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Rod Bernard Collection

Collection 478

Bernard, Rod (1940–2020). Collection, 1956–2022

2.5 ft.; oversize

Rod Bernard was born in Opelousas, LA on August 12, 1940. Growing up in a Cajun household, he was drawn to Cajun French music at a very early age. He began performing at around age 10, and co-founded a rock n’ roll band called The Twisters in 1957. The song, “This Should Go On Forever” catapulted Bernard to stardom. Bernard continued to succeed in his music career, which spanned more than 60 years. He has also worked at several radio stations, including Country Legends 106.7 radio, 102.1 KQIS radio, and KBON Radio 101.1 FM. Working as a radio advertising executive, he wrote many commercial scripts, as well as deejayed.

One of Bernard’s most important feats was being one of the pioneers of swamp pop music, alongside Johnnie Allan, Cookie and the Cupcakes, and Bobby Charles. This style of music combined traditional Cajun and Creole music with New Orleans-style rhythm and blues, country, and rock n’ roll. This genre would go on to inspire a variety of Louisiana, national, and international artists, including Creedence Clearwater Revival with “swamp rock”, Zachary Richard, and C.C. Adcock. 

This collection contains material related to Rod Bernard’s music, radio, and TV career, including articles, song sets, lyrics, photographs, and scrapbooks. The materials were donated by his children, Shane K. Bernard and Shannon Bernard Bourg.

Note: At the request of the donors, this collection is RESTRICTED for 25 years. Anyone may use the collection with the permission of Shane K. Bernard and/or Shannon Bernard Bourg during this period. Contact the Head of Special Collections for contact information.


A. Articles 1-01 through 1-15
B. Promotional Material 1-16 through 1-17
C. Correspondence 1-18 through 1-21
D. Photographs 1-22 through 1-33
E. Song Lyrics, Commercial Samples, and Lesson Plans 2-01 through 2-19
F. Miscellaneous 2-20 through 2-23
G. Audio-Visual Materials Box 3
H. Oversize Boxes 4-5, Map Case 13-11


Box 1
A. Articles
1-01 "Taping with the Twisters," Daily World (Opelousas, La.), 27 April 1958. Article about Rod Bernard and the Twisters, his high-school-era band. Poor condition.
1-02 "Taping with the Twisters," Daily World (Opelousas, La.), 27 April 1958. Photocopy of article about Rod Bernard and the Twisters, his high-school-era band.
1-03 Bob Claypool, "South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous,;" Houston Post, 8 July 1983, re: release of John Broven's book of the same title and swamp pop music in general
1-04 [Alan Clark], “Rod Bernard: This Should Go On Forever” [from Rock and Roll Memories (West Covina, Calif.: The National Rock and Roll Archives, 1991)] [photocopy]
1-05 Rock and Roll Memories (West Covina, Calif.: The National Rock and Roll Archives, 1991), 66 pp. [includes facsimiles of vintage newspaper articles and record advertisements; also includes images of Rod Bernard, Joe Barry, Frankie Ford, Johnny Preston, Warren Storm, Johnnie Allan, Grace Broussard (of Dale & Grace), Van Broussard, Jivin’ Gene]
1-06 Article on Rod Bernard, from Blues Life Journal, v. 15 no. 57, 1992. In German.
1-07 Dubois Danials [sic, Dubois Daniels], "Kenny Gill, Along Life's Highway," Baton Rouge Good Times, February 1997, re: Rod Bernard's former guitarist Kenny Gill [entire magazine]
1-08 David M. Jones, "Dis 'n' Dat" [column], Offbeat magazine (New Orleans, La.), October 1998, re: "Jimmy Rogers, owner of CSP Records, tells us that he has signed . . . Rod Bernard to a recording contract. . . ." [faxed copy]
1-09 Arsenio Orteza, “Tradition’s Child,” Times of Acadiana, n.d. [1999], re: release of Rod Bernard’s new album A Louisiana Tradition (CSP Records) [laminated newspaper clipping]
1-10 Larry Benicewicz, "Remembering King Karl, 1931-2005," Bluesrag (Official Newsletter of the Baltimore Blues Society, Baltimore, Md.), February 2006, pp. 4-9 [two copies; entire issues; includes images of Rod Bernard, Clarence "Jockey" Etienne, Guitar Gable (Gabriel Perrodin), Tommy McLain, Warren Storm, J. D. Miller, C. C. Adcock, Jo Ann Bernard, Clifford Antone, Lazy Lester]
1-11 Paul Harris and Richard Tapp, “The Domino Effect,” Juke Blues magazine [UK], Late 2006 [sic], pp. 38-40 [includes photographs of Fats Domino, Rod Bernard, Harry Simoneaux, Johnnie Allan, Georgia Miller, Mark Miller, Rick Coleman, Tad Jones, John Broven]
1-12 "Larry Benicewicz, 1947-2019," Bluesrag (Official Newsletter of the Baltimore Blues Society, Baltimore, Md.), Winter 2019; includes correspondence and photocopied images of Rod Bernard and Pee Wee Broussard and the Melody Boys.
1-13 Floyd Soileau article from Bluesrag, February 2019.
1-14 "John Fred and His Playboy Band," from 64 Parishes, Summer 2020.
1-15 Biographical articles on Rod Bernard. Includes "A Swamp Rock’n’Roller Remembers Rod Bernard and American Bandstand," from Goldmine, 31 March 1995.
B. Promotional Material
1-16 Advertisements
  Advertisement, "Swamp Pop Super Sunday," featuring Tony Joe White, Tommy McLain, Warren Storm, Rod Bernard, and the Lil' Band o' Gold (listed as "the 'Littler' Band o' Gold"), Grant Street Dancehall, 3 September [2006], three B&W mock ups and one color printed advertisement in The Advertiser (Lafayette, La.), 25 August 2006, p. 5C
  Advertisement, musicians C.C. Adcock & Curley Taylor, Feed & Seed dancehall, Lafayette, La., from Times of Acadiana (Lafayette, La.), 16 November 2017 [clipping; advertising artwork is an allusion to Bernard and Clifton Chenier's album cover for Boogie in Black & White (1976), of which Adcock was a fan]
  Louisiana Swamp Pop Museum (Ville Platte, La.), promotional pamphlet [ca. 2010?]
1-17 Posters, Rod Bernard “and the Original Sounding Shondells,” for promoting nightclub appearances, [ca. 1980]
C. Correspondence
1-18 Mark Layne, KVPI Radio, Ville Platte, La., to Rod Bernard, [Lafayette, La.], 8 June 1995, TLS, re: Ville Platte as "Swamp Pop Music" Capital of the World and wish to establish a swamp pop fan association [two copies, one with Louisiana State Legislature concurrent resolution no. 187 attached (1995?)]
1-19 "Lou," n.p., to Rod [Bernard, Lafayette, La.], 20 July 2003, ALS, re: mounting of Bernard's guitar by collector
  Photograph on printer paper, color, Rod Bernard and unknown person, both holding Bernard's guitar (note the "RB" monogram on pick guard), ca. 2003; also Bernard's guitar mounted on a wall [Bernard appears to have sold the guitar to the person in the photograph (named "Lou"), who sent Bernard photos of the instrument mounted on a wall next to (apparently) a framed Bernard single on the Argo label from ca. 1959; five images total]
1-20 Floyd [Soileau, Flat Town Music Co., Ville Platte, La.], to "Rod and Jo-Ann [Jo Ann] [Bernard, Lafayette, La.], 21 February 2018, TLS, re: benefits of prayer, perfect choice of wives, enjoyment of life, value of exercise, enclosure of prayer book
1-21 General Correspondence, 1956-2022
D. Photographs
1-22 Photograph, Rod Bernard and fan [Alan Braun of California?], holding gold record for "This Should Go On Forever" on Jin label, in Bernard's house, ca. 1990 [purchased by Shane K. Bernard on, 2018]
1-23 Photograph, color, 3 and 3/8 x 4 and 7/8 inches, Rod Bernard performing with live band on nightclub stage, unknown location, [ca. 1995?]
1-24 Photograph, color, 5x7 inches, Rod Bernard at train depot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, CSP Records album cover shoot, circa 1999
  Promotional photograph, Rod Bernard, color, co-branded with logos of Country Legends 106.7 radio and 102.1 KQIS radio, ca. 2010 [Bernard worked for both stations, owned by a single corporate entity, though he mainly appeared on Country Legends 106.7, for whom he not only recorded commercials but deejayed live daily; image is from his CSP album cover shoot, ca. 1999]
1-25 Photograph, B&W, Rod Bernard, promoting him as a recording artist and employee of KLFY-TV 10, Lafayette, La., [ca. 1999] [pose 1, strumming guitar; eight copies]
1-26 Photograph, B&W, Rod Bernard, promoting him as a recording artist and employee of KLFY-TV 10, Lafayette, La., [ca. 1999] [pose 2, holding guitar; five copies]
1-27 Promotional photograph, Rod Bernard, B&W, co-branded with logos of Lafayette Honda and KBON Radio 101.1 FM [Eunice, La.], ca. 2000 [Bernard worked for KBON for a time and recorded radio commercials for Lafayette Honda that included musical jingles he wrote for the dealership in exchange for long-term loan of a motorcycle]
1-28 Photograph, color, "The Twisters 2006," reunion of Rod Bernard's late 1950s-early 1960s rock 'n' roll band The Twisters [at center, Rod Bernard, his brother Oscar Bernard at his right]
1-29 Photograph, Swamp Pop Reunion, Ville Platte, La., (27 February) 2006. Color, printed on photocopy paper [showing (left to right) Lil' Alfred, Floyd Soileau, Clint West, Johnnie Allan, Rod Bernard, Tommy McLain, Skip Stewart]
1-30 Photograph on printer paper, color, Rod Bernard and his wife Jo Ann Bernard; photograph taken at home of son Shane K. Bernard, New Iberia, La., ca. 2010
1-31 Photographs on printer paper, color, Rod Bernard deejaying at Country Legends 106.7 radio station, ca. 2010
1-32 Photographs on printer paper, color, Rod Bernard skydiving on his 70th birthday, 2010
1-33 Photograph on printer paper, B&W, Rod Bernard in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, ca. 1962, with email note to Bernard from his son Shane K. Bernard regarding digital enhancement of the image, 2011
Box 2
E. Samples
Series Note: Samples are some of Rod Bernard’s work documents from Big 102.1 /Country Legends 106.7 radio stations, including sales orders and the following commercial scripts, written by Bernard, ca. 2015.
2-01 Song lyrics by Rod Bernard, undated.
2-02 Note cards with song lyrics or verses, undated.
2-03 Notebooks, include song titles and lyrics, undated.
2-04 Song lyrics of various artists, undated. Some include publisher/writer, undated.
2-05 "Dalton’s Newest Lyrics". Includes keys and chord changes.
2-06 Old Songs (lyrics), undated.
2-07 Song Lists and Sets, 1992, undated.
2-08 Sample: Meche’s Donut King, circa 2015
2-09 Sample: Ken’s Thifty Way, circa 2015
2-10 Sample: Lafayette Locksmith and Security, circa 2015
2-11 Sample: Dalton’s Heating and Cooling, circa 2015
2-12 Sample: Early’s Superette and Shannon Hardware, circa 2015
2-13 Sample: Larry’s Super Foods, circa 2015
2-14 Sample: Hebert’s Specialty Meats, circa 2015
2-15 Sample: Gary’s Body and Paint Shop & LaHaye Eye Care, circa 2015
2-16 Sample: Bruce’s Auto Sales, 2010, circa 2015
2-17 Sample: Bordelon Furniture, 2013-2016
2-18 Samples, Other
2-19 Beginning Guitar Lesson Plans, Rod Bernard, 2009.
F. Miscellaneous
2-20 Plaque, metal plate on wood backing, The Times [of Acadiana] Music Awards, 1991 Hall of Fame of South Louisiana Music, presented to Rod Bernard, 21 March 1991.
2-21 Certificate of Appreciation, LSU Cajun Student Association to Rod Bernard, 10 February 1994, PDS, [probably given to Bernard for guest speaking at group's meeting in Baton Rouge]
2-22 Certificate, "In Appreciation of your participation", Rod Bernard, "Swamp Pop Reunion," presented to Rod Bernard, 27 February 2006.
2-23 Appointment Book, 2011.
2-24 Cards
  Index cards, "I Love You But You Hate Me. Love, Rod" and "I Love You I Miss You[,] Rod," unknown significance, n.d.
  Invitation, Times of Acadiana (Lafayette, La.) Music Awards 1993, Vermilionville restaurant, 16 September 1993, PD
  KLFY TV 10, Lafayette, La., Christmas Card, 1995 (Rod Bernard worked at KLFY; he appears in caricature on cover at upper left, holding a record)
  Business cards (four), Rod Bernard, 102.1 KQIS/Kool 1450/Country Legends 106.7, Lafayette, La., ca. 2010-2017
2-25 General Miscellaneous
Includes mailed envelopes, image and article of Rod Bernard interviewing actor Michael Landon in Lafayette (1965), poster for event in New Orleans honoring Fats Domino (2007), decal, song list.
Box 3
G. Audio Materials
1. Rod Bernard Honda of Lafayette Jingles, circa 2005, CD; Words, Music, and Publishing by: Rod Bernard (BMI)
  a. "Sixty" (:60) :57/:03 VOC
  b. "Hunting" (:30) :27/:03 VOC
  c. "Smile" (:30) :27/:03 VOC
  d. "Legs" (:30) :27/:03 VOC
  e. "Music Bed" :60 :57 INS
2. "Tears in Lady's Eye," Rod Bernard; Rewritten after 9/11
3. "Go On Go On," Freddy Tender; Written by Rod Bernard
4. "A Louisiana Tradition – Instrumentals," CD
Published by Flat Town Music (BMI)/CSP Records (BMI)
5. "La Lou Masters," Rod Bernard, audio cassette
6. Honda Lafayette Jingles, ca. 2005, Rod Bernard, audio cassette
Words, Music, and Publishing by: Rod Bernard (BMI)
7. "Go On Go On," Freddy Tender, audio cassette
Written by Rod Bernard
7. "Dick Clark Greeting (Saturday Hop Reunion)," VHS
KLFY-TV 10 7/29/1995
Box 4
H. Oversize
1. Scrapbook, volume 1, ca. 1959. Includes clippings, photographs, telegrams, charts.
2. Scrapbook, volume 2, ca. 1959. Includes clippings, correspondence, songs, charts.
3. Scrapbook, volume 3, ca. 1951-1972. Includes clippings, photographs, correspondence (some materials photocopied due to deterioration).
Box 5
1. Briefcase, black with silver plates. Used by Rod Bernard to store song lyrics, songwriting notebooks, set lists, and random music-related materials (some of which was added to this collection). Includes the initials RB on the outside handle and inside a sticker from the U.S. Marine Corps, where Bernard served 1962-1968.
Map Case 13-11
Poster, "Swamp Pop and Classic Car Cruise," 2002 [mentions the Evangeline Club, Raphael's (Inn), the Kit Kat [Club], the Step-In Club, the Cotton Boll, the Green Lantern, the Southern Club, the Purple Peacock, Hick's Wagon Wheel, and the Silver Slipper, all of which were nightclubs featuring live swamp pop in the St. Landry Parish vicinity in the 1950s and perhaps later; also mentions KVPI radio and Floyd's Record Shop in Ville Platte
Certificate, Louisiana Hall of Fame [music hall of fame], inducting Rod Bernard, 16 September 1990, signed by Lt. Gov. Paul Hardy, Acadian Village director A. J. LeBlanc, and Hall of Fame president and founder Lou Gabus
Poster, "Swamp Pop Super Sunday, September 3rd (2 copies)