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Zydeco is a form of folk music, originated in the beginning of the 20th century among the African-American peoples of south-west Louisiana and influenced by the music of the French-speaking Cajuns. It is dominated by the accordeon and rub-board washboard; sometimes including drums; guitar; horns and bass guitar. The music arose as a synthesis of traditional Cajun music with African-American traditions that also underpinned R&B; and blues. It was known as "la-la"; "zodico" and various other names. Amede Ardoin made the first recordings of what later became known as zydeco in 1928. The music was finally brought to the fringes of the American mainstream in the mid-1950s, with the popularity of Clifton Chenier and Boozoo Chavis. Rockin' Sidney's surprise hit "My Toot Toot" launched a revival of zydeco in the mid-1980s, carried further by the international fame of Buckwheat Zydeco.

The word "zydeco" is often said to come from the song, "Les Haricots sont pas salÚs", haricot being a French word for bean. The title means "The beans aren't salted", a reference to the singer being too poor to afford salt pork to season the beans. This derivation is disputed. It may have arisen from a self-mocking joke that hides the deeper (culturally "secret") references to the African dance-forms on which it is based.