As a soloist, Rusty (Russell) Kershaw has yet to match the success that he had in the early '60s when he shared a duo with older brother, Doug Kershaw.
His albums, however, have been well-conceived samplings of Cajun two-steps and country ballads, and have featured accompaniment by top-notch musicians. While Cajun in Blues Country, released in 1970, featured Charlie Daniels on fiddle, Now & Then, released in 1992, was a tour de force featuring Art Neville of the Neville Brothers on piano and Ben Keith on dobro, flute, piano, pedal steel, and background vocals. Introduced to Cajun and country music by his multi-instrumentalist brother, Kershaw was only ten when he began performing with Doug and Peewee in the Continental Playboys. The enthusiastic response that the group received helped to sooth the pain he had felt since their father, an alligator hunter, committed suicide five years before. Following the departure of Peewee in the early '50s, Rusty and Doug continued to play together as a duo. Their debut single, "So Lovely, Baby," became a Top Five country hit in August 1955. Soon afterward, the two brothers were invited to become cast members of the Louisiana Hayride, a popular country music radio show broadcast from Shrevesport. In 1957, they became members of the Grand Ole Opry. Simultaneously enlisting in the U.S. Army, in 1958, the Kershaws devoted their attention to the military for the next three years. Discharged in 1961, the brothers soon recorded their greatest hit, "Louisiana Man," an autobiographical tune written by Doug. Their follow-up single, "Diggy Diggy Lo," was nearly as successful. Although they released their debut album, Rusty and Doug, in July 1964, Rusty and Doug had already gone their separate ways. While Doug went on to become an internationally-known superstar, Rusty has maintained a much lower-key presence. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi