EDDIE SHULER (By Shaun Mather)

Born 27 March 1913, Wrightsboro, Texas
Died 23 July 2005, Atlanta, Georgia

Although born across the border in Texas, Eddie Shuler has made his name as an integrral part of the Louisiana music scene. The founder and owner of the Lake Charles-based record label, Goldband, he ran one of the state's most important record labels. He was the producer of the first Zydeco record, Paper in My Shoe by Boozoo Chavis, in 1942. He also co-wrote Bon Ton Roula with Clarence Garlow (# 7 R&B in 1950), now a recognised classic and staple of most Louisiana bands.

In 1943 he became a member of the traditional Cajun band the Hackberry Ramblers, but left two years later to open a record store. He set up Goldband and one of his mainstays was the legendary Cajun, Iry LeJeune (his son Eddie is a fine artist today). During the 1950s and '60s, he produced many influential recordings by Freddie Fender, Rockin' Sydney, Katie Webster, Jimmy C. Newman, Juke Boy Bonner and Cookie and the Cupcakes among others. Unfortunately, the quality of Goldband's output was not reflected in the charts. The only Goldband single to enter the Billboard Top 100 was "Sugar Bee" by Cleveland Crochet, which peaked at # 80 in 1961. But many Shuler productions were local or regional hits.

Ace has released several good Goldband compilations: Eddie's House of Hits : The Story of Goldband Records (Ace 424) Boppin' Tonight : Goldband Rockabilly (Ace 442) Louisiana Rockers (Ace 491) Bayou Rockabilly Cats (Ace 744). Website: http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/g/Goldband_Recording_Corporation.html Further reading: John Broven, South To Louisiana : The Music of the Cajun Bayous. Gretna, LA : Pelican, 1983.


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