YES WE DO
We begin a music-themed holiday edition of Finds with everything you need to know about Louisiana’s invaluable contribution to the birth of rock ’n’ roll: Tom Aswell’s Louisiana Rocks! (Pelican Publishing Company), an encyclopedic review of the musicians and venues that mid-wifed a screaming baby into America’s consciousness. Aswell, himself a former disc jockey and newspaper journalist, traces rock’s ascendency from the late 1940s — he makes a good case that Roy Brown’s “Good Rockin’ Tonight” (1947) and Fats Domino’s “The Fat Man” (1949) are the true first titles of the genre — through the Louisiana Hayride, which spawned Elvis Presley, to swamp pop and beyond. In many cases the Louisiana connection to these characters is tenuous — songwriter Kris Kristofferson served a short stint as a PHI helicopter pilot based out of Morgan City in the 1960s; Stephen Stills lived in New Orleans for about a year in the early ’60s before moving on to Greenwich Village and folk-rock fame — but the stories are engaging and provide a melodic backdrop to the state’s rich musical history. Louisiana Rocks! retails for $29.95 and is available at major book retailers. — Walter Pierce
JUST PLAIN FOLK
What better Christmas gift than a book written by a guy name Yule? Ron Yule’s Louisiana Fiddlers (University of Mississippi Press) is a compendium of the famous and obscure fiddlers to perform in the state’s dance halls, concert halls, bars, dives and house parties from Albany to Zachary and all points in between. Fittingly, this alphabetic review begins with perhaps the most famous Cajun fiddler of all time, Dewey Balfa. A fiddler himself from Deridder, Yule weds an acolyte’s enthusiasm with scholarly detail and a knack for storytelling in this 337-page tome covering more than 60 fiddlers in virtually all American folk genres, from Balfa to Paul Woodard and from Cajun to country swing. And Louisiana Fiddlers is richly referenced, pointing the reader to a trove of other works both on the fiddle and on individual musicians. Louisiana Fiddlers is $40 and is available at all major book sellers. — WP
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Louisiana agriculture officials say prices for long-grain rice are projected to drop this year.
First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending July 19 decreased from the previous week's total.
A judge is getting ready to set a new trial date for a former BP executive charged with obstructing a congressional investigation into the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The sponsor of a Louisiana law that requires doctors that perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges doesn't believe the provision is in jeopardy after a federal appeals court struck down a similar Mississippi law.
Louisiana's state school board has jumped into a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal that accuses the governor of illegally meddling in education policy through his efforts to block Common Core education standards.
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Midsouth Bank has released its second quarter earnings report, showing a year-over-year increase for shareholders.
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The deadline to purchase tickets for the 2014 ABiz Top 50 Business Luncheon featuring top-selling author, political activist and Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig is only two weeks away.
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A bipartisan congressional deal to help improve veterans' health care access includes approval for new veterans clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles.
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The Democratic incumbent, seeking her fourth term in office, is a strong supporter of the Export-Import Bank, which helps finance exports of U.S. companies.
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Acadiana's nightlife guide.
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Louisiana has joined nine other states in support of Indiana’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that the Hoosier State’s ban on sam-sex marriage violates the Constitution.
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