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This Should Go On Forever is a popular song of the south Louisiana rock and roll genre known as swamp pop.

King Karl (real name Bernard Jolivette), a black Creole swamp pop musician, composed the song around 1958. (Producer J. D. Miller is listed as a co-writer even though he did not actually help to compose the tune.) Karl intended to record the song for the Excello label of Nashvillemarker, for which he, his bandmate Guitar Gable (Gabriel Perrodin), and their band the Musical Kings had recorded other swamp pop compositions.

Excello did not like the song, however, and as a result Karl's version at first remained unreleased.

In the meantime, Cajun swamp pop musician Rod Bernard of Opelousasmarker, Louisianamarker, heard Karl and his group perform the tune at the local Moonlight Inn nightclub. When Bernard learned that Excello had no intention of releasing the song, he asked Karl if he could record it for Floyd Soileau's newly formed Jin label of Ville Platte, Louisiana.

Karl approved, and Bernard and his group, the Twisters, recorded the song that year for Jin, using the same studio — J. D. Miller's MasterTrak Studio of Crowleymarker, Louisiana — that Karl and his band had used to record their still-unreleased original version.

In late 1958 Bernard's version became a regional hit in south Louisiana and east Texas, and, licensed to the Argo label of Chicagomarker, it rose to the top of national charts in the U.S. in 1959.

Surprised by the song's success, Excello quickly released King Karl's original version.

Meanwhile, other swamp pop groups, including Doug Charles and the Boogie Kings and Gene Terry and the Downbeats, released their own versions of the song to capitalize on Bernard's success.

By then, however, the general public regarded Bernard's version as the authoritative version. As a result, it was Bernard who appeared on American Bandstand, The Alan Freed Show, and elsewhere.

Today, "This Should Go On Forever" is considered an early classic of the swamp pop genre and is frequently performed by live bands in dancehalls and festivals in south Louisiana and east Texas.

Sources

  • Shane K. Bernard, Swamp Pop: Cajun and Creole Rhythm and Blues (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1996).


  • John Broven, South to Louisiana: Music of the Cajun Bayous (Gretna: Pelican, 1983).



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