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Product Details

  • An MVD Exclusive
  • SKU: MVD7500D
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • UPC: 760137750093
  • Street Date: 04/08/16
  • PreBook Date: 02/19/15
  • Label: Mug-Shot Productions »
  • Genre: Blues
  • Run Time: 71 mins
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Audio: STEREO
  • Year of Production: 1994
  • Region Code: 0
  • Box Lot: 30
  • Territory: WORLD
  • Language: English


Cast & Crew

  • Actors:
  •       Boozoo Chavis
  •       Beau Jocque
  •       John Delafose
  •       Nathan Williams
  •       Sid Williams
  • Director: ROBERT MUGGE
  • Producer: ROBERT MUGGE
  • Producers: ROBERT MUGGE


Product Assets





The Kingdom Of Zydeco

Robert Mugge's THE KINGDOM OF ZYDECO is a classic film about the Golden Era of Southwest Louisiana's Creole music scene.

The Kingdom Of Zydeco
  • List Price: $19.95  
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  • In Stock: 545
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THE KINDOM OF ZYDECO looks at the black Creole music scene of Southwest Louisiana and at attempts, in the mid 1990s, to name a new "king of zydeco." The music's original self-proclaimed "king" was the great Clifton Chenier who did more than anyone to develop zydeco's musical form and to promote it around the world. After Chenier's death, his good friend and former "crown prince" of zydeco Rockin' Dopsie was crowned king by the mayor of Lafayette, Louisiana under somewhat controversial circumstances. Then, with Dopsie's death, a new struggle ensued to crown either veteran accordion player Boozoo Chavis (another of zydeco's founding fathers) or the younger Beau Jocque (at the time, Southwest Louisiana's most popular musical artist). The core of the film is a joint concert appearance by Boozoo Chavis and Beau Jocque, which was billed as the event that would determine zydeco's future king, along with efforts by the Louisiana Hall of Fame to crown Boozoo Chavis in accordance with the reputed final wishes of Rockin' Dopsie. Also shown performing in the film are respected bandleader John Delafose and the talented younger artist Nathan Williams of Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas. But the film is as much about storytelling as it is about performance, and the tall tales come not only from musicians but also from competing nightclub owners Kerman Richard and Sid Williams (older brother of Nathan), from zydeco deejay Lester Thibeaux, from zydeco record store owner Irene Hebert (sister of Lester), from Zydeco Association heads Wilbert Guillory and Paul Scott, and from Louisiana Hall of Fame founder Lou Gabus. Appropriately enough, the film's climax documents the actual crowning of a new zydeco king, though that crowning, too, was immediately contested, and Mr. Delafose, Mr. Jocque, and Mr. Chavis all passed away much too soon afterwards. In the end, we are left with a stunning record of the talented musicians and colorful characters who made up zydeco's true Golden Era.


Watch trailer »

Bonus Materials

  • Complete 27-minute 1996 film IGUANAS IN THE HOUSE starring New Orleans band the Iguanas.

Sales Points

  • Transferred to HD from the original 16mm film and lovingly restored
  • The first home video release of the classic film about Southwest Louisiana's zydeco scene.

Press Quotes

THE KINGDOM OF ZYDECO is both a cunning little comedy of manners and a sweet-tempered celebration of American roots music. It chronicles the sea change that took place in the black Creole music scene of southwest Louisiana with the deaths of both Clifton Chenier and Rockin' Dopsie, king and crown prince, respectively, of zydeco music. Who, then, assumes titular leadership of this righteously rocking, washboard-driven sub-genre of rhythm-and-blues? A colorful, engaging cast of disc jockeys, club owners, record dealers and other zydeco artists have their own opinions and biases in the matter. The Chavis-Jocque tussle is prototypical American status buffoonery painted in folk-miniature. Both these men kick out the jams in thrilling performances filmed with blissful authority by Mugge, a specialist in roots music documentaries such as 1991's DEEP BLUES. It's Chenier's legacy - and Mugge's observational skills - that triumph in the end.

     —Gene Seymour, New York Newsday

Music documentaries often present local styles as idyllic and unspoiled; Mr. Mugge lets viewers see the tension in the local scene. In the meantime, those accordions keep everybody dancing.

     —Joh Pareles, New York Times

You get some insight into the cultural politics and personalities that shape this easy-grooving music and the fertile subculture it comes from. And you come away from the film with a luscious earful of infectious sounds.

     —Gene Santoro, New York Daily News

More colorful characters than all of Hollywood's summer offerings combined. And that's not even mentioning the cornucopia of musical highlights, which will put zydeco fans in seventh heaven, and turn the uninitiated into foot-stomping devotees.

     —Larry Worth, New York Post

Robert Mugge's eminently entertaining new film...has taken a snapshot of a moment in southwest Louisiana - and what a boisterous, contentious, colorful, musical moment it is! [The film] may rival any Hollywood release this summer for memorable characters.

     —Michael Tisserand, OffBeat (New Orleans)

The people - particularly Chavis and family, and Jocque - are too full of life and charm to take these things to heart; and their fluid, washboard-percussive music, which permeates this 71-minute film, is wonderful.

     —Desson Howe, Washington Post

Musical performances are easy to film; the evolution of a musical style is trickier, and hardly ever conveyed well. THE KINGDOM OF ZYDECO does both, and with a beat.

     —Robert Hunt, Riverfront Times (St. Louis)

Mugge's winning documentary bubbles with the passion that's zydeco's essential ingredient.

     —Lisa Susser, Boston Phoenix

Along with plenty of great music, it presents a varied and fascinating picture of the world of zydeco. Passionate and funny interviews. Depth and heart.

     —Elijah Wald, Boston Globe

You'll be in a state of nirvana watching THE KINGDOM OF ZYDECO. Great music, great dance scenes and fascinating interviews.

     —Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner

Both the music and the story behind THE KINGDOM OF ZYDECO are fascinating. Passion aplenty sears the screen, with heartfelt performances by the two contenders for the crown. Thrilling.

     —Arthur Salm, San Diego Union-Tribune

The audience is the clear winner in this extended battle of the bands. The overall experience is one of pure and simple joy.

     —Sean O'Neall, LA Village View

Spellbinding musical performances. THE KINGDOM OF ZYDECO is a place to visit and linger.

     —Claudia Perry, Houston Post

The film offers an entertaining glimpse of some of the colorful personalities involved in zydeco. Mugge has a clever way of raising the right questions and then blending into the background so that the story can tell itself. Infectious energy. A royally good documentary.

     —Rick Mitchell, Houston Chronicle


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