Although they initially sang in French, J.D. Miller, owner of the Feature record label, persuaded them to incorporate songs in English into their repertoire. With the departure of Peewee from the group in the early '50s, Doug and Rusty
continued to perform as a duo. The brothers quickly built a solid reputation for their high-energy performances of Cajun two-steps and country ballads. In 1955, they recorded their first single, "So Lovely, Baby." Released on the Hickory label, the tune became a Top Five country hit in August 1955. Shortly afterward, they were invited to become cast members of the Louisiana Hayride, a popular radio show broadcast from Shreveport, LA. In 1957, they recorded a Top 40 country hit, "Love Me to Pieces." They became members of the Grand Ole Opry the following year. Despite the demands of his music career, Doug enrolled in McNeese State University and earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics. At the peak of their early career, in 1958, Doug and Rusty
decided to simultaneously enlist in the United States Army. They devoted their attention to the military until their dismissal three years later. Picking up where they left off in February 1961, the two brothers recorded "Louisiana Man," a song Doug had written while in the Army. The song was eventually covered by more than 800 artists. By the time their debut album, Rusty and Doug, was released in July 1964, however, the Kershaw brothers had elected to go their separate ways.
It took another three years before Doug signed a songwriter's contract with BMI. Despite the success of his solo career, Kershaw continued to be plagued by depression and sorrow. His father had committed suicide when he was only seven. Until 1984, Kershaw battled drug and alcohol abuse and he became known for erratic behavior. Although he continued to perform and record, his albums of the 1970s failed to duplicate the commercial success of "Louisiana Man" and "Diggy Diggy Lo." In 1981, Kershaw rebounded with his biggest selling hit, "Hello Woman," which reached the country music Top 40. In 1988, he recorded a duet, "Cajun Baby," with Hank Williams, Jr.
, that became a Top 50 country hit. Marrying his wife, Pam, at the Astro Dome on June 21, 1975, Kershaw began raising his own family, which included five sons -- Douglas, Victor, Zachary, Tyler, and Elijah -- and two grandsons. His son Tyler plays drums in his band. Kershaw released a French-language album, Two Step Fever, in 1999. Michael Doucet
is featured on the duet "Fievre de Deux Etapes." Hot Diggity Doug was released in mid-2000 and Still Cajun After All These Years followed in early 2001. Easy appeared from Cooking Vinyl in 2002. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi