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One black Creole who moved to Texas in 1947 and became part of the Frenchtown scene was Clifton Chenier (1925–1987), generally acknowledged today as the "King of Zydeco"—the musician most responsible for popularizing the music.Among Chenier's innovations were the employment of the large piano-key chromatic accordion, which has a wider musical range than the traditional diatonic instrument, and the invention of the modern washboard vest, which expanded the musical possibilities for percussion beyond the limitations of the previously hand-held household utensil.

The 15-piece band did well, traveling across the region and recording, but they broke up in the mid 1970s.

Mc Cormick originally intended for the term to apply only to the fusion of Texas blues and Creole la-la that he heard in Frenchtown.

The first two recordings to use variants of the term to refer to a style of music and dancing (as opposed to the original French sense referring to a vegetable) were produced in Houston.

These innovations occurred especially in Houston, where the black Creole immigrant population was concentrated in the Fifth Ward neighborhood known as Frenchtown, which was incorporated in 1922.

Robert Burton "Mack" Mc Cormick with collected jazz album covers, 1986. Owner Doris Mc Clendon stands at the door of her club, the Continental Zydeco Ballroom in Houston.

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