The cover for Rockin' Dopsie's 1986 Crowned Prince of Zydeco (Maison de Soul)
|Birth name||Alton Jay Rubin|
February 10, 1932|
Carencro, Louisiana, United States
August 26, 1993 (aged 61)|
Opelousas, Louisiana, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Musician, composer, singer|
|Labels||Sonet, Maison de Soul, Rounder, GNP Crescendo, Atlantic|
|Associated acts||Rockin' Dopsie and the Twisters|
Alton Jay Rubin (February 10, 1932 – August 26, 1993), who performed as Rockin' Dopsie (sometimes Rockin' Dupsee), was an American zydeco singer and accordion player who enjoyed popular success first in Europe and later in the United States.
He was born in Carencro, Louisiana, the son of Walter Rubin, who played accordion at local dances. Alton Rubin's first language was Louisiana Creole French. He was given his first accordion at the age of 14, and, being left-handed, learned to play it upside down. He began performing at local parties, and soon outstripped his father's abilities. He moved with his parents to Lafayette, Louisiana at the age of 19, and began playing in clubs in the mid-1950s with his cousin Chester Zeno on washboard. He took his stage name from a visiting dancer called Doopsie (and pronouncing his own name the same way). At the same time, he continued with his day job, eventually becoming an electrical contractor.
Dopsie played music for dancing, assimilating R&B influences into zydeco and sometimes covering R&B hits in a zydeco style. He performed around Louisiana, and recorded occasionally for small independent labels in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1976 he appeared at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and was signed by the Swedish record label Sonet, who issued his first album, Doin' The Zydeco, in 1976. Starting in 1979, he toured Europe regularly with his group, the Twisters, and his popularity there led to him recording a string of albums for Sonet in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
In the 1980s, he started to gain attention in the US. He played accordion on the zydeco-influenced song "That Was Your Mother" on Paul Simon's Graceland album in 1986. He recorded the album Crowned Prince Of Zydeco in 1987. His final album in 1991, Louisiana Music, received a Grammy nomination. Dopsie also recorded with Bob Dylan and Cyndi Lauper, and in 1992 appeared in the film Delta Heat.
He died from a heart attack in 1993, aged 61.
Since his death, his band, The Twisters, has continued to perform. Now led by his son Dopsie Jr. (accordionist, vocalist and washboard player), with another son Alton Jr., on drums, the band is called Rockin' Dopsie, Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters. Dopsie's younger son Dwayne also plays accordion and leads his own band, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers.
An audio sample of "My Little Girl" (from Zy De Blue, 1977)
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"I'm the only man in the world that plays the accordion upside-down," Rockin' Dopsie said. "It's all because daddy didn't taught me how to play. I just picked it up."
Studio and live albums
|Album title||Record label||Stock number||Release year|
|Doin' the Zydeco||Sonet||SNTF 718||1976|
|Rockin' Dopsie & The Twisters||Rounder (licensed from Sonet)||6012||1977|
|Hold On||Sonet||SNTF 800||1979|
|GNP Crescendo||GNPS 2156||1983|
|Big Bad Zydeco||Sonet||SNTF 851||1980|
|French Style||Sonet||SNTF 872||1981|
|Rockin' Dupsee (The Legendary Jay Miller Sessions, vol. 30, recorded 1970-74)||Flyright (U.K.)||FLY-592||1983|
|Crowned Prince of Zydeco||Sonet||SNTF 982||1986|
|Maison de Soul||MdS-1020||1986|
|Saturday Night Zydeco||Sonet||SNTCD 1003||1988|
|Maison de Soul||LP-1025 / MdS-CD-104||1988 (re-released on CD in 1989)|
|Gazell Productions||GCCD 3003||1989|
|Clifton Chenier & Rockin' Dupsee||Flyright||FLYCD 17||1989|
|Rockin' Dopsie and The Zydeco Twisters In New Orleans||Storyville||STCD 8052||2001|
Singles and EPs
|Song title(s)||Album title||Record label||Stock number||Release year||Note(s)|
|"Please Come Back Home" / "Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You"||<unknown>||Blues Unlimited Records||2001||1974||7", 45 RPM|
|"Hold On (To That Tiger)" / "Baby Bye Bye"||Hold On||Blues Unlimited||2013||1979||7", 45 RPM|
|"My Baby She's Gone" / "Ma Negresse" / "Lucille"||<unknown>||Sonet||SON 2191||1979||7" EP, 45 RPM|
|"My Baby She's Gone" / "Opelousas Waltz"||<unknown>||Blues Unlimited||2016||1980||7", 45 RPM|
|"Oh Negresses" / "Sweetest Thing In The World"||<unknown>||Blues Unlimited||1000||<unknown>||7", 45 RPM|
|"Woman I Don't Want Your Troubles" / "Things I Used To Do"||<unknown>||Blues Unlimited||2000||<unknown>||7", 45 RPM|
|"I Need Your Love" / "A Lil' Bon Temps"||<unknown>||Bon Temps Records||45-6801||<unknown>||Side A vocals by Gene Morris; 7", 45 RPM|
|"Pushin' & Pullin' " / "Who's Loving You Tonite"||<unknown>||Bon Temps||45-6802||<unknown>||7", 45 RPM|
|"Hound Dog" / "Shopick Two Step"||<unknown>||Maison de Soul||MDS-1016||<unknown>||7", 45 RPM|
Various artist compilation albums
|Album title||Record label||Stock number||Release year||Song title(s)|
|Zydeco Blues||Flyright (U.K.)||LP 539||1978||"Blues"|
|Louisiana Explosive Blues||Maison de Soul||LP-1006||1981||"Who's Loving You Tonite"|
|Zydeco Blues, vol. 2: The Legendary Jay Miller Sessions||Flyright (U.K.)||FLY 600||1984||"You Told Me"|
|"Run Here To Me Baby"|
|"Sweetest Thing In The World"|
|Louisiana Blues||Jin Records ; Ace (U.K.)||CH 211||1987||"Who's Loving You Tonite"|
|Zydeco Festival||Maison de Soul||MdS LP 1024 ; MdS-CD-101||1988||"Old Time Zydeco"|
|Kings of Zydeco: Black Creole Music from the Deep South||Trikont (Germany)||CD-0158-2||1989||"Who's Loving You"|
|"Pushin' & Pullin' "|
|Rockin' Accordion||Flyright||FLY 622||1989||"Everyday I Have The Blues"|
|101 Proof Zydeco||Maison de Soul||MDS 1030||1989||"Dopsie's Cajun Stomp"|
|Alligator Stomp||Rhino||R2 70946||1990||"Colinda"|
|"Old Time Zydeco"|
|Sea of Love: Louisiana Bayou Hits, 1950's-1960's||P-Vine Records (Japan)||PCD-2137||1990||"Who's Lovin' You Tonight?"|
|Swamp Stomp!: a Cajun and Zydeco Sampler||Rounder||PR-1002||1990||<unknown>|
|Alligator Stomp: Cajun & Zydeco Classics, Vol. 2||Rhino||R2 70740||1991||"Mardi Gras in New Orleans"|
|Cajun & Zydeco Mardi Gras!||Maison de Soul||MdS CD-1044||1992||"Mardi Gras in New Orleans"|
|Zydeco Party||Ace (UK.) ; Swallow Records||CDCHD 430||1992||"Dopsie's Cajun Stomp"|
|"Shake Rattle and Roll"|
|C.T. Gator Presents A Zydeco Dance Party||GNP Crescendo||GNPD 2220||1993||"Zydeco Round The World"|
|"They All Ask For You"|
|"My Baby's She's Gone"|
|Kings of Cajun, Vol. II: 21 More Stomps From The Swamp||Music Club (U.K.)||MCCD 116||1993||"My Baby She's Gone"|
|Best of Cajun Classics, Vol. II: Cajun & Zydeco's Greatest Artists||Mardi Gras Records||MG 1010||1994||"I'm In The Mood Baby"|
|"Why You Do The Things You Do"|
|Absolutely The Best Of Cajun & Zydeco||Fuel 2000 ; Varèse Sarabande Records||FLD1041||1999||"Zydeco Around The World"|
|Absolutely The Best Of Cajun & Zydeco, vol. II||Fuel 2000 ; Varèse Sarabande||302 061 114 2||2000||"Run Here To Me Baby"|
|Zydeco Hot Tracks, vol. 2||Maison de Soul||VMS-7007||2002||"Old Time Zydeco"|
|Hypnotic Cajun & Obscure Zydeco 2||Moi J'Connais Records (Switzerland)||MJCR029||2015||"Doin' The Zydeco"|
Guest appearance credits
|Album title||Artist(s)||Record label||Stock number||Release year||Instrument|
|Ready||The Blues Band||Arista||BB2||1980||accordion|
|The Blowin' Man||John Hart||Sonet||SNTF 844||1981||accordion|
|Graceland||Paul Simon||Warner Bros.||9 25447-2||1986||accordion|
|A Night To Remember||Cyndi Lauper||Epic||EK 44318||1989||accordion|
|Oh Mercy||Bob Dylan||Columbia||CK 45281||1989||accordion|
- Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. p. 383. ISBN 978-0313344237.
- Sandra Brennan. "Rockin' Dopsie | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-10-06.
- "Rockin' Dopsie, 61, A Master of Zydeco With His Own Style", New York Times, August 27, 1993. Retrieved 26 November 2016
- "Rockin' Dopsie", Donald Clarke Music. Retrieved 26 November 2016
- "Rockin' Dopsie Jr & The Zydeco Twisters". Rockindopsiejr.com. Retrieved 2015-10-06.
- Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues – From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 160. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.