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|Ida Lee Lewis|
January 15, 1929 |
Lake Charles, Louisiana, U.S.
|1975 -- Present|
Ida Lewis "Queen Ida" Guillory (born January 15, 1929) is a Louisiana Creole accordionist. She was the first female accordion player to lead a zydeco band. Queen Ida's music is an eclectic mix of R&B, Caribbean, and Cajun, though the presence of her accordion always keeps it traditional.
Born Ida Lee Lewis to a musical family of rice farmers in Lake Charles, Louisiana, her family were Louisiana Creole people and her first language is French. Her family moved to Beaumont, Texas, when she was ten and eight years later moved to San Francisco, California. While her mother was an accordion player, women were not expected to play in public, and Queen Ida learned mostly from her brother Al Lewis, later known as Al Rapone. After marrying she raised her children and worked as a bus driver but occasionally sat in with her brother's Zydeco band, also cooking Louisiana cuisine for the band members. She was dubbed "Queen Ida" after being chosen queen of a Mardi Gras celebration. A year after her first appearance on stage Queen Ida and the Bon Temps Band signed with the record label GNP/Crescendo, and her first record "Play the Zydeco" demonstrated her style combining Zydeco with a Tex Mex sound.
Queen Ida and her band played at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1976 and 1988, and the San Francisco Blues Festival in 1975, 1978, and 1991. In 1988, Queen Ida toured Japan, becoming the first zydeco artist to do so. She toured Africa the following year and in 1990 went to Australia and New Zealand.
On the album Back on the Bayou (1999), Queen Ida got together on the bayou in Louisiana with her brother, Al Rapone, for a zydeco reunion. Rapone often wrote and produced for her and formed the Bon Temps Zydeco Band, which later became Queen Ida's backup group. Doubling up on accordions with her oldest son Myrick "Freeze" Guillory, they are joined by Terry Buddingh on bass, James Santiago on guitar, Bernard Anderson on saxophone, Erik Nielsen on drums, and her youngest daughter Ledra Guillory and son Ron "The Rock" Guillory on rub board and vocals. As "Queen Ida and the Bon Temps Zydeco Band," the ensemble was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on November 23, 1985, with Paul Reubens as host.
Queen Ida continued to perform live through the 2000s, and though she did not release any albums during this period, she has joined her son Myrick and his band onstage. She officially retired from playing in 2010 and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she enjoys cooking for her friends and family.
|1999||Back on the Bayou w/Al Rapone||Zydeco||GNP Crescendo - GNPD 2265|
|1995||Cookin' with Queen Ida||Zydeco||GNP Crescendo - GNPD 2197|
|1995||On a Saturday Night||Zydeco||GNP Crescendo - GNPD 2172|
|1994||Mardi Gras||Zydeco||GNP Crescendo - GNPD 2227|
|1990||Zydeco a La Mode||Zydeco||GNP Crescendo - GNP 2112|
|1985||Caught in the Act||Zydeco||GNP Crescendo - GNPD 2181|
|1983||In San Francisco||Zydeco||GNP Crescendo - GNPD 2158|
|1982||Queen Ida and the Bon Temps Zydeco Band on Tour||Zydeco||GNP Crescendo - GNPD 2147|
|1980||Queen Ida and the Bon Temps Zydeco Band in New Orleans||Zydeco||GNP Crescendo - GNPS 2131|
|1977||Uptown Zydeco||Zydeco||GNP Crescendo|
|1977||Zydeco a la mode||Zydeco||GNP Crescendo - GNPS 2112|
|1976||Play the Zydeco||Zydeco||GNP Crescendo - GNPS 2101|
|1980||Best Ethnic or Traditional Recording||Queen Ida and the Bon Temps Zydeco Band in New Orleans||Zydeco||Nominated|
|1982||Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording||Queen Ida and the Bon Temps Zydeco Band on Tour||Zydeco||Winner|
|Queen Ida Blues Music Awards History|
|1983||Traditional Blues Female Artist||Nominated|
|1984||Traditional Blues Female Artist||Nominated|
|1988||Traditional Blues Female Artist||Nominated|
|1989||Traditional Blues Female Artist||Winner|
|1990||Traditional Blues Female Artist||Winner|
|1991||Traditional Blues Female Artist||Nominated|