OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) — Rockin’ Dopsie Sr., 61, an originator of the fusion of Cajun music and rhythm and blues known as zydeco, who played on Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album, died Aug. 26 of a heart attack.
Dopsie, whose real name was Alton Rubin Sr., was a crowd-pleasing entertainer and performer. He toured the world drawing huge crowds at concerts and festivals. He took his stage name (pronounced DOOP-sy) by imitating a Chicago dancer named Doopsie.
He recorded for several labels, singing in French and accompanying himself on the French button accordion.
Dopsie’s contribution to “Graceland” was the song “That Was Your Mother.”
His last album, “Louisiana Music,” was his first for a major label. The album received a Grammy nomination after it was released in November 1991.
The mayor of Lafayette, in the heart of Cajun country, crowned Dopsie “King of Zydeco” after Clifton Chenier died in 1987. It was a controversial coronation , since many other musicians had nominated themselves.
But Chenier, Boozoo Chavis and Dopsie were considered the originators of zydeco, which blends the Cajun music of Louisiana with rhythm and blues.
Two of his sons played with him: Alton Jr., called “Tiger,” on drums; and David, often called Rockin’ Dopsie Jr., on washboard. His youngest son, Dwayne, 13, plays accordion.