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

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Kenneth Thibodeaux

and Cajun Dance

2003cajundance3.jpg (25702 bytes) Kenneth Thibodeaux, leader the the Cajun Dance Band, was killed in a tragic incident December 1, 2003.

Thibodeaux was truly dedicated to Cajun music. He not only led a Cajun band. He also handled the sound system every Saturday evening at the Liberty Theater, and, as program director,   he had also been in charge of booking bands for the Liberty show. In addition, he organized Cajun jam sessions, taught accordion, and built Liberty accordions..

He is shown at left playing at the Mamou Cajun Music Festival Sept. 6, 2003.

His death is a major loss to traditional Cajun music, to the efforts to preserve the culture, and to the City of Eunice.


The members of Kenneth Thibodeaux and Cajun Dance have been playing together for many years. Like most Cajun bands, they play because they love the music and the culture. They like to perform at the Liberty Theater, at area festivals, and other places in Southwest Louisiana where people know what good Cajun music is and enjoy both listening and dancing to it.

Thibodeaux, who lives in Eunice, has been playing music since he was a child. In addition to his regular job and his musical performances, he also handles the sound system at the Liberty Theater every Saturday night. The other band members also have many years of musical experience: Jimmy Higginbotham on bass; Ray Thibodeaux on drums; Jason Frey on fiddle; Randy Bellard on rhythm guitar.

The band's first CD was released in late 1999 by Acadiana Records in Eunice,  is titled Pour Les Danseur.

Ray Thibodeaux and Jim Higginbotham handle the vocals. Higginbotham wrote several songs for the CD, including a couple written in collaboration with his father, Darrel Higginbotham before he passed away.  Especialy notable is "Tears in My Eyes," a tribute in memory of Jimmy's young son, Joshua Higginbotham–"a song just for you," as he sings in French. Darrel Higginbotham also contributed to "I Thought She'd Take Me Back." Jimmy Higginbotham wrote his own tribute to his father, "Pop We Still Cry for You."

Ray Thibodeaux wrote "Key to My Heart" on the CD and also sings a number of songs. including "Diga Ding Ding Dong," "Old Fashion Two Step," "Standing in My Door," "Trouble Two Step," and "Don't Cry Little Girl."

Kenneth Thibodeaux wrote the instrumental "Cajun Dance Two Step."

The album Pour Les Danseur won the Best First Recording of the Year Award given in 2000 given by the Cajun French Music Association. The band also received several nominations for awards. Jimmy Higginbotham was nominated as Male Vocalist of the Year, and Ray Thibodeaux received a "Song of the Year" nomination for his song "Key to My Heart," which he also sings on the CD.  Kenneth Thibodeaux and the Cajun Dance Band received a nomination for the Band of the Year Award.  The band was named the Best Emerging Cajun Band for 2000 by New Orleans' OffBeat magazine.

To contact Acadiana Sounds Recording Studio, phone 337-457-1786.


Kenneth Thibodeaux is pictured on accordion. Jimmy Higginbotham is shown singing, and Jason Frey is on fiddle. Randy Bellard on guitar is shown with Kenneth Thibodeaux below. The picture at right below shows Ray Thibodeaux on vocals and drums at the Eunice 2000 Folklife Festival. All of the band members are pictured in the bottom photo while performing at the Eunice Crawfish Étouffée Cookoff in March 2000.

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All photographs and text by David Simpson.

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