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Soileau, Floyd

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Louisiana Music Producer

Floyd Soileau founded Floyd’s Record Shop & Flat Town Music Company in 1956 & 1957 respectively.  Soileau began a part-time job selling records to supplement his radio disc jockey income at KVPI in Ville Platte, Louisiana.  Eventually he had to choose between spinning records or selling them. Soileau decided to leave the radio station in 1957. 

Recordings of Cajun music were in relatively short supply at the time. Soileau recognized the necessity of recording the talent of the local Cajun and Rock’n’Roll musicians.  His first label was Vee-Pee (as in Ville Platte).  Other labels followed.  The Swallow label (a play on the pronunciation of his last name) was dedicated to French language Cajun releases.  The Jin label (named for his soon-to-be-wife Jinver) was used for Swamp Pop. Maison de Soul was the first record label dedicated to the soulful upbeat style of Zydeco.

Soileau has recorded such greats as Dewey Balfa and the The Balfa Brothers, Nathan Abshire, Adam Hebert, Dennis McGee, Vin Bruce, Hadley Castille, Paul Daigle, Aldus Roger, Lawrence Walker, Austin Pitre, Belton Richard, D.L. Menard, BeauSoleil, Wayne Toups, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Jambalaya Cajun Band, Kevin Naquin, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, Clifton Chenier, Boozoo Chavis, and Rockin’ Sidney. 

In 2006, Floyd Soileau was inducted into the Louisiana Folklife Center’s Hall of Master Folk Artists.