J J CaillierJ J Caillier

From out of the darkest depths of the Louisiana hinterland comes R & B singer, Zydeco artist / producer and DJ J J (or Jay Jay) Caillier. He is known for his dance favourite “Pusherman” but his career certainly wasn’t just that single disc. His eponymous label was responsible for some fine music from such artists as Chuck Colbert and Morris Francis as well as his own efforts.

His first discs were recorded for Lloyd Raynaud’s eponymous label from Opelousas, LA and both of them featured a fine ballad. ListenI Really Love You is splendid, a classic piece of Pelican state music, more of a swamp pop slowie than a deep soul song. But Caillier sings strongly and the backing is just perfect for the mood the lyric conjures up. The second Reynaud 45 has ListenWithout Your Love a deep soul tune with a very bluesy edge courtesy of some well judged guitar fills. The chord changes here are excellent and Caillier sounds very involved emotionally. A nice one for sure.

Caillier went on to record a one off for Floyd Soileau’s Ville Platte Maison De Soul concern. Both sides of this 45 are much more obviously soul sides courtesy of guitarist Dalton Francis’ Flaming Arrows band. The rocking “Been Such A Long Time” is the better tune, easily eclipsing the funk oriented “I Got A Groove”. This funk feel was increased for the famous and celebrated socially conscious “Pusherman” track. But this semi -rapped tune does absolutely nothing for me at all. Repetitive and non melodic. And the fully rapped follow up “Bust The Pusherman” is even worse.

By the 80s J J Caillier was in the forefront of the zydeco revival, using both his own name label and his stints as a DJ at Lafayette’s KJCB station to kick start the new music, and to promote his son J J Caillier III who built his own zydeco career with his band the Zydeco Knockouts. Dad’s final 45 included just two of several famous soul and R & B tunes to be given the zydeco treatment as part of his only LP set “Zydeco Train Revue”.

But despite the success of these ventures I think the best music that J J Caillier the elder made came at the beginning of his career sadly.


ListenI really love you / His own troubles ~ REYNAUD 1019 (1964/5)
She can’t do the monkey dog or bird / ListenWithout your love ~ REYNAUD 1020 (1964/5)
I got a groove / Been such a long time ~ MAISON DE SOUL 1003 (mid 70s)
Pusherman / Louisiana rapper (HERMAN THE RAPPER) ~ JC 1001 (mid 70s)
Bust the pusherman / Rap on tap ~ CAILLIER 117 (1985)
Baby scratch my back / Bring it on home to me ~ CAILLIER 8600 (1986)


Zydeco Train Revue ~ CAILLIER 8601 (mid 1980s)


Back to artist index | Top of Page