Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
With his 1985 novelty smash "My Toot Toot," Rockin' Sidney scored zydeco's first true international hit. Born Sidney Semien on April 9, 1938 in Lebeau, Louisiana, he began playing harmonica and guitar professionally while in his teens, and made his first R&B-styled recordings on the Fame and Jin imprints during the late 1950s; his first regional hit, "No Good Woman," appeared in 1962. Between the mid-1960s and the late 1970s, Sidney cut well over 50 singles for the Louisiana-based Goldband label, working in a variety of contemporary blues, soul and R&B modes; none proved successful, however, and upon learning the accordion he began playing zydeco. He issued his first true zydeco record, Give Me a Good Time Woman, on the Maison de Soul label in 1982; two years later he cut My Zydeco Shoes Got the Zydeco Blues, which included the track "My Toot Toot." Although Sidney himself was reportedly unhappy with the song, it became a local jukebox hit, and soon regional radio stations began playing it regularly; in time, the single became a grass-roots smash, selling well over a million copies on its way to charting in the U.S. and the U.K. and even winning a Grammy Award. While Sidney never again reached the same commercial peaks, he remained one of zydeco's most notable artists, setting up his own label, Bally Hoo, and touring regularly until his death on February 25, 1998.