Religions And Music
Until the Louisiana Purchase, the public practice of any but the Catholic religion was prohibited, and Jews were entirely banned.
As of 2000, the Roman Catholic Church was the largest Christian denomination, with 1,382,603 church members. The leading Protestant denominations were the Southern Baptist Convention, 768,587; the United Methodist Church, 160,153; Assemblies of God, 49,041; and the Episcopal Church, 33,653. There were about 16,500 Jews residing in Louisiana in 2000, a majority of them in New Orleans. The Muslim community had about 13,050 members. Voodoo, in some cases blended with Christian ritual, is more widespread in Louisiana than anywhere else in the United States.
The music of Louisiana can be divided into three general regions. The Acadiana region of the state (Southern Louisiana, west of New Orleans) is dominated by Cajun culture. To the southeast, the region in and around Greater New Orleans has a unique musical heritage tied to Dixieland jazz, blues and Afro-Caribbean rhythms. The northern portion of the state starting at Baton Rouge shares the similarities with the rest of the US South.
Cajun music is very similar to Creole music. It was rooted in the music of the French-speaking Catholics of Canada and became transformed into a unique sound of the Cajun culture. In earlier years of the late 18th century the fiddle was the predominant instrument and the music tended to sound more like early country music. Cajun music is typically a waltz or two step.
The northern region has not led to a development of a "local" music. Traditional and modern country music has been dominant, creating its own country stars, like Tim McGraw, Jimmie Davis, Trace Adkins, and Andy Griggs.
Northern Louisiana in the 1950s had a country rock scene, many of whose artists were recorded by local Ram Records. Later, Shreveport produced The Residents, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Private Life featuring Danny Johnson, now a member of Steppenwolf, and Sunday Mass Murder.
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