LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– During the 1960s, radio personalities had vinyl records or cassette tapes of albums like Buckwheat Zydeco. Legendary radio personality Paul Thibeaux, also known as The House Rocker, used his platform to provide a space for the black community through radio.
“There’s not a Black person who grew up in this area who’s over 60 years old for sure probably younger than that who wasn’t touched didn’t experience Paul Thibeaux. That’s the universal experience that we have,” says Charles Cravins of the Cravins Brothers Zydeco & Info Show.
Dustin Cravins says Thibeaux “is at the top of the food chain” when it comes to the standard he set in radio.
Thibeaux spread his infectious personality across the airwaves in many locations. He even worked weekends at the once-remembered KVOL in Lafayette. Delanna Pierre, Thibeaux’s niece says his entire persona changed when he got on air.
“He gave the Black community ease. He was somebody that looked like them on the radio, sounded like them playing their music,” says Cory “DJ Hot” Arceneaux.
Thibeaux is remembered for his talent and the information he spread on-air. His show was important because of how he connected the black community.
Before streaming services, Acadiana had House Rocker Record Shop. This part of Thibeaux’s legacy gave local musicians a chance to sell their records. It is now located at the corner of Washington and West Simcoe St.
Although The House Rocker passed in 1983, he is still revered for his work over their airwaves.
“It was an important anchor for the community. It was; it wouldn’t have the meaning today that it did back then. It just wouldn’t because things were so limited just for that man to be on the radio was a big deal,” says Cravins.