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  • Writer's pictureJim Bessman

South Louisiana music legend Floyd Soileau's return to music retail

Floyd's Record Shop

Legednary Ville Platte Cajun music producer/dealer Floyd Soileau closed his world-famous Floyd's Record Shop in December, 2012, during its 56th year as Cajun music retail hub for tourists as well as locals.

But Soileau opened up a new store in Ville Platte five months ago, Floyd's Flat Town Music, extending the name of his Flat Town Music Company home of his renowned Swallow Records Cajun music label (and Jin swamp pop and Maison de Soul zydeco sister labels) and Cajun/swamp pop distribution and music publishing companies.

The new store is just a few blocks from his old Main Street retail location at the southern end of Ville Platte—the city's name meaning "flat town" in French.

"My son [Chris, who manages the operation] didn't like the idea of us not having a store to greet people when they come in," says Soileau, whose own French surname, incidentally, is pronounced, like the label, "swallow."

"It's a nice little venue for us," says Soileau. "People come in from out-of-town and shop, and if we don't have what they want we can get it in a couple days. I'm surprised how much business there still is, but we give good service for the local music people who still want hard disc copies and aren't that knowledgeable about the Internet."

Of course, Soileau, who at one time also owned a record pressing plant, continues to operate his Floyd's Record Shop website.

"Our mail order business is still going strong," he says. "I just wish we had more vinyl left over. People still want souvenir LPs! But we do have some vinyl singles."

Otherwise, "pretty much all our releases are on sale at the store, and those from the local guys. [Zydeco star] Keith Frank just came over with a load of stuff, and [other top local Cajun and zydeco artists] Jamie Bergeron, Chris Ardoin, Leroy Thomas—all these guys got new stuff and the locals like it."

Soileau is glad that his music's fans are "very appreciative" about the new store and are "passing the word on."

"Yes, the CD lovers and hard copy lovers are still there," he says. "Those two-inch [portable music playback devices] and phones or whatever have taken a lot of business from us, but that's life, and fortunately there's still a lot of people who have trucks and cars with CD players in them and want to hear what they want to hear when they want—even though a lot of [vehicles] are starting to come without CD players."



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