swamp pop

Johnny Allan
American Routes

Each Week, American Routes bring you Shortcuts, a sneak peak at our upcoming show. Johnnie Allan is a Swamp Pop legend, born John Allen Guillot, a sharecropper’s son. His mother and grandfather were musicians who played with family member Joe Falcon, on the first Cajun record in 1928. At 13, Johnnie Allan formed a Cajun Band. Later, he joined accordionist Lawrence Walker’s band on steel guitar.

Southern Louisiana in the early 1960s was a hotbed of musical creativity among youngsters who'd been raised listening to French-language country music and Fats Domino. They combined those — and other — influences to make what's now called "swamp pop." Joe Barry was a pioneer in this area who should have been much bigger.