The Dancehalls of Louisiana project began as a quest to find out the origins of several Cajun French songs that feature English titles: Hicks Wagon Wheel Special, B.O. Sparkle Waltz, OST Special, Blue Goose Special, and Chinaball Special. It didn’t take long to find out that all of these songs are named for old dancehalls- many long since closed.
The artists who wrote them played at the places the songs reference on a regular basis and wanted to honor the establishments, owners, and regulars with a song. Because I wanted to know more, I started to search for details and pictures and found very little. How could it be difficult to find out information about clubs so famous that their theme songs are considered Cajun standards?
The resulting wave of information allowed me to write a grant to make a documentary film on the subject. I was awarded the Louisiana Filmmakers Grant in 2012 and have been hard at work collecting materials and filming interviews.
Until then- thank you and best wishes,
John “Pudd” Sharp
Center for Louisiana Studies
University of Louisiana at Lafayette