Johnny Rebel Biography
His songs frequently use the racial epithet nigger and often voice sympathy for Jim Crow-era segregation and the Ku Klux Klan.
Trahan first recorded under the Johnny Rebel moniker was in the mid-1960s. He employed J. D. "Jay" Miller's recording studio in Crowley, Louisiana. Miller, in fact, produced the sessions and issued the recordings on his own Reb Rebel label.
Trahan's first release — the fifth for the Reb Rebel label — was a 45 RPM single of "Lookin' for a Handout" and "Kajun Ku Klux Klan". He would record many more singles for the label, "Nigger, Nigger", "In Coon Town", "Who Likes a Nigger?", "Nigger Hatin' Me", "Still Looking for a Handout", "Some Niggers Never Die (They Just Smell That Way)", "Stay Away from Dixie" and "Move Them Niggers North." Some of Trahan's songs are not strictly about race. For example "Keep a-Workin' Big Jim" is the efforts of Louisiana district attorney Jim Garrison to solve the Kennedy assassination. Whereas "(Federal Aid Hell!) The Money Belongs to Us" is a song critical of U.S. federal aid programs.
In 1976, Trahan's song "Lâche pas la patate" (also known as "The Potato Song"), sung by Jimmy C. Newman earned gold record status in Canada.
Two of these songs were eventually issued in album format by Reb Rebel Records under the title "For Segregationists Only".
After a hiatus of about three decades, Trahan returned as Johnny Rebel in 2001 when he issued his CD single "Infidel Anthem," recorded in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. In 2003 Trahan released the album It's the Attitude, Stupid!, on the Try It Man record label. At least two persons or entities claim ownership of the Johnny Rebel catalog. At present, however, it is unclear who actually owns the recordings.
Johnny Rebel's songs have been covered by other singers such as Big Reb and the German band Landser. In 2005, his song "Some Niggers Never Die (They Just Smell That Way)" was used in the film What Is It? directed by Crispin Glover.
A CD compilation of his works simply shows a hooded Klansman together with a depiction of the Confederate Battle Flag. The cover of the album "It's the attitude stupid" shows a hooded Klansman, holding what appears to be either a Walkman or MP3 player, and wearing headphone round.
The television series The Boondocks parodied Johnny Rebel's music in one of its episodes (entitled The Story of Jimmy Rebel). The episode portrays a recording artist who is ostensibly Johnny Rebel.