Goldband Recording Corporation

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The Goldband Recording Corporation of Lake Charles, La., has played a key role in documenting and shaping musical traditions, tastes, and trends, both regionally and on an international level since 1944, when owner Eddie Shuler made his first recording to promote his band, the Reveliers. The music of the Reveliers and other early Goldband recordings reflect Shuler's preference for the country and western music of the 1930s and 1940s. In the mid-1940s, Iry LeJune, a Cajun accordion player, made his first recording on the Goldband label, and Cajun and zydeco styles became a permanent part of Goldband's catalog. Many other musical styles were recorded at the Goldband studios, including blues, rhythm and blues, gospel, and sacred music. The early recordings were intended for a regional market, but later Goldband recordings were released nationally and internationally.

From the description of Goldband Recording Corporation records, 1943-1995. WorldCat record id: 40248550

The Goldband Recording Corporation of Lake Charles, La., has played a key role in documenting and shaping musical traditions, tastes, and trends, both regionally and on an international level since 1944, when Eddie Shuler made his first recording to promote his band, the Reveliers. In 1942, Eddie Shuler moved from Texas to Lake Charles to work as a dragline operator. He found additional part-time work in a music store, leading him into a career in the music business. His experience recording songs and messages on acetate discs for store customers gave him the knowledge he needed to begin recording his own band and other local musicians.

From 1943 to 1945, Eddie Shuler sharpened his songwriting and musical skills by playing with the Hackberry Ramblers, an established string band in southwest Louisiana who blended country, western swing, traditional fiddle music, and Cajun songs. The Hackberry Ramblers had made a number of records in the late 1920s, and reportedly made the first commercial recording of Jolie Blonde, the song that has since become the Cajun national anthem. After Shuler left the Hackberry Ramblers, he opened his own music store with a $250 loan from his mother. He formed his own band, Eddie Shuler's All-Star Reveliers, and made his first recording with them in 1944. This recording, Broken Love, was released in 1945.

In 1946, Shuler let Iry LeJune, a Louisiana accordion player, perform on his radio show. The station manager, who was unfamiliar with the Cajun style of music, threatened to fire Shuler if he ever had Cajun music on his show again, but in several months, Cajun business owners began buying air time to play more Cajun music on the radio. LeJune made a recording on the Opera label but it was unsuccessful, so he asked Eddie Shuler to record him. In 1949, Shuler made a recording of LeJune, and he placed the records on jukeboxes at local dance halls and nightspots. LeJune's subsequent recordings for Goldband were all hits. After LeJune's death in an accident in 1954 the popularity of his music soared, helping to launch a revival of interest in Cajun music.

In the half century since the first recordings, Eddie Shuler and the Goldband Recording Company have helped document--and in many cases have created--some of the South's most important and distinctive musical styles and sounds, ranging from the thirteen-year-old Dolly Parton to Iry LeJune's sorrowful accordion, and others like Freddie Fender, Jimmy C. Newman, Rockin' Sidney, Boozoo Chavis, Al Ferrier, Gene Terry, Juke Boy Bonner, and Guitar Junior. Goldband has documented important Cajun artists including LeJune, J. B. Fusilier, Alphee Bergeron, Ron Bertrand, Sidney Brown, and Shorty LeBlanc. African American presence is strong in blues, zydeco, and r& b with groups and artists like Rockin' Sidney, Boozoo Chavis, Juke Boy Bonner, Guitar Junior, Big Chenier, Katie Webster, Cleveland Crochet and the Sugar Bees, Cookie and the Cupcakes, and Phil Phillips.

The early Goldband recordings reflect Eddie Shuler's musical preferences, shaped largely by the country and western record industry of the late 1930s and early 1940s. Through the 1950s, Shuler recorded many regional artists who played diverse styles of music, including Louisiana French music with fiddle and accordion, acoustic and electric blues, and gospel and sacred music. The early recordings were aimed at a regional market. Eddie Shuler distributed the recordings from the back of his car to record stores and to jukebox operators who placed the records on jukeboxes leased to local clubs, dancehalls, and restaurants. The Goldband Recording Company has released a number of hits, both locally and nationally. TEK Publishing Company complements the recording studio, publishing songs from lyricists all over the country.

The various labels included under Eddie Shuler's management reflect transitions in musical styles and also pioneering new ideas that took root nationally. The blending of traditional and modern musical styles led to hybrid forms of folk, rhythm and blues, boogie, rockabilly, and rock and roll.

In addition to the recording studio and Eddie's Music House, Eddie and his wife Elsie own and operate Quick Service TV Repair, which maintained a fleet of trucks, sold 45-100 TVs per day, and grossed $200,000 annually in the mid-1950s.

This collection includes musical history, musical artifacts such as records and promotional materials and studio tapes, and business records that help show how a small independent record producer conducted business locally and among the big corporation players like RCA and Columbia. Marketing strategies are revealed; for example, having multiple labels under one parent company assures better chances of having airplay on the radio.

See also: Goldband Recording Corporation Multi-Format Online Exhibit .

From the guide to the Goldband Recording Corporation Collection, 1930-1995, (Southern Folklife Collection)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Goldband Recording Corporation. [Test pressing of Goldband 7787] [sound recording]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Goldband Recording Corporation. Goldband Recording Corporation records, 1943-1995. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Goldband Recording Corporation Collection, 1930-1995 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
referencedIn Southern Folklife Collection field notes. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Al Ferrier person
associatedWith Barbara Lynn person
associatedWith Bergeron, Alphee. person
associatedWith Bertrand, Ron. person
associatedWith Bonner, Juke Boy, 1932-1978. person
associatedWith Brooks, Lonnie. person
associatedWith Brown, Sidney. person
associatedWith Chavis, Boozoo, 1930-2001. person
associatedWith Chenier, Big, 1929- person
associatedWith Cookie and the Cupcakes (Musical group) corporateBody
associatedWith Cormier, El-Jay. person
associatedWith Crochet, Cleveland. person
associatedWith Fender, Freddy, 1937-2006. person
associatedWith Ferrier, Al, 1935- person
associatedWith Fusilier, J. B. person
associatedWith Guitar Jr person
associatedWith Hackberry Ramblers. corporateBody
associatedWith Joseph Fontenot person
associatedWith Leadbitter, Mike. person
associatedWith LeBlanc, Shorty. person
associatedWith LeJeune, Iry, 1928-1955. person
associatedWith Newman, Jimmy C. person
associatedWith Parton, Dolly. person
associatedWith Pat Dugas person
associatedWith Phillips, Phil, 1938- person
associatedWith Pierce, Don. person
associatedWith Reveliers (Musical group) corporateBody
associatedWith Rockin' Sidney, 1938- person
associatedWith Shuler, Eddie. person
associatedWith Sonnier, Jo-el. person
associatedWith Sugar Bees (Musical group) corporateBody
associatedWith TEK Publishing. corporateBody
associatedWith Terry, Gene. person
associatedWith Van Preston person
associatedWith Webster, Katie. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Southern States
Louisiana
Subject
Popular music--History--20th century
Folk music--History--20th century
Country music--History--20th century
Sound recording industry--History--20th century
Music trade--History--20th century
Zydeco music
Church music--History--20th century
Occupation
Activity

Corporate Body

Active 1943

Active 1995

Information

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Ark ID: w6rz49ph

SNAC ID: 21360315