Artist Details

Doug Kershaw

1969 was a pivotal year in the musical career of Doug Kershaw (born Douglas James Kershaw). An appearance on the premier broadcast of The Johnny Cash Show, on June 7, brought him to the attention of his largest audience and led to a contract with Warner Brothers/Seven Arts. Two months later, Kershaw's autobiographical tune, "Louisiana Man," became the first song broadcast back to Earth from the Moon by the astronauts of Apollo 12. Kershaw capped the year with a much-publicized, week-long engagement at the Fillmore East in New York as opening act for Eric Clapton's Derek & the Dominos. While it seemed to many rock and pop fans that Kershaw had appeared out of nowhere, he had already sold more than 18 million copies of the records he had done in the early '60s with his brother, Rusty. "Louisiana Man" had been a Top Ten country hit in 1961 and its follow-up, "Diggy Diggy Lo," had done almost as well. The son of an alligator hunter, Kershaw was the seventh born to a family that eventually included five boys and four girls. Raised in a home where Cajun French was spoken, he didn't learn English until the age of eight. By that time, he had mastered the fiddle, which he played from the age of five, and was on his way to teaching himself to play an amazing 28 instruments. His first gig was at a local bar, the Bucket of Blood, where he was accompanied by his mother on guitar. After teaching his brother Rusty (born Russell; February 2, 1938) to play guitar, he formed a band, the Continental Playboys, with Rusty and older brother Peewee in 1948.