|Born||July 17, 1909|
|Died||January 8, 1998|
Lake Charles, Louisiana
|Genres||Cajun, country, swamp blues, swamp pop|
|Occupation(s)||Record producer, songwriter, musician|
George Khoury (July 17, 1909 – January 8, 1998, Lake Charles, Louisiana) was an American pioneer swamp pop and cajun record producer known for co-writing and composing the No. 1 hit song "Sea of Love" by Phil Phillips as well as "Mathilda" by Cookie and the Cupcakes.
His swamp pop, cajun and swamp blues recordings made a big impact on American popular culture. He recorded Nathan Abshire and the song "Pine Grove Blues". Later he would record Lawrence Walker and His Wandering Aces, Elise Deshotel with Dewey Balfa, Harry Choates, Jimmy Newman, and Phil Phillips with the Twilights.
Khoury's birthplace is unknown; however, he was of Lebanese ancestry. In 1947, as an owner of a record shop, he noticed a lack of Cajun music being recorded in south Louisiana and decided to open a business to compete with Ed Shuler's Goldband Records and J. D. "Jay" Miller's Fais-Do-Do and Feature labels. His base of operations was just around the corner from Shuler's, on Railroad Avenue in Lake Charles.
A longhorn salesman named Virgil Bozman had travelled to Lake Charles and noticed the music being recorded in the region. In the 1940s, Virgel Bozman created a string band that became the studio band for Bill Quinn's Opera label and Gold Star Records label out of Houston, Texas. The band would be called the "Oklahoma Tornados" and sometimes feature fiddler Floyd Leblanc.
Khoury, who saw the need for more Cajun music and financed Virgil's new label, Oklahoma Tornado Records, named after his band. Based in Westlake, Louisiana, this label would record famous Cajun artists including Nathan Abshire & His Pine Grove Boys, creating arguably some of the rawest prewar cajun blues ever recorded Floyd Leblanc, and Harry Choates. Later, the label moved to San Antonio, Texas, and was run by James Bryant and Bennie Hess.
In 1949, after his success with the Oklahoma Tornado Label investment, Khoury created the Lyric label and Khoury's label. He recorded more Cajun songs such as Lawrence Walker's "Evangeline Waltz" and "Reno Waltz" however, he ventured into swamp pop and other genres as well. George Khoury opened up his own record shop, Khoury's Record Shop in downtown Lake Charles, Louisiana, which was co-owned with his brother, Isaac Khoury.
In 1958, Huey Thierry and Cookie and the Cupcakes recorded "Mathilda", the unofficial anthem of swamp pop music, which Khoury co-composed. That song would be later recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis and Freddy Fender. In 1959, Khoury co-wrote and composed the hit song for Phil Phillips called "Sea of Love". The recording was later released by Khoury's Records Shop. Due to the demand, Khoury leased the recording to Mercury Records on which label it entered the charts at No. 2 in June 1959.
Khoury's and O.T. labels
|Genre||Cajun, country, swamp blues, swamp pop|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Location||Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States|
- Cajun Honky Tonk – Various Artists (427 Arhoolie, 1995)
- Cajun Honky Tonk: The Khoury Recordings Vol. 2 (541 Arhoolie, 2012)
- Larkin, Colin (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-397-51848-7.
- "PHIL PHILLIPS: Sea of Love". Retrieved August 12, 2014.
- "George Khoury". Retrieved August 12, 2014.
- Broven, John (1983). South To Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous. Pelican Publishing. pp. 45–46. ISBN 978-0-88289-608-3.
- "REMEMBERING EDDIE SHULER: (1913–2005)". Archived from the original on July 23, 2014. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
- "IRY LEJEUNE". December 1, 2011. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
- "OT Records". January 15, 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
- "Nathan Abshire: O.T. Records being distributed in Cadian country". Retrieved August 12, 2014.
- "Cajun Honky Tonk: The Khoury Recordings, Volume 2 – Various Artists". Retrieved August 12, 2014.
- "Oklahoma Tornadoes". Retrieved August 12, 2014.
- Brasseaux, Ryan Andre (2009). Cajun Breakdown: The Emergence of an American-Made Music. Oxford University Press. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-19-534306-9.
- Aswell, Tom. "Phil Phillips". Louisiana Rocks – The True Genesis of Rock And Roll. Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
- "Cookie With Berry Cups". Retrieved August 12, 2014.