Cleveland Chenier The Rubboard Master
Cleveland Chenier wasn't the first Zydeco musician to create the highly percussive sound made from a piece of corrugated steel, But he was the first to strap the rippled armor plate on his chest in the fashion that all Zydeco musicians wear the instrument today, created by Willie Landry in 1946 in Port Arthur,TX.If the frottoir wasn't a Cleveland original, his inimitable way of rubbing the instrument sure was. Cleveland set the pace for everyone else. Cleveland was also the first Zydeco musician to use more than one bottle opener on his hand. He loaded his fingers with rubboard picks, giving his sound that "weird, echo-y effect", Cleveland died Tuesday May 7, 1991 at 11:10 a.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Lafayette, LA. Interment is in St. Martin De Porres Cemetery in Scott, LA.