Johnson, Les "Pe-Te"
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Center for Public History, University of Houston; University of Houston Libraries, University of Houston
This is an oral history interview with Les "Pe-Te" Johnson conducted as part of the Houston History Project. Born in Grand Taso, near Eunice, Louisiana. Served in the U.S. Air Force during Korean War and was stationed in Chateauroux, France, for two and a half years. He was a French interpreter when they opened a new base there in Chateauroux in ’53. After his service, he moved to Beaumont in 1959 and worked at Wyatt’s Cafeteria. He was transferred to Houston in 1961 and later went to work for Brown n Root building the Arco Petro Chemical Plant where he got his start in selling BBQ dinners. He started with a few sandwiches for his co-workers. Before long, more and more people working at the plant were asking for his sandwiches. In the late 1970s, he opened his own BBQ restaurant and Cajun music dance hall in Friendswood, called Pe Te’s. In 1981, he was offered an opportunity to start a local Cajun music radio show. The follow year, he accepted a volunteer spot on KPFT’s (90.1 FM) Saturday morning line-up called Pe Te’s Cajun Bandstand, a local radio show which he has hosted for over 25 years. He has been arguably one of the most influential public figures in promoting Cajun and Zydeco music and culture in the Houston region. Interviewer: Jason P. Theriot.
Culture; Barbecuing; Food; Music; Radio talk shows; U.S. Air Force; Johnson, Les P.
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University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
Houston History Archives
Oral Histories from the Houston History Project
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