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Harry Choates, The ‘Godfather Of Cajun Music,’ To Be Celebrated Featuring Kevin Anthony & G-Town

Harry Choates may be all but forgotten today, but in the 1940s he was Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, and Jimi Hendrix all rolled into one. Unmatched in both his ability on the fiddle and his propensity for self-destruction, Choates burned hard and fast in the honky-tonks, bars, and dancehalls of Louisiana and Texas. 

Honoring that legacy, Gulf Coast musicians Kevin Anthony & G-Town will release a tribute album on October 5th at Hendley Green, 2028 Strand, from 6-8pm. 

Hosted by Galveston Historical Foundation, admission is free to the public, and craft beer, wine, and refreshments will be available. Details on the event can are available at galvestonhistory.org. 

“Harry Choates’ music and Kevin Anthony & G-Town’s celebration of it is a perfect fit for us. Not only do we get an opportunity to invite people to our downtown greenspace, but we can also acknowledge our region’s deep musical history,” says Will Wright, Chief Creative Officer for Galveston Historical Foundation.

Choates never left the Gulf Coast’s warm embrace but his impact, while often unacknowledged, is still felt in both Cajun music and the Texas coast gumbo of country, Texas swing, blues, and Tejano. Choates died at 28 from alcohol withdrawal in an Austin jail cell. In his short time on Earth, his recordings captured the meeting of cultures along the Gulf Coast and propelled Cajun music into the national consciousness. Best known for his reworking and recording of Jole Blon, Choates is the only musician to take a Cajun song into the top five of the Billboard Charts. While known for his Cajun songs, Choates loved Texas Swing, and his live shows were a mixture of songs in English and French.

“Harry did so much to bring these different types of music together,” Kevin Anthony explains. “Whether it’s Cajun music or Swing or Blues or Tejano, they are all talking to each other. They can all work together. That’s what we’ve been trying to do in this band since we started. He has a lot of great songs, and he wrote a lot of good, original music, and we just want to do our part in making sure those songs get out and are still heard today.”

About Kevin Anthony & G-Town

Kevin Anthony & G-Town gather the bits and pieces, songs, stories and influences of immigrants, travelers and vagabonds that have passed through Galveston, Texas. In the band’s music, country, Cajun, folk. and Tejano all mix to create what Anthony calls the Gulf Coast sound.

Anthony is no stranger to the Cajun music scene. In past albums, Anthony has explored the legacy passed down from his family, the connection to Louisiana Cajun music, and his Texas country roots. He won the highly coveted Cajun French Music Association’s (CFMA) Prix D’hors de Nous Award in 2012.

The songwriting and influences of the G-Town band members are also felt in this album. Featuring Christopher Smith Gonzalez on bass, Dwight Wolf on guitar, Jim Hall on steel, and Nicole Mendell on drums, the Kevin Anthony & G-Town band is the kind you find only in honky-tonks across Texas and backwoods Louisiana Blue Moon Saloons. Learn more at www.kevin-anthony.com. 

About Galveston Historical Foundation

Galveston Historical Foundation (GHF) was formed as the Galveston Historical Society in 1871 and merged with a new organization formed in 1954 as a non-profit entity devoted to historic preservation and history in Galveston County. Over the last sixty years, GHF has expanded its mission to encompass community redevelopment, historic preservation advocacy, maritime preservation, coastal resiliency, and stewardship of historic properties. GHF embraces a broader vision of history and architecture that encompasses advancements in environmental and natural sciences and their intersection with historic buildings and coastal life and conceives of history as an engaging story of individual lives and experiences on Galveston Island from the 19th century to the present day.

For more info call (409)765-3424 or email will.wright@galvestonhistory.org.

Please note: Historic image of Harry Choates is provided by the Museum of the Gulf Coast. 

 

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