Sounds of The South : Louisiana

Louisiana’s unique culture is in part a product of its Spanish and French settlers and has musical traditions like Zydeco that are quite unlike anything else in America.  And of course it has New Orleans, the birthplace of Jazz, where great music can be found every night of the week.


1. Tony Joe White – Polk Salad Annie

A uniquely Louisiana rock n roll sound from the man otherwise known as The Swamp Fox.



2. Clifton Chenier – I’m coming home

A Zydeco anthem from the most important exponent of this music



3. Jerry Lee Lewis – Great Balls of Fire

Classic rock n roll from Louisiana’s favorite hell raiser



4. Glen Campbell – Southern Nights

Written by one of New Orleans’ great songwriters, Allen Toussaint, about his childhood trips spent with his Creole relatives out in the Louisiana countryside.



5. Irma Thomas – Anyone who knows what love is will understand

Haunting, heartbreaking stuff from the Soul Queen of New Orleans



6. Fats Domino – Walking to New Orleans

Even if you are not walking, a great one to herald your arrival into the Big Easy



7. The Dixie Cups – Iko Iko

Sixties girl group does strange chant by Mardis Gras Indians with beautiful results



8. Louis Armstrong – When the Saints come marching in

The classic NOLA anthem from its favorite son



9. Dr John – Gris Gris

Voodoo tinged psychedelic rock from a New Orleans character



10. Professor Longhair – Mardis Gras, New Orleans

The ultimate party tune from the king of New Orleans piano


Tracks were chosen by Laura Kaye. Author and Assistant Producer of the BBC’s documentary series – Songs Of The South


  • By entering your information you agree to receive emails in accordance with our Privacy Policy
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Thanks for visiting, we'd love to keep in touch

For national park profiles, insider interviews, hidden gems and more, subscribe to our bimonthly newsletter