A brief history…
Gatewood “Pott” Folse, also known as “Uncle Pott,” was born June 12, 1925. He began playing piano at age 7 and over the course of his life learned to play clarinet, saxophone, accordion, drums and banjo. Pott began playing music professionally at 15 years old with Professor Wilson’s twelve piece orchestra, the “Star Serenaders.”
Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Folse enlisted in the Marines at age 17 and served from 1942 to 1946, but he never lost sight in his passion for music. After serving in World War II, he came back to Louisiana and formed “The Jolly Rhythm Kings.” Later he played with such musicians as Vin Bruce, Leroy Martin, Harry Anselmi and Gene Rodrique.
Pott also started a band, The Pott Folse Family Band, with three of his children. While Pott played drums, his daughter Debbie played keyboards, and his son Randy and daughter Wendy played guitar. Their band was a fixture at the Raceland Sauce Piquante Festival during the 1970s. Pott has played at numerous locations, including the grand opening of the new Lockport Federal Post Office, the Cardiovascular Institute of the South in Thibodaux, schools in Raceland and Lockport and even at his doctors’ offices.
In the late ’60s, Pott opened the Pott’s Music House, a shop in the front yard of his Raceland home that remained open until the mid-80s.
Mr. Folse passed away July 4, 2021.
Bluesrag, April-May 2014
THE BEST OF POTT FOLSE
Talk about a whittling project: Try trimming down the essense of Gatewood “Pott” Folse into only one all-seeing retrospective, balancing the many musical sides of this singing Cajun accordionist. Plus, there is the added pressure for his BEST OF to be a tiptop showcase, since his worldwide fan club specifically requested its creation. “Uncle” Pott, you see, is beloved far beyond state lines. Far beyond the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, of which he’s a member. Far beyond the Mardi Gras parade routes he has annually brightened for ages. The friendly, universal appeal of his records has quite the long reach. No doubt having originally drummed in Dudley Bernard’s formative Southern Serenaders taught the early lesson that postwar Cajun music needn’t at all stay beholden to accordion two-steps or fiddle waltzes. So ever since debuting on Jin in 1998, he’s a joker (formulation “Rogaine” out of Clapton’s “Cocaine”). He’s a loafers-and-white-socks rocker (rolling “Lawdy Miss Claudy”). He’s an old-old-school nostalgist (“Sunny Side of the Street”). He’s a bayou bluesman (“I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town”). He’s tres French, straight to the high-stepping core of “Hey La Bas.” Heck, he’s even a legume’s best friend, happily content to sing the joys of “Butterbeans.” In other words, “Uncle” Pott (now well into his 80s and reportedly still rust-free) is your life-of-the-downhome-party jukebox, North or South.