Gone are the days when “Jolie Blonde” was called the Cajun Anthem. Since the release of D. L. Menard’s “The Back Door,” the song has taken over the title. As soon as it was out in 1962, its sales rocketed to over half million copies. Dozens of Cajun and zydeco bands, as well as other francophone artists, began covering it. Menard even reached a point of getting sick of the many requests coming from the fans. He told his wife his regret in writing the song as he has to sing it five to six times. His over supportive wife, on the other hand, did her best in explaining to him the reason behind that stuff. He had a hit; it’s as simple as that. He later realized his spouse’s words. In the end, the song became his favorite and claimed that it brought him to 38 countries.
Interesting Information About the Song
Let’s look back once more to some remarkable information relative to the famous song and its artist. The late Cajun music legend was 30 when he wrote: “The Back Door” (La Porte En Arrière). Although he grew up on a farm speaking Cajun French, Menard loved listening to country music on the radio. In fact, he’s a solid supporter of Hank Williams who became his inspiration in writing the now Cajun Anthem. It was patterned after the latter’s “Honky Tonk Blues.” This cheery rhyme in Cajun French is about a man who sneaks through his back door after getting so drunk. Menard composed the tune in less than an hour while working at a gas station. He finished writing the song in no time and the end result was incredible. At that time, Menard’s bandleader Elias Badeaux did not like the song saying it “stunk.”
The former insisted on recording the tune and it helped him become a goodwill ambassador for Cajun music and culture. In addition to that, he was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and the Cajun Music Hall of Fame. He earned his national heritage fellow name from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1994. He passed away July 27 last year.
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