Working-3-hickey-river-trees.jpg
NPR News, Classical and Music of the Delta
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Community

The Lost Bard of Louisiana

blind_uncle_gaspard.jpg
Blind Uncle Gaspard's recordings echo a musical tradition older than the cajuns.

AlcideGaspard, otherwise known as Blind Uncle Gaspard was born just south of Marksville, Louisiana in 1880. Blinded at the age of seven, Gaspard grew up playing and singing with his brothers, and in local string bands. 

Gaspard came from a community descended from the original French settlers of Louisiana, and this particular dialect of the French language seems to have completely disappeared.

In 1920s Gaspard teamed up with a left-handed fiddle player named Delma Lachney, and in 1929, as part of a deal with a furniture store owner, the pair went to Chicago, and recorded a handful of 78s for the Vocalion label. 

These records have become some of the rarest and most valuable in the world. The song  Sur Le Borde De L'Eau (On the Water's Edge) was featured in the first season of True Detective.

Gaspard died in 1937, and is buried near his boyhood home in Plaucheville.

Song List:

  1. Cher Ami Ma Vie Est Ruini (Dear Friend My Life Is Ruined)
  2.  Sur Le Borde De L'Eau (On the Water's Edge)
  3. Marksville Blues

Support for Byway Blues comes from a generous grant by the Entergy Charitable Foundation.

Related Content