 (and which even Bruce Springsteen recorded with Gary U.S. Bonds).

What is your favorite D.L. Menard song? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    The Irresistible Rhythm and Harmonies of The Cactus Blossoms

    Brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum of The Cactus Blossoms create some great harmonies reminiscent of another pair, The Everly Brothers. The Cactus Blossoms’ new debut album You’re Dreaming, featuring mostly songs written by each of the brothers, is essential listening for classic country fans.

    On The Cactus Blossoms’ website, the brothers discuss how as Minnesota teenagers they began to be enthralled by pre-1960s country music. They explain, “We weren’t born in the wrong era. We just got into some music from a different era and found a way to make it our own.”

    I am always a sucker for tight country vocals that blend well, and there is something about the way that brothers can sing together. Burkham explains to Rolling Stone, though, that he thinks the brotherly bond adds to the music in another way: their sense of rhythm. He reasons, “If you have two good singers who aren’t related, they can both hit beautiful notes together, but if their timing is different or the way they breathe is different, it will have a harder time linking up.”

    See what you think of their vocals and their rhythm. Below is “Stoplight Kisses” from You’re Dreaming.

    In this video, the brothers perform “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” at Rhythm & Roots. If you hear a little of the ghost of Hank Williams, you are not alone.

    You’re Dreaming was produced by rockabilly singer-songwriter JD McPherson and released January 22, 2016.

    Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Earlier this year, we saw a short preview of actor Tom Hiddleston as country music legend Hank Williams in the upcoming movie I Saw the Light. Now, we get a longer look at the Hank Williams biopic in a new trailer.

    Hiddleston did all of his own singing in the film, so in the two-minute trailer, we hear Hiddleston singing Williams’s 1951 song “Hey Good Lookin’.” The clip also illustrates that the movie explores Williams’s turbulent love life and problems with alcoholism. Check it out.

    I Saw the Light hits theaters in general release on March 25, 2016.

    What do you think of the trailer for the Hank Williams movie? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Preview of Tom Hiddleston as Hank Williams


    Although some thought Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki in the Marvel movies, was an unusual choice to play country music’s Hank Williams in a new biopic, you cannot argue that the actor strikes a similar look to the great country singer. Now, we get our first peak at the English actor as Williams in a clip from the upcoming movie I Saw the Light.

    In the short clip below, we get Hiddleston singing “Move It On Over” as Hank Williams in the studio, as well as some additional footage of his portrayal. From one short clip, it is difficult to tell whether the movie is able to immerse us into believing Hank Williams is on the screen. But the clip is enough to make me want to see the movie. Check it out.

    Among those who have been critical of the movie, including the choice of Hiddleston as the lead and of Marc Abraham as director, is Hank III. HitFlix liked Hiddleston, but not the movie, which is scheduled to open in limited release on November 27.

    What do you think of Hiddleston as Hank Williams? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Country singer Marty Brown recently stopped by Herzog Studios (E.T. Herzog Recording Company) in Cincinnati, Ohio where Hank Williams recorded some of his classic songs, including “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” in 1949. In tribute to Hank, Marty Brown sits down at the piano Williams used and sings “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”

    The performance is priceless, and Brown throws in some history lessons too. Check out the video.

    For updates on Marty Brown shows, check out his website.

    Leave your two cents in the comments.

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