The Ragin' Cajun: Memoir of a Louisiana Man
Doug Kershaw's musical career as a fiddler, songwriter, and singer has spanned more than seventy years. Born on a houseboat tied to a cypress tree in the swamps of Southwest Louisiana, his family followed the fishing up and down the Mermantau River. Alligators and snakes lurked beneath the waters. Alcoholism and violence lurked above. The fais do-dos, those popular houseboat dances, were the only escape from a harsh way of life. Until the Kershaws were forced to move into town following a family tragedy, Kershaw spoke only Cajun-French. He got his first pair of shoes when he was eight years old, the same year he began supporting his mother by playing fiddle and shining shoes. Throughout his career, he has mastered twenty-eight instruments. Because of his signature style of music-making and entertaining, Kershaw is considered by many to be a consummate performer and storyteller.