Happy birthday to the Cajun Valentino, Jo-El Sonnier

These two songs may be the only to fit the term Baroque Cajun Psychedelia, both from Sonnier’s 1969 LP, Cajun Valentino, the third in a trio of albums recorded for the coveted Goldband Records. I couldn’t tell you what the rest of his Goldband discography sounds like, as the records are rare, and oddly, unavailable for streaming on youtube, spotify and all the other likely candidates. In fact, I’m pretty sure these are the only two clips of that era currently streaming online. I used to play these out on my more chill bar crowd DJ nights, and had a few people begin regularly requesting them, which I was only too happy to oblige. Anyway, if anyone’s interested in a copy, there is one currently on discogs for $15 (no, not mine), and it rarely pops up, so plan accordingly.

It would be six years after the release of this LP before Sonnier released two more singles, and then another four to five before a full length, and seven before the next. Why the lengthy pauses between releases, I have no idea, but after 1987’s Come On Joe, recorded for RCA, Sonnier’s output became much more regular, drifting between the Cajun and Country genres.


One response to “Happy birthday to the Cajun Valentino, Jo-El Sonnier

  1. If I remember correctly, in the “dry” period before “Come On, Joe,” Sonnier’s wife was very ill, eventually dying before that album came out. The title track is about that experience. From what I remember, he was her pretty-much full-time helper.

    I haven’t thought about this in a while – although I have a think highly of “Come On, Joe” – but that’s the story as I believe I remember it.

    Liked by 1 person

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