Archive Files of Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco Musicians
Posted between 1999 and 2008

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The Basile
Cajun Band

Click here for hi res photos on Flickr of the Basile Cajun Band.

Click here for information on the 2008 CD recorded by Ray Landry and Friends.

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Nonc Allie Young died April 21, 2003. Click here for photos of a tribute to Nonc Allie.

Nonc Allie Young, shown in the photograph directly above performing at the Liberty Theater in Eunice in 1996, was no longer playing in public when he stepped into the recording studio in 1999 to play six songs with his group, the Basile Cajun Band, including vocals on Shirley Bergeron's "La valse de la belle." Ray Landry, who has for many years played accordion with the band when Nonc Allie wanted to take a break, handles vocals on the majority of the songs on the CD, which was released by Swallow Records.

According to the biography prepared by the Cajun French Music Association, Nonc Allie (nonc mean uncle) formed the Basile Cajun Band in 1984 prior to his performance at the World's Fair in New Orleans. He was born in 1912 and first began playing accordion when he was only eight years. By age 10, he was already playing at house dances. The CFMA sketch continues, "During his musical career he played four years with The Frugé Family Band, seven years with the Balfa Brothers Band, made four tours of Canada with D.L. Menard, toured France in 1975 and 1977 with the Balfa Brothers, and played a world tour for the U.S. State Department in 1980 with the Whites and Ricky Skaggs, performing in Japan, Thailand, Burma, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Oman, Cairo, and Italy." In his liner notes to the CD, Ray Landry points out that Nonc Allie also performed at the Smithsonian Institution's Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. He knew some 300 Cajun songs, including both the words and the origins of most of them. In 1999, he was named to the CFMA Hall of Fame. Nonc Allie Young died April 21, 2003.

The 1999 album was recorded and produced by the ubiquitous Al Berard, who plays fiddle on the CD. The subtitle of the CD is "La musique que viens du Beaubassin," a reference to the place where the music ultimately comes from : the locale in Canada where the Acadian odyssey began in the mid-18th century. Traditional songs on the CD include Will Bolfa's "Cowboy Waltz," "Evangeline Two-Step," Adam Hebert's "Pour la dernière fois," and Dewey Balfa's "Chère bassette" and "J'ai pleurer," among others. The album includes a song by Ray Landry, "Beaubassin Waltz," and one by Bobby Michot, "Knight of the Round Table."

The album was nominated by the CFMA in 2000 as Best First Recording of the Year, and Ray Landry received a nomination as best male vocalist of the year.

For more information on the band, contact Ray Landry, 236 Agnes Cormier Road, Lafayette, LA 70507; (337) 233-9690.

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Nonc Allie Young is shown in the top left picture. In the column above are Ray Landry on accordion, Vincent Fontenot on upright bass, and Curzy "Pork Chop" Roy on drums. Those pictures and the one of dancers were all taken July 4, 2000, at the Northwest Community Center Pavilion in Eunice during a dance that preceded a fireworks display later in the evening. The picture above of Bobby Michot was taken at the Liberty.
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Curzy "Pork Chop" Roy, who played drums on Harry Choates' 1946 hit recording of "Jole Blonde" and performed with a number of other legendary Cajun musicians, died Jan. 31, 2009, in Eunice at the age of 79.

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Basile8.jpg (21478 bytes) The bottom photographs on this page show the Basile Cajun Band in 1996 at the Liberty Theater, with Vincent Fontenot on bass, Courtney Granger on fiddle, "Pork Chop" Roy on drums, Nonc Allie Young on accordion, and Bobby Michot on guitar. Another photograph in the Liberty, taken in July 1, 2000, shows Fontenot and Roy, plus Robert Sonnier on steel guitar, Al Berard on fiddle, Ray Landry on accordion, and, filling in for Bobby Michot, who was in France, Randy Vidrine on guitar. The host that evening, seen at far left, was Dorothy Pitre. In the bottom photo from the Liberty, Bobby Michot is shown on guitar.

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All photographs and text by David Simpson.

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