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Letter to Swallow/La Louisianne

I sent this to La Louisianne, and a similar one to Swallow. Chime in and they might listen.


I was recently informed that you has asked Neil Pomea to take down his full-length versions of La Louisianne tunes from his website.

I understand your reasons for doing this. However, having that library available digitally is invaluable for those of us who are studying the music and looking for a particular tune, or just plain want to enjoy it. Have you considering making your catalog of songs available as mp3's on the web? Preferably with the ability to listen to the entire song before paying for and downloading. Even previewing portions of songs would help. You can block the downloading of songs by use of specific web technology, but let them be played by the prospective buyer. Amazon.com does this, as do others. If you set up the site where someone could search for specific songs titles, regardless of author, that would be immensely helpful, as we budding musicians are always looking for alternative ways that songs have been performed.

Since I use digital technology to loop, slowdown, etc, portions of songs for learning purposes, a digital repository would be most timesaving, rather than sitting there and converting LP's to CDs in a somewhat manual process. I also no longer have a turntable to play your older stuff available on LP. Ambrose Thibodeaux comes to mind. I bought several of his albums from you a few years ago, and it took me a couple of days to convert them.

I suspect this could be an unexpectedly lucrative addition to your business.

This could also be a way to have a win-win situation between yourselves and Mr. Pomea. He could post snippets on his site, and direct interested parties to your download facility.

Making your catalog available like this, particularly the old, hard to find stuff, would be an immense service to us out here who are passionate about the music.

Please let me know if this is in place somewhere already, or if you intend to implement this. Thanks a bunch for all the music.

Dwight Shackelford

Reply from Swallow

I appreciate your comments and your interest but this matter has been raked through from just about every angle for
the past several years. The fact is that the mp3 format just isn't the best format to prevent a user from downloading or
copying a music file without paying for it. It's the worst format choice for copyright integrity.

We have the majority of our CD catalog listed with just about every major pay-per-download vendor site, including
Roxio's Napster, iTunes, MusicNow, EMusic, & WalMart.com, plus 2 digital jukebox services....These sites are all
good legal sources of legal digital distribution.

A "digital library" type of source for folks to study from is a great idea, but impractical for small catalogs such as ours.
To prevent the files from being "saved" to hard drives and copied, the selections would have to be streamed on demand.
This is available as a subscription service by many of those same vendors I've listed. For us to develope our own service
is just too costly for now, though it truly is a goal we wish to achieve in the future. As I also believe that digital distribution
will be the primary way to sell music in the future.

Based on the legal sources available online, there is just no good excuse for violating copyrights for the sake of education.
I was NEVER given a free textbook in all of my college years....

If we don't all do our part to help preserve the integrity of recorded music, there will be no feasible way to produce more
wonderful works in the future.

Links for you:






Re: Reply from Swallow

Thanks alot Swallow and LL.

Are the OOP stuff on Nap/Itunes? If not, then thanks alot.

Re: Re: Reply from Swallow

Swallow said all their cd stuff is up there, and their LP stuff is in the works.

However, Swallow thanked me for pointing out that their website did not let anyone know their stuff was available for download as mp3's.

Re: Re: Re: Reply from Swallow

Mon pardon. Ok, thanks for clarifying that. Well, that's good news then. When I get a high-speed connection back, I'll defintely subscribe to Napster and will buy alot of music from Swallow/LL. Is Goldband in this as well?

If you really want it on mp3, you buy/download/burn/RIP the cd with CDex to regular mp3 format. It's a pain but that's the way to do it legally without physically buying the CD itself.

As far as comp cd's come out. I'd like to see a box set of the 50s-60 Dancehall bands like Aldus Roger, Joe Bonsall, Nathan Abshire, the Rambling Aces, the Scott Playboys, etc.... I'd go nuts.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Reply from Swallow

I don't think La Louisianne is on board yet. He didn't even seem to know who to go through. I sent him all the links Swallow sent me.

How much are they through Napster? Wal-Mart is 0.88 a song. Whole cd's are 9.44, at least for one I saw.

Is Goldband part of Swallow?


It's ironic that this is coming up now. My wife called me into the office to check out the new service she'd just subscribed to, (Emusic) and showed me about 114 Cajun and Zydeco albums. The price is cheap. 40 downloads per month for $9.99. At 25cents per song it's one of the cheapest available.
I've already Loaded Ray Abshire's new album and one of Horace Trahan's older albums.
I had no clue Horace played old style Cajun like that till I checked the cd out on this site.
There is a free trial right now with 50 free downloads. Worth checking out!
(Oh, by the way, the Cajun/Zydeco is listed under World Music. Punch that and then look for Cajun under style of world music)

Re: EMusic

I was just looking at the Wal-Mart "conditions of use", which I assume are the same all over, but I don't know:

10 burns to a cd,
backup to 2 other computers,
unlimited downloads to a player,

This would all probably be ok, but I'd be afraid of something going awry and losing my investment.

I might as well buy the cd. But I can use the search services to listen to snippets.

Re: Re: EMusic

What exactly is it you're downloading if they can enforce all those restrictions?

Re: Letter to Swallow/La Louisianne

This has certainly been an interesting discussion. It is a shame that the words from the record companies are so stultifying. Their arguments are specious. Requiring songs to be removed from a website or allowing 30-second snippets might increase their revenue by a few pennies, but it will make it difficult to relate the songs to the wonderful narratives the Neal has written about the songs and the times in which they were recorded.

If record companies are interested in revenue and in expanding the market for their (and all Cajun) recordings, they should encourage websites like Neal's. Maybe they don't know how difficult it is to find Cajun recordings or how few people know about the music.

If they want to increase revenue, record companies could figure out how to make their recordings available and how to market them. A single internet site that has available Cajun recordings by all labels and artists would be a good start. Then a regular newslettter describing the recordings should be regularly distributed. Customers would of course have to be treated fairly. The biggest problem today is that it is quite difficult to learn about and then find specific Cajun recordings.

Just as an example, how many people know where to find two terrific Cajun recordings, one by Leo Abshire and Allen Touchet and one by Jason Frey and Al Berard? The first is untitled (I actually heard about it on this Board.), and the second is titled "Old Style Cajun Music."

How could anyone buy those (and hundreds of others) if they do not even know about them, much less where they can purchase them? Using the internet to increase the market for Cajun music would increase money for the artists and for the record companies. If done correctly, it would also be a pleasant benefit for customers.

That is where record companies should focus their efforts. Trying to reduce the ability of people to listen to the music by requiring them to pay for downloading songs will actually discourage them. The bigger opportunity is to increase the base of people who know about Cajun music. If they know, they will buy.

Musicians, producers, distributors, and sellers need to make money to survive. Customers need to be treated fairly. Limiting access to the music is counterproductive to that goal.

Re: ACE label

I took a look at Emusic's list and saw some Swallow, Jin and MdS labelled CDs there as well as others. One label that was missing though was ACE. They have great compilations. Two that I own are Floyd's Early Records and Cajun Classics. They contain the best of the Swallow label. So if Swallow wants to renew copyrights on their music, they have to battle with ACE I guess.

Re: Re: ACE label

I believe this means that Swallow licensed the works to ACE for release abroad, not that they lost ownership.

Goldband is a separate company, I believe out of business.

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