Westbank Musicians Hall of Fame, Inc.

Est. 2002
Westwego, Louisiana

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Westbank Musicians Hall of Fame, Inc. Inductees

Living Deceased
Lenny Abadie Ronald Raymond Barrouse
Buck Baker (a/k/a Ronnie Barron)
Carroll "Boodie" Boudreaux Raymond Barry
Ronnie Boudreaux George Bellamore
Mandry "T-Man" Bourgeois, Jr. Carroll "King" Busiere
Jerry Chaisson Norman "Speedy" Courteaux
C.J.Cheramie (a/k/a Joe Clay) Wilbert Guidry
Jake Raymond Chimento Emile Hourcade, Sr
D.J. Collins Earl Ortego, Sr.
Dennis "Bootsie" Cuquet Dan Ory
James Presley Elledge
Al'D Francis "Billy" Fayard
Wayne Foret
Ronald Galle
James Jules Gaspard
Don Gautreaux
Elric "Rick" Hanks
Anthony "Boo" Hargis
Edward Henry Hynes
Hector Nieves
Edward Parrino
Richard Pitre
Jerry Raines
Lynn "Grits" Ramagos
Duane Schurb
A.J. "Midge" Terminie
Ronald "Skeeter" Thomassie
Andy Valance

Leonard "Lenny" Abadie, Sr.

Lenny was born on January 14, 1934 in New Orleans and lived with his mother and father, who was a commercial fisherman at Lake Salvador. When he reached school age, the family moved to Laroussini Street in Westwego. Lenny graduated from Westwego High School in 1953. That same year he joined the U.S. Coast Guard and served 4 years til 1957.

Lenny was employed by many different companies, but also attended night classes at Delgado College where he earned a degree in Electrical Engineering. Then as an electrician, he retired in the year 2000 as Chief Electrical Inspector for Jefferson Parish.

After purchasing a computer, Lenny provided a data base for the senior citizens of Westwego, where he could receive information on upcoming events and would send out invitations for each party. Then he purchased sound equipment and formed the "Over The Hill Gang," who played good music for the seniors at those parties. He also doubled as the MC for most of the functions. Some of the band members would also play for the shut-in's at nursing homes. There was never any charge to play for the senior citizens.

Lenny served for eight (8) years as Chairman of the Westwego Committee on Aging and two (2) years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Jefferson Parish Council on Aging. It was during Lenny's tenure as Chairman of the Committee on Aging and a member of the "Over The Hill Gang," that the city of Westwego and the Council was awarded the State of Louisiana's first Vision Award in 1987; which now hangs in the city council chambers, for his, his wife Shelia, Ernie Tassin's and many others', dedication to Westwego's senior citizens.

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Ronald Raymond Barrouse

10/9/43 - 3/20/97

Ronnie was born October 9, 1943 to Mary Mildred and Marc Antony Barrousse on Brooklyn Street in Algiers, Louisiana. As an Algiers boy, Ronnie attended Behrman High School and played music with several local musicians like Billy Fayard, Boo Hargis, Eddie Hynes, Carroll Freeman, Woody Valiant, and Vic Fourquet, in a band called, "The Fidelities."

Through the years Ronnie continued to develop his New Orleans based keyboard and vocals by playing gigs with such artists as: Dr. John, Paul Butterfield, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Louis Prima, Eric Burden, Tom Waitts, John Lee Hooker, Big Joe Turner, and many others.

His solo career saw the release of albums which included: Reverend Ether, The Smile of Life, Blue Delicacies, and Bon Ton Roulette.

Along with his musical career, Ronnie had the great privilege of expanding his talents on the big screen, with preformances in: One From the Heart, Comback, Stoney Island, Angel, Code of Silence, and Above the Law, starring Steven Segal, where Ronnie played a cocky bartender.

In the end, Ronnie got to do what he loved best, which was entertain. He was one of the best kept secrets in the music business, a true unsung hero, but like all true musicians, he played music not so much for the money, but because he lived for it! Music was the life force which rushed through his veins and fed his soul till the very end.

Ronnie is survived by his mother, Mildred Arsing; daughter, Ava Lynn Barrousse; son Ronald Raymond Barrousse, Jr., and two step-sons; Ron Mikael and John Frank and their mother Kim Johnson Barron. His father Marc Anthony Barrousse has since joined his son.

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Verlin "Buck" Baker

The Sax Man

Buck Baker, a life long resident of the Westbank, began taking clarinet lessons from Professor Minetta on Lebeouf Street in Algiers, but it wasn't long before he figured out that the saxophone was the instrument for him. His style was a blend of rock 'n' roll, R&B, and country, which captivated all audiences.

As a teenager, Buck formally began his musical career in 1955 with the "Syncopators." Three years later his band merged with the "Aristocrats," and with the best of both bands, "The Esquires" were born. Leading the "Esquires" during the late 50's on to the 60's, 70s, and 80's, allowed them to fashion a style that was uniquely their own. This group was talented, charismatic, always dressed to perfection, and could keep any audience all night long. Together they became a family to each other and to the many loyal fans for nearly thirty years, which confirmed "The Esquires" status of one of the most admired bands on the Westbank.

Buck's work on the sax has helped him create an impressive and wide ranging resume' that includes assisting Frankie Ford with his first recording and playing with such great musicians as Dr. John, Fats Domino, and Roland Stone. In addition, he has also served as a member and then President of the New Orleans Musicians Alumni Association and founding President of The Westbank Musicians Hall of Fame, Inc.

Buck has been married to his wife Janice for almost 40 years. He is also proud of the fact that his brother George, his son Brian, and his grandson Blake, are following in his musical footsteps.

Being nominated and inducted into the Westbank Musicians Hall of Fame with his dear friends and fellow "Esquires" like "Jackel" and Eddie Hynes is truly an honor to which he is humbled and respectfully accepts.

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Carroll P. "Boudie" Boudreaux, Sr.

Born on August 24, 1940, in Napoleonville, Louisiana and raised in Marrero, Louisiana, Carroll has been a musician for 46 years.

Carroll has played guitar, bass, and drums. In his long career as a musician he has had the pleasure of playing with bands like, "The Dynatones," "Mystics," "Billy Fayard's Band," "Duane Schurb & The Sherbettes," "Fred Wayne's Band," and "Johnny Bonvillain's Band."

He also played in many "House" bands at places like the "Old Scorpio," "The Fireman's Hall," Huey Bourgeois' "Keyhole," and "The Last Round Up."

Before there was Dr. John, Carroll played with Mac, as everybody knew him, at the Green Room on Royal Street in New Orleans.

There were also many school dances and many clubs on the East and Westbank, such as: Hank's Place, Larry's On The Hill, Fun Pavillion, Paradis Inn, Joy Lounge, Moulin Rouge, Willy Bourdreaux's Lounge, and the El Morroco on Bourbon Street.

Carroll has 8 children, 14 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild and resides in Marrero with his wife Pamela.

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Frederick Raymond Barry

6/6/41 - 7/30/97

Ray Barry was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on June 6,1941. After graduating from Warren Easton High School, he joined the United States Air Force and was stationed in Germany. It was there that he had his first opportunity to play in a band. The band was called "The Sparks." His love for music was a dominating and driving force in his life. He wrote charts and played many instruments including the saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, flute, drums, and alto and baritone sax. When his tour of duty was complete, Ray returned to the United States with his new wife; they resided in Avondale and had four (4) children.

Over the years, Ray had played with several bands such as, "The Majestic" with Walter Floyd, "The Dominos" with Billy Bell, "The Contours," Art Sevin, Eddie Powers, Wayne Foret, and "Jake & the Nifty Fifties."

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Ronald Joseph "Ronnie" Boudreaux

Ronnie Boudreaux was born on June 15,1945, in Marrero, Louisiana, to Rene and Jeanne Daigle Boudreaux. His passion for music began at the age of nine (9), when he learned to play the piano and guitar.

In 1959, when he was fourteen (14), Ronnie, Donnie Richard, Charlie Falcon, and Don LeBlanc started a band called "The Night Hawks." Their first job, for which each member was paid $7.00, was backing up Louisiana's own Living Legend, Joe Barry. Then the band played on 4th St. at the Orchid Lounge every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night at $50.00 a night. Duane Schurb and Ralph Martinez sat in frequently with the band. At that time, Duane put together new members of legal age: Carroll Boudreaux, Sidney "Dooky" Lodriguss, Ralph Martinez, and Ronnie; using Duane's draft card. The band played at the Joy Lounge, Alibi Lounge, and the Belvedere in Houma.

Sadly, the band broke up and Ronnie hung out at the Old Scorpio Lounge where shortly thereafter, Joe Carl and Bobby Tassin invited him to play bass four nights a week.

In the early 60's, Ronnie played with Joe Barry's band at the Welcome Inn in Raceland. In the mid 60's, Ronnie and Duane formed a band called "The Mystics." They played at the Raven Lounge in Boutte, where they backed up New Orleans Legends: Irma Thomas, the late Roland Stone, Ernie K Doe, Benny Spellman, and Smiley Lewis.

Ronnie actually went to Nashville and recorded an album with a band called "The Ravin Mads." Then Ronnie played with "Wild Honey" at the Tahiti Club in Marrero and the "Levee Board" with Billy Fayard at The Round Table in Gretna. Ronnie has played with many good friends such as: Hector Nieves, Steve Adams, Brett Thomassie, P.E. Gilligan, Rod Schouest, Mike Clements, Brian Baker, Buck Baker, A.J. Pittman, Ken "Snakebite" Jacobs, Ray Shall, Richard "Sleepy" Brunet, the late Barry Rodrigue, Johnny Thomassie, and Frank Molere. He has also accompanied such musical giants as: Sam the Sham., Aaron & Art Neville, B.J. Thomas, Allen Toussaint, Eddie Bo, Jerry Raines, Frankie Ford, Oliver Morgan, Tommy Ridgley, Jerry Burns, Johnny Adams, Dale & Grace, Martha Reeves, and Clarence "Frogman" Henry.

His first CD, "I Wrote This Song For You," was recorded in 2003. Ronnie performs today with the "Alley Cats" and "'Rue Garue."

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George H. Bellamore, Sr.

George was a lover of music. He played music for over 60 years. George and his father Sylvester, sang in the church choir when he was 12 years old which began his lifetime of passion for music. George sang in numerous churches during his childhood.

He learned how to read music while attending Jesuit High School. After graduating from Loyola University, he started a band called "The Stardusters." The band traveled around Louisiana for about 12 years; playing on weekends at dance halls, weddings, etc.

After retiring from Avondale Shipyards, George sang in a band named "The Over The Hill Gang" which played "free" for most of the senior citizens'parties.

His mastery of the Saxophone, Clarinet, Organ, Guitar and Keyboard is a testament of his accomplishments in music; which clearly was his passion.

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Mandry "T-Man" Bourgeois, Jr.

T-Man was born in 1947, in Houma Louisiana. At the age of seven (7), the family moved to the Westbank; where he attended Immaculate Conception and Marrero Jr. High Schools. It was during his high school days where he began his musical career, playing drums in the school band.

By the age of 13, he formed a band with local school friends and began playing for school dances. Later on, he played an the local clubs throughout the Westbank and the Eastbank of New Orleans, with bands named "The Orbits," "The Explorers," "The Commanders," and with Skeeter Thomassie's band "The Chevelles."

T-Man has had the pleasure of playing with some of his fellow musicians here today, who are: Wayne Foret, Skeeter Thomassie, Hector Nieves, and Ronnie Boudreaux and is proud to call them friends till this day. And is equally honored to be inducted with all the fine musicians here, into the Westbank Musicians Hall of Fame.

T-Man has been a resident of the Westbank for the past 50 years and resides in Marrero, Louisiana, where they have raised two (2) children: Penny and Mandry III.

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Carol "King" Busiere

7/17/27 - 2/24/63

Carol became a trumpet player early in his life, while taking lessons at the Catholic School with the Tisdale School of Music.

As a young adult, Carol worked in the laboratory for the Celotex Corporation during the day, while he played his music at night.

His talent was showcased on the radio station WJMR and every Saturday night at the local restaurant and dance club with the steel guitar player of Chief Rainwater's band.

Although at the age of 36, his life was cut short, people in the area still remember him and suggest that with his musical talent he would have eventually been recognized nationally.

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Jerry Chaisson

Jerry Chaisson was born in Lockport, Louisiana on July 19, 1937. He started his music career in 1954. That was the year he started his first band, "The Be Bops," playing drums. Some of the guys who played in the band were: Nolan Dufrene (lead guitar), Leroy Camardelle (rhythm guitar), and Ron Besson (singer). In later years the name was changed to "The Starlights."

Jerry played in many clubs during his musical career, such as: The Houma Club, The Round House, Tarzan's, Moulin Rouge, and Hanks, to mention a few.

His band has backed up recording artists: Bobby Mitchell, The Dixie Cups, Frankie Ford, and Joe Barry.

Jerry's first set of drums were Brown Preier Slingerland.

He is married to Yvonne Pitre of Lockport and has raised four children.

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Norman Paul "Speedy" Courteaux

12/24/32 - 7/27/97

"Speedy" as most of us know him, was born to Emile and Azalea Courteaux on Christmas Eve, December 24,1932. His family lived and worked in Theriot Parish near the town of Bayou Dularge until he was eight (8) years old. Then the family moved to Harahan where "Speedy" attended school. During his high school days at Kenner High, he earned the nickname of "The Mute" given to him by his football teammates for being the fastest runner.

At the age of 15, "Speedy" taught himself to play guitar and formed a band with his best friend and his brother. Later on, he was offered a chance to go on tour with his band but declined because he had met the girl he was to marry.

In 1959, "Speedy" married Trudy Theriot, moved to Westwego and raised four (4) daughters. He retired in 1995 from Avondale Shipyards, with 25 years as an electrician.

He was an active member in the Westwego Civic Association, and a member of the "Over The Hill Gang" for many years; which entertained the senior citizens at their functions along with performing at nursing homes at no charge. He also enjoyed being apart of the "Christmas Under the Trees" program.

After years of playing music for dances, parties, and nightclubs, "Speedy" decided to use the gift God had given him in church. He joined an old friend at Lafitte Assembly of God, where they enjoyed playing together for many years. Soon he began playing in many churches on the Westbank. He also focused on entertaining at many nursing homes and hospitals for many of the sick and elderly.

Norman "Speedy" Courteaux left us on July 27, 1997 and is very sadly missed by his wife, children, family, and all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

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Claiborne Joseph "Joe Clay" Cheramie

Known as "C.J." to those who have played music with him., during his early days, is a native of Harvey, Louisiana.

At 12 years old, C.J. Started playing on Sundays with a hillbilly band that played a lot of Hank Williams' tunes. In the mid-1950s the band got a job playing on WWEZ radio, located in the Jung Hotel, when one of the deejays, "Jolly Charlie" told him that RCA was looking for new talent for their VIK record label. After agreeing to a recording contract at the age of 17, RCA records flew "Joe Clay" as he was now known, to Houston, Texas and recorded "Duck Tail," "Sixteen Chicks," "Goodbye Goodbye," and "Slipping Out land Sneaking In." He also appeared with "Elvis " on the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, Louisiana. Shortly after, RCA then flew Joe Clay to New York City where he recorded "Get On The Right Track," "You Look That Good To Me," "Cracker Jack," and "Did You Mean Jelly Bean" in the studio with some of New York's best black rhythm and blues musicians. It was at this time, May of 1956, that Joe Clay appeared on the famed Ed Sullivan Show. However, Mr. Sullivan refused to let Joe play his riveting "Duck Tail," but he performed "Only You" by the Platters.

The songs were acclaimed, with critics hailing them as the epitome of hellacious rockabilly rhythm. But it wasn't enough. "Duck Tail" was released the same time as Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" but unfortunately did not do as well. Joe's early releases failed to cover significant commercial ground, partially because his manager discouraged him from performing outside the New Orleans area, and he eventually lost his contract with RCA.

For the next 15 or so years, C.J. played six nights a week in lounges on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Eventually, he began driving a school bus on weekdays and played in clubs all around the East and West bank of New Orleans on the weekends. C.J. has played a wide variety of music from country western to Top 40.

Thirty years passed when Willie Jeffrey made it his mission to find Joe Clay. Mr. Jeffrey a London business executive and self described rockabilly addict, tried for four years, through classified adds, disc jockeys, and contacts in the American music industry to locate our C.J. After finally making contact, in 1986 a European tour was arranged as well as some local appearances and the rest is history.

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Emile Hourcade, Sr.

5/17/1917 - 8/13/1980

Born on May 7, 1917, in Marrero, Emile Hourcade was raised on Shorthorn dairy farm, owned by his father Jacque' Hourcade, located on land which is now Barataria and Lapalco Boulevards. The family home was where the Iberia Bank on Barataria Boulevard is now and the land is still recorded as "Hourcade Subdivision."

Emile was best known for his love of music and heartfelt devotion to entertaining kids of all ages. During his younger days he played trumpet and loved to sit in with different bands at local church fairs. He would dress in his clown costume and work and entertain for the fairs at Our Lady of Visitation and Our Lady of Prompt Succor. He and Gertrude, his wife of over 50 years, would go dancing at the Old Fireman's Hall and Larry's on the Hill in Westwego, where he would join in with the bands playing his trumpet. Emile carried his horn with him always. It was during his many years with Barbe's Dairy, in Westwego, that he would dress up as a clown, carrying his trumpet, and ride with "Betsy" the cow in parades. "Betsy" and Emile would parade thru the neighborhoods handing out candy to the children. No matter what occasion or holiday, whether it be Easter or Christmas time, Emile would be Peter Rabbit or Santa Claus entertaining anywhere he could.

Not confining his jokes and antics only to the neighborhoods, he dressed in his costumes, took his trumpet and his cheerful personality to Children's Hospital and other local hospitals to bring smiles to the faces of the little patients. He also brought smiles to elderly residents at Wynhoven and other nursing homes in the area.

Being blessed with the loving, giving, and jovial personality he possessed, Emile Hourcade, Sr. will be remembered for the many happy faces he created in the young and old alike.

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Jake Raymond Chimento

Jake Chimento was born on October 22, 1948 and lived in Marrero until he was seven (7) years old, then his family moved to Keller Avenue in Westwego. It was his mother, Marie who first showed him the chords on a guitar and made him practice instead of playing baseball with his best friend and musician, Wayne Foret.

While attending West Jefferson, he and David Perez, formed their first group and played at local bars and parties in the Lafitte area. Then at the age of 20, he was drafted into the service. He served sixteen (16) months in Vietnam. When he returned home, he joined a band called "Mankind."

In 1975, Jake formed his own band, "The Nifty Fifties" which included his best friend, Wayne Foret, and Glenn Leblanc. They played in Luling at "Tiny Bubbles." Then Wayne left the group to form his own band. In 1976, Mark Bergeron, Buddy Nolan who plays with Jake till today, and Mike McGee joined the band. The band played at "The Starlight" for two (2) years, "The Keyhole" for five (5) years, and "The Fat Cat" for fifteen (15) years.

In the late 70's, saxophonist, Ray Barry joined the group and wrote the horn arrangements for an original recording titled "Tell Me Dear." Jake also recorded "Hallelujah I Love Her So," "Baby, Let Me Bang Your Box," "I Cried A Tear," "Rockin'Robin," and "Hang Up My Rock & Roll Shoes," also with Ray's horn arrangements.

In the 90's, after Ray Barry's passing, saxophonist Frank Macaluso joined and drummer, Bobby Hilton, who plays with Jake today.

Since 1988, Jake has been the "house band" for "The Good Times Jamaica Dance Club," following the club from "The Fat Cat" to "Gretna c's" to "Old Scorpio" to "The Old Fireman's Hall" and presently at "The Four Columns." He has also been the "house band" for "The Back to the 50's Jamaica Dance Club" at the "Old Scorpio" since 1998.

Through the years, "The Nifty Fifties" have played many clubs on the West and East Banks, and many private dances, parties, weddings, and cruises. He has also had the opportunity to back up many local favorites as: Johnny Adams, Frogman Henry, Tommy Ridgely, Irma Thomas, Ernie K Doe, Frankie Ford, and Jean Knight.

With the support of his father, Frank, his daughter, Stacy, and his wife Darlene, and followers, Jake remains a popular Westbank favorite today.

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Wilbert Guidry.

3/23/30 - 11/28/2001

Wilbert Guidry was born March 23, 1930.

He played with the "Over The Hill Gang" band for over 22 years and was happy and proud to play for Westwego's Senior Citizens for the parties and dances. The band also played at no charge for various nursing homes for the elderly.

Wilbert was married for 48 years to his wife Eva. Mr. Guidry passed away on November 28, 2001, and is missed by all who knew and loved him.

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D. J. Collins

D.J. has been playing guitar and singing for 45 years. At the age of 14 he began playing music with recording artist, Vin Bruce at the town club, better know as the "Niche" in Golden Meadow.

Over the years, he has played with many great musicians and recording artists in the South Louisiana area such as: Joel Sonnier, Jerry Raines, Roy Luke, Larry Quinn, his brother Carroll Collins, who played drums, Joe Barry, Harry Anselmi, Jay Gisclair, LeRoy Martin, Ebdon Barrios, The Stevens Brothers with sister Evette from Thibodaux, Treater Band from Houma, and Wilson Miller and The Fugitives from Cameron, Louisiana.

D.J. has also had the pleasure of playing with such legends as: L.J. Foret, Kenny Moore, Dudley Bernard, Gene Rodrigue, Luke "Smokey" Charpentier, and W11cliff "Badoo" Guidry, who we all remember.

In 1979, he formed his own group "The Country Dee Jays," playing a variety of music. They have performed on the Westbank, Eastbank, Grand Isle, Baton Rouge, Plaquemine and Diamond, Louisiana, just to name a few areas.

D.J.'s musical ability has extended to his family. His son Roddy Collins, Sr., daughter Kelly C Benoirt, son-in-law Ricky Benoirt, Grandson Roddy Collins Jr.; are all recording artist. Not to mention the upcoming Collins generation who are: Hobbie Collins, age 7, plays drums and Brady Collins, only 20 months old, also plays drums. So the Collins family is sure to carry on their musical tradition for many years to come.

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Earl Joseph Ortego, Sr.

10/1/27 - 12/30/99

Earl was born on October 1st, 1927 in the town of Cottonport, Louisiana. Earl's family moved to New Orleans when he was seven (7) years old.

He taught himself to play guitar by listening to the radio. At the age of 15, his friend Irving Tuttle, put together a country band, with Earl playing guitar and played on weekends at dance halls all around Louisiana.

In 1945, Earl got his first steel guitar and again taught himself how to play it by ear. In 1969, Shot Jackson gave him his first "Sho Bud" steel guitar. Through the years Earl had many steel guitars but this one remained his pride and joy.

Earl had many offers to go on the road with many different country performers, but chose to stay home with his wife Bertha, 5 children, and many friends he'd played music with for so many years.

From the early 70's till Earl's passing on December 30, 1999, Earl played around the Westbank at the Old Scorpio, Old Fireman's Hall, and Buddy Talamo's Robert E. Lee, just to name a few.

He was very well loved and a great talent and is missed by all.

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Dennis Owen "Bootsie" Cuquet

"Bootsie" was born on February 27, 1937 and raised in New Orleans. His nickname was given to him by his aunt which he is known by till today.

As a 'fildgety' 10 year old, attending Our Lady of Lourdes School, his teacher, Sister Gerard suggested to his mother that he take up music. So his mother went to Werlien's and rented a trumpet. He tried but couldn't get any sound out of it, so "Bootsie" started playing drums. At the age of 12, he auditioned and was selected drummer for the VFW. Two years later he was lead drummer out of 8 other drummers.

In the mid 50's, "Bootsie" met and took lessons from "Tanoot," Fats Domino's drummer. But his favorite drummer to this day is Charles "Honey Boy" Otis. In 1959, while playing a Sunday evening jam session at Pat O'Brien's, a young 17 year old Mac Rebenack, aka Dr. John, came in and played guitar. After that gig, Mac asked "Bootsie" to join his band, "The Skyliners" who featured Roland Stone and Ronnie Barrousse.

In 1960, "Bootsie" and Mac went to the "Gold Room" and played with the "Matadors." After this, he joined Joe Carl's band at the Old Scorpio with Bobby Tassin, Emile Guess, Eddie Hynes, Tony Majorie, and Dennis Palmisano. Next, he joined Duane Schurb's band and played in Houma at the Belvedere, the Raven in Boutte, and many clubs on the Westbank like The Round Table, The Moulin Rouge, the Cellar Club, and The Suburban Club. "Bootsie " has also played with "Earl Stanley & The Stereos," "The Eddie Powers Band," and "The Plastic Blues Band."

"Bootsie" retired his drumsticks several years ago, but still enjoys sitting in every chance he can. "Bootsie" and his wife Diane have raised 5 boys and now reside in Waggaman, Louisiana.

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Daniel Joseph Ory

8/23/1923 - 5/2/1995

Daniel Joseph Ory played coronet in the Westwego High School Band. His high school sweetheart and beloved wife, Elline Curralt Oly, was the first female majorette for Westwego High School. Daniel continued playing music for the LSU Tiger Marching Band while he attended LSU during 1940 and 1941; prior to his service in WWII.

When his oldest daughter, Susan Ory Partain Williams, was a "brownie," he would entertain the brownie troupe with songs on his ukulele. With Dan on the ukulele and his brother Tom on banjo, there were numerous entertaining family gatherings. Dan would wake up many a slumber- party that two daughters, Susan and Lynne, would have by playing reveille on his coronet.

Dan Ory was one of the original members of the Knights of Columbus Dixieland Jazz band called "The Kool Knights." This band was formed in the early 60's and competed yearly and won many Knights of Columbus talent contests. Along with the "The Kool Knights," Dan was also a member of the "Over The Hill Gang" which included three of this years inductees: Lenny Abadie, "Speedy" Courteaux, and Wilbert Guidry, and two of last years inductees: the Palmisano brothers Jimmy, and Dino. These two bands performed at the Senior Ball at Wynhoven Home, along with many other community events. They never accepted money for any of their performances although many did try to hire them. The bands always remained true to their decision to only play for free at local events.

Dan Ory shared his musical talents with friends and family throughout his entire life and embodied the familiar phrase, "Let the Good Times Roll."

Daughters: Susan Ory Partain Williams and Lynne Ory Blythe.

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James Presley Elledge

Jimmy Elledge was born on January 8, 1943 in Nashville, Tennessee to Mae and Presley Elledge.

In 1961 Jimmy signed with RCA Records producer Chet Atkins and in 1962 released "Funny How Times Slips Away," which up to now has sold six (6) million copies.

In 1962, Jimmy was introduced to Bourbon St in New Orleans while playing the famed "Dream Room" during the middle 60s. He also wrote songs which were recorded by the "0smonds" and good friend "Ronnie Dove." During the 70's, Jimmy played many clubs on the Westbank such as: the "Ces Si Bon," the "Travel Lodge," the "Fox & Hound," the "Golden Pagoda," and "Cabe's Corral." At that time, Jimmy also entertained in his own nightclub, the "Jimmy Elledge Club" in Gretna and released a country hit with "One by One."

From the late 70's thru the 80's and 90's, Jimmy has entertained in many spots nationally and internationally, as a piano-bar entertainer, as well with trios and quartets. Locally he has played the "Fairmont & Monteleone" hotels in New Orleans, "Holiday Inn" in Kenner, "Goodfiellas" and "Salvatores' Restaurant & Lounge," both in Metairie.

Most recently, Jimmy just completed a fourteen (14) month engagement at the "Red Maple" Restaurant in Gretna. And has just come back from a tour with Johnny Tillitson and Billy Joe Royal. Presently, Jimmy is in the studio recording a new CD, which will feature duets with his good friend, Billy Joe Royal.

Jimmy's five octave range has properly classified him as an "all 'round" entertainer, which has allowed him to perform with some well known names as: Willie Nelson, Chet Atkins, Floyd Cramer, Brenda Lee, The Osmonds, Jackie Wilson, The Temptations, Sam Cooke, and Jimmy Dean, just to name a few.

Jimmy presently lives on the Westbank in Belle Chasse and has for many years. He is actively involved in the "Helping Hands Association" and the "Annual Swamp Pop Seafood Festival" both in Plaquemine Parish. This year, 2004, is Jimmy's 45th year of singing and playing piano. He gratefully acknowledges God for all his blessings, his parents, Chet Atkins for giving him his first break, to Pat McCabe who is still there for him, and to all the fans for all these years.

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Al'D Francis Fayard, Jr.

Born on February 25, 1941, Mardi Gras Day, son of Irma and Al'd Fayard, Sr., Billy was raised on Monroe St in Gretna, Louisiana. He attended McDonough 26 and Gretna Jr. High Schools.

Then around 1955-56, Billy and "Boo " Hargis, along with Tom Harvey, Bob Albrado, Jimmy Hargraves, and Yetta Burges formed, "The Belmonts." They played at "Willie's" on Whitney Avenue. When Tom, Yetta and Bob joined the service, they were replaced by Woody Valiant, Vic Foquet, Ronnie Barrosse, and Carroll Freeman, who was later replaced by Eddie Hynes and "The Fidelities" were formed. Besides playing at the V.F.W. in Westwego and "Noses" Lounge in Gretna, these guys won many battle of the bands.

In 1958, Carroll, Woody, and Billy joined Bobby Lonero's band with J.V. Papania and played for about a year at "Bob White's" in Biloxi, backing up big names as Ike Clanton and Brenda Lee. Later Billy played spot jobs with guys like C.J. Cheramie, Carroll Boudreaux, and Johnny Bonvillain.

Billy served 4 1/2 years in the army and after his discharge, he played with "The Stokes," who first recorded "Whipped Cream" written by Allen Toussaint, which later became a big hit for Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass. He also spent some time in Killeen, Texas in Ike & Tina Turner's band. Billy also recorded "Yuka Chuka Tee Ta Ta" on the Tower Record label under the name of K. C Russell.

In early 1971, Billy played at the Cellar Club in Gretna with Mel Douglas, Carmen Vaccaro, and C.J. Cheramie. Then in July of 1971, Billy opened The Round Table with the "New Orleans Levee Board" whose original members were C.J. Cheramie, Sidney Snow, Barabara Galle, and Billy. Later Sidney was replaced by Danny Hebert. Also during 1973, 74 & 75 Billy and Tracey Charles were owners and general managers of the Gretna Bengals, a semi-pro football team. In 1976, Billy opened the Fat Cat Club on Gretna Boulevard.

The Celebrity Club was opened in 1988, with Billy, Danny Hebert, Walter Barrilleaux, Steve Marco, and Judy & Sheena Anderson. Then in 1991, Billy crossed the river to Bourbon Street and opened Jelly Rom's with his big band. While Al Hirt was performing upstairs, Allen Robinson, Doc Paulin, Ronnie Boudreaux, A.J. Pittman, Snakebite, Ray Shall, Steve Adams, Lenny McDaniel, Danny Hebert, and Billy, rocked downstairs.

From 1995 til the present, Billy owns and operates the Caddy Shack which is a very popular night spot. In the last few months Billy has acquired a partnership with John Giambelluca in Visko's Restaurant in Gretna; known for its great seafood dishes.

Billy still resides in Gretna with Eloise, his wife of 40 years, and they have raised four children Betty, JoAnn, Frankie, and Tony.

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Wayne Foret

Born on October 29, 1948, one of 8 children to Albert and Irene Foret of Westwego, Wayne always dreamed of becoming a performer.

He started off by going to dances where he would get to sing a few songs with his best friend, Jake Chimento, who was already in the music business. With no musical background, only desire and determination, Wayne started buying musical equipment and taught himself how to play.

In 1973, "Wayne Foret & The Rockin'50's" were formed. The 5 piece band played at The Canal Bank Inn, The Starlight Lounge, The Old Swamp Inn, The Moulin Rouge, and The Old Fireman's Hall, along with local dances, private parties, and weddings.

In 1985, he wrote and recorded his first two singles, "Oh Darling Forever" and "Begging You Please;" which were very successful. These first two records were a major factor in making "The Rockin' 50's" as well recognized as it is today.

In 1997, Wayne released his first CD, which is still doing well on the local level.

In August of 1998, Wayne received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 9th Annual Music Awards in Gonzales, Louisiana, for 25 years of dedication to the love of Swamp Pop Music.

Soon after Wayne received a call from Jimmy Rogers of CSP Records and after signing with the label, released his CD "Through The Years" followed by "Thinking of You" then, "Wayne & Jake Swamp Popin." He is now working on his 4th CD; soon to be released around August of this year. CSP Records distributes Wayne's CD's to many radio stations in South Louisiana, the United States, and overseas, to Gonzales Music Wholesale, and many retail outlets.

Through the support of his faithful fans, his 5 children and his wife, Joelyn of 37 years, Wayne has maintained his popularity throughout Southeast Louisiana and has been a Westbank favorite for 40 years.

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Ronald Steve Galle

Ronnie Galle was born on March 31, 1945, the first son of Anna Hebert Galle and Norris Paul Galle.

Ronnie was a normal "Cowboys & Indians" boy until around the age of nine when he became interested in music. He had a cousin who played trumpet and Ronnie loved "Satchmo's" music; so the trumpet would be his instrument.

He took his first private lessons with Mr. Hanley at Werlein's on Canal Street in New Orleans. He first played with the Westwego Jr. High School band under the direction of Mr. Leland Bennett.

In 1955, he played in a local band named the "Starlights" which played for weddings, dances, and local functions.

In 1960, Ronnie moved to Belle Chasse and joined the Belle Chasse High School Band, and also played with the "Casa Del"s," and sat in with numerous groups.

In 1964, Ronnie married Charlene Richoux and had two children: Ronald S. Galle, Jr., and Angel Galle.

In 1965, he was a member of a group named, "Eddie P. and The Deacons," which competed in many "battle of the bands" and came out on top. This group played in several Westbank clubs, including clubs along Highway 90 and even down Highway 1 in Grand Isle.

Being a famly man, Ronnie waned away from playing in clubs and played in the church choir for a period of time.

Though he is not playing today, his love of music, especially the 50's classics, continues. When the beat begins he claps his hands or taps his feet. He is often found standing in front of a band observing and listening. It's a common joke that Ronnie will dance until his shoes "smoke."

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Jules James Gaspard

Jules was born on January 28, 1938 in a village named Bayou Jacque in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, where he grew up working on a cotton farm with his father.

He started playing music at the age of 15. He played at house parties and local lounges in the area.

Then at the age of 18 he moved to New Orleans where he worked in grocery stores.

Jules married at the age of 20 and had 3 children; 2 boys and I girl. He began playing music jobs, starting at the Four Palms, the Plantation Lounge in Metairie, and Little Donna's in Kenner.

In 1970, he moved his family to the Westbank and started playing music at the Starlight Lounge on the Westbank Expressway. He also played at the Keyhole and the Old Scorpio; both on 4th Street in Westwego.

In 1972, Jules started playing at the Moulin Rouge on 4th Street in Marrero and played there 4 nights a week until 1985.

After that, he played at Old Fireman's Hall on 4th Street in Westwego and is still playing there at the present time.

He has released a CD, which has country and cajun songs, some of which were written by Jules.

Jules now resides in Avondale with his wife Joyce.

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Don J. Gautreaux

Don Gautreaux was born November 29, 1928 at 548 Victory Drive in Westwego to Lou and Rose Gautreaux.

In the 1940's, Don studied the saxophone under his father, who was a private music teacher and band director for the "Celotex Marching & Military Band" during WWII. He also played with his father's dance band at the WEGO INN, the KEYHOLE, ROSE ROOM, JITTERBUG INN, the MOULIN ROUGE, and the club MIDWAY. In 1948, he enlisted in the Army and played in the Army band with such greats as Pete Fountain, Frank and Freddie Assunto; who later formed the "Dukes of Dixieland." He also worked with Herb Tassin from Westwego, who later was the band director for the Blue Room of the Rosevelt Hotel. In this same group was the drummer, Sid Noele, who later changed his name to "Morgus, the Magnificent."

In the 50's Don formed his own group called the "Penguins" with George Mumphrey, Paul Schulty, Hal Hunn, J.C. Childress, who played 1/2 hour radio shows on WJBW, with DJ Jerry "Hound Dog" Clark and recorded their first record in 1956, "Houndog Blues" and "Back Room." Don also spotted with famed Frankie Ford from Gretna.

During the 60's, the band, consisting of: Elwin Crews, Ron Schmalty, Dallas Newsom, and Don's son, Don Lee Gautreaux, took the name "Chiffons" from a private club in Chalmette named the "Chiffon Room." They also played at Gennaro's Lounge and at "Club Sands" on Jefferson Highway with such greats as Mac Rebenack, aka Dr.John.

The Chiffons played at the "Royalty Room," now known as the Say Say Lounge in Marrero, with Elwin, Don Lee, Angus Elliot, Skeeter Thomassie, and occasionally "Hector" on vocals. The original band disbanded during the mid 70's. Then Don joined a group called the "Torches" with Dennis Lopez, Louis Myers, and Gary on drums, and played at the "Congress Inn" in New Orleans East and at the "Viking's Den" in Chalmette. In the late 70's the "Torches" disbanded.

Picking up the "Chiffons" name again in the 1980's, joining Don was Jeff Lasserey C.J. Loup, Don Lee, and Floyd Porche. The band played two years at Buddy Talamo's "Robert E. Lee" and later at the "Keyhole." The "Chiffons" released their second record, "St. James Infirmary" with the flipside "Dreamboat." Don Gautreaux retired his saxophone in 1985.

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Elric (Rick) Joseph Hanks, Jr.

Ricky was born on October 30, 1947 in Algiers, Louisiana. At the age of 7, his family moved to Westwego, Louisiana. At that time, Ricky played trumpet in the band at Westwego Jr. High under the direction of Mr. Harold Peterson. Then he studied the saxophone with Mr. Lee Bennett at West Jefferson High School. During this time, his cousin and idol, "Boo" Hargis played with "The Matadors" at the "Golden Room" in Gretna. "Boo" would sneak him in to listen to such guys as Mac Rebenac (Dr. John), Eddie Hynes, Freddie Stahle, and Everett Link; who were some of the best musicians around. His first band was with Joe Giaise and a guy who became one of his best friends until his death, Mr. Nicky Baudean. Ricky's first paying job was at the Canal Bank Inn with Gary Danos, Mark Joslen, and Donald Miller. At the end of his junior year, he joined "The Deacons" with Eddie Perino, Richard Pitre, Ronald Galle, Carroll Freeman, Lynn "Grits" Ramagos, and Johnny Thomassie. While still at West Jeff, Ricky also played with Ronnie Boudreaux and Ray Chaisson.

Then in 1966, Ricky went into the Navy and played with bands on the East & West Coast. After his discharge, he got back again with Gary Danos & "Grits." Sometime later, he played for 4 or 5 years with: Eddie Perino, Dennis Miller, Cranston Clements, Tony Ting, Jeff Fornet, and Bob Morici in "Velvet Touch."

Ricky played with several bands after that: "Affection Connection," "Sunshine," and the "Ernie Cosse Band" who backed up such performers as Ernie K Doe, Jessie Hill, John Fred, Dr. Hook, Bobby Lanero, Eddie Powers, Benny Spellman, and Irma Thomas. Then came the band, "SKOR" with Louis Carr, Ronnie Arcement, Patty Dupre, Johnny and Greg Arthur; which was also Lee Dorsey's back up band, until his death. Ricky played 12 years with Timmy Wells and the "Mo Betta" band, including Jeannie Brazelle, Daryl Prector, and later Paul Walthers and Paul Garity. While playing with the band "Sweet Perfection," Ricky did his first CD as a solo artist.

Occasionally Ricky has played with such swamp pop bands as: "Jr. & the Swamp Pop Players," "Don Rich Band," "Jake & The Nifty Fifties," "Wayne Foret & The Rockin'50," "The Foret Tradition," and "Aaron Foret's Swamp Pop Band."

Presently, Ricky has teamed up with his dear friend, the very talented keyboard player, Ray Shall, and hopes to continue this enjoyable venture.

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Anthony Benedict "Boo" Hargis, Jr.

"Boo" Hargis was born on January 12, 1941 in Algiers, Louisiana, the eldest child of Anthony and Bernice Hargis. He has a brother, Gary, and two sisters, Darnell and Lauren.

"Boo" played tenor sax and studied under Milton Bush at Behrman High School. During his high school years around 1956-57, "Boo" started a band along with Billy Fayard called "The Belmonts" with Tom Harvey, Yetta Berges, Bob Albrado, Phillip Templet, and Kenny Wolfe. "The Belmonts" played at the original "Joy Lounge" in Gretna when "Sugarboy" Crawford was featured there. The band also played at "WIllie's" on Whitney Avenue and at "Paul's Place" in Port Sulphur, Louisiana.

"The Belmonts" disbanded when Tom Harvey and Yetta Berges joined the armed forces. It was then that "Boo" and Billy, along with Ronnie Barrosse, Carroll Freeman, Woody Valiant, and Vic Foquet formed a new band called "The Fidelities." Eddie Hynes took over for Carroll Freeman at a later date. The band was very popular, playing at "Noses Lounge" and "The Chateau," both in Gretna.

Later on, "Boo" joined "The Matadors" who played at the "Golden Room "in Gretna. He also spotted with several other bands, playing at the "Wego Inn on the Hill" and the "Old Fireman's Hall," both in Westwego. He also played many a 6 o'clockjam session at the "Blue Angel" on Bourbon Street. "Boo" has shared the bandstand with such New Orleans greats as: Stark Whiteman, Ernie K Doe, Dr. John, Joe Barry, Jerry Hall, and Rene' Netto. He has also been privileged to record with Barbara Lynn and Joey Long. "Boo" has kept in touch with his long time favorite musician buddies, Eddie Hynes, Billy Fayard, Tom Harvey, and Jerry Jumonville.

"Boo" moved to Grand Junction, Colorado in 1977. Along with his wife, Penny, "Boo" has lived in Fruila, Colorado since 1982 where they raised their son Drew. His eldest son, Anthony III, also lives in Fruita. "Boo" also has two (2) daughters: Connie Lynn and Grace.

He now performs in the Grand Junction area as a one-man band which he calls "We Be Jazz' N," with his sax playing, adding a keyboard and vocals. He still enjoys the old "Rock N Roll" songs and today he especially enjoys playing the sax and singing all the old great jazz standards.

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Edward Henry Hynes

Eddie Hynes was born on April 8, 1933, in Algiers, to Curtis and Edna Hynes. After leaving Behrman High School somewhere in the 50's, Eddie went "Big Time" playing strip shows on Bourbon Street; where some of the best musicians "wailed."

Eddie joined a group called, "The Continentals" headed by Charlie May who played tenor sax, along with Hilton Falgoust on bass, Mr.Peepers on piano, and Reed "Rhythm Machine" Vaughn on drums. The band played six (6) nights a week at a club called "The Bellevue" on Elysian Fields in New Orleans.

In the late 50's Eddie played with "The Fidelities" replacing trombone player Carroll Freeman, along with Billy Fayard, "Boo" Hargis, Woody Valiant, Vic Foquet, Jr., and Ronnie Barrousse.

A few years later, Eddie got a call from a slow-talking, fast-thinking, swinger named Mac Rebennack. Mac put Eddie in recording sessions with Lee Allen and Red Tyler backing up such greats as Jimmy Clanton, Ike Clanton, Johnny Adams, Jerry Byrns, Professor Longhair, just to name a few. As we all know, Mac is Dr. John, and Eddie is still Eddie Hynes.

In the early 60's, "Boo" Hargis and Eddie ended up with Joe Carl's band named, "The Loafers" which included Bob Tassin, Nolan Adieu, Hank LaBond, and C.J. Cheramie. They played in Morgan City at "Lounge Maurice." "Boo" and Eddie also worked with "The Matadors" headed by Lamar Bourgeois, at "The Golden Room" on Monroe St. in Gretna.

Enter Buck Baker, leader of "The Esquires" with whom Eddie played with for eighteen (18) years. The two of them created the most diversified repertoire of any band around. After tearing both rotator cuffs in his shoulders, which caused him excruciating pain, Eddie retired his trombone.

On April 16,2002, Eddie picked up his trombone again, and was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame with "The Esquires."

Eddie would like to thank all of the "studs" he had the opportunity to play with; his sister, Katherine Parker, for buying his first trombone; his mother Edna, his wife Pat; daughter April; and sons, Tom, and Ed Jr., for their support over the years. A special thanks to Buck Baker who encouraged him to pick up the trombone again, and for the brotherhood that was formed between us and the members of "The Esquires."

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Hector M. Nieves

Hector was born on January 13, 1947, to Juan and Ruth Nieves in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. After his family moved to the United States, he began singing in the choir at St. Alphonsus School in New Orleans. While attending Redemptorist High School, he became the lead singer for a band called, "Flexibles."

At the age of 16, he began singing five (5) nights a week on Bourbon Street entertaining tourists from all over the world. Hector became a prominent figure in New Orleans and the Westbank entertainment field. Some of the bands he sang with were: Roger & The Gypsies, who recorded, "Pass the Hatchet" became #1 in New Orleans, The Roulettes, The Ravin' Mads, Paper Steamboat, Indian Fire, Wild Honey, for which he is best remembered, Summer Breeze, The Cruisers, The Spades, and The Alley Cats.

In 1969 Hector turned down a RCA recording contract to enter into the police academy. Law enforcement was his second love. Throughout his law enforcement career, he continued to sing on his days off.

In 1980, Hector was awarded the title of Mr. New Orleans. And has retired from the New Orleans Police Department and the Jefferson Parish Sheriffs Office.

Hector has been married to Stacy Combel for the last 8 years. He has four (4) children and seven (7) grandchildren and resides in Marrero, Louisiana.

Finally, Hector gives credit to Earl Stanley who taught him to play the bass guitar at the age of eighteen (18). And he is still playing bass with his new group called, "Rue Garue" with Ronnie Boudreaux and Johnny Scurlock.

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Edward Joseph Parinno, Sr

Eddie was born on July 27, 1944 and raised in Westwego, Louisiana until December of 1994 when he moved to Harvey, Louisiana.

He attended Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic School in Westwego and Jesuit High School in New Orleans. He received a Bachelor's degree in Clinical Psychology from Louisiana State University in 1967. Eddie was employed with the State Juvenile Probation and Parole Department from 1968 until his retirement in 2002.

Eddie was the lead vocalist for "The Deacons," "The Velvet Touch Quintet," and "The Velvet Touch," respectively from 1963 till 1973.

He directed church choirs at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church and Marrero Assembly of God in the 1970's and 1980's.

For the last thirty (30) years, Eddie has been writing and singing gospel music with his wife, Margie. Eddie and Margie have been ordained ministers since 1996.

Eddie and Margie Parrino have two (2) sons, one (1) daughter, one (1) granddaughter, and two (2) great-grandchildren.

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Richard Pitre

Richard Pitre was born on December 17, 1943 and raised in Westwego, Louisiana. Introduced to the guitar at an early age, Richard has been playing for about 45 years. Richard's father, Ernest Pitre, was known as the "wandering cowboy" on local radio.

At the young age of 16, Richard's first gig was playing at a sock hop at Westwego Jr. High. In 1964-65, he joined a local band called "Eddie P & The Deacons." Since then, Richard has played with numerous bands at many different locations throughout the Westbank.

From 1972 til 1995, he enhanced the Mass with his music at Visitation of Our Lady Church in Marrero. Richard has also shared his musical talents with the congregation of St. Joachim Church from 1995 til 2002.

After 39 years at Avondale Shipyards, Richard retired on January 1, 2004. He enjoys tending his garden, playing the keyboard and, of course, the guitar. A lot of his time is spent working on many different projects in his workshop.

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Jerry Raines

Jerty Raines may be his professional name, but Rueben Bergeron was born on August 8, 1940 in Morgan City, Louisiana. In 1959, while singing with a band called, "The Rainbows," Rueben changed his name to Jerry Raines.

Jerry's signature song, "Our Teenage Love" was written while Jerry was working with his cousin's band in Bayou Dularge. The band played about two & one half (2 1/2) years at a club called Lam Bar's in Morgan City. One night Andrew Blanco, who owned a record shop in Morgan City called Modern Music, and was starting a new record label, Drew Blan, walked in the club. After hearing "Our Teenage Love," Blanco bought Jerry some studio time at 523 Gov. Nicholls St. in New Orleans. With Roy Montrell on guitar, Mac Rebennack on piano, John Beatrix on drums, Lee Allen on sax, and Big Boy Miles on trombone, Jerry recorded "Our Teenage Love" at Cosimo Madhouse's studio.

The song came out in October of 1959 and Jerry and Andrew Banco made a lot of radio stations along the Bayou: in Houma, Morgan City, Golden Meadow, White Castle, Baton Rouge, then to Alexandria, Monroe, Shreveport, Dallas, and Ft. Worth. Floyd Soileau had helped him with distribution of the record. But the song really took off when the Mercury label started pushing it. WTIX and WNOE in New Orleans had it on their play list; which got Jerry on the Christmas show at the Municipal Auditorium, with such greats as Bo Diddley, Bobby 'Blue' Bland, Brenda Lee, Johnny Preston, Rod Bernard, Jivin' Gene, and Jimmy Clanton.

During 1960, Jerry's back at Cosimos recording "Just Another Fool," "Crazy Over You," and "What Have I Done." Being in New Orleans allowed Jerry to meet artists like: "Sugarboy" Crawford, Tommy Ridgely, Esquerita, Professer Longhair, Eddie Bo, and Bobby Mitchell.

Then in 1961, when Joe Barry went on tour with "I'm A Fool To Care," Jerry took over vocals with Roland Stone, with The Vikings, lead by Leroy Martin. It was during this time with The Vikings that Jerry and Joe Carl would go to the club El Morocco and to The Sands, where it was not unusual to jam with people like Jessie Hill and Mac till 5 or 6 o'clock in the morning. Jerry also played at The Welcome Inn in Raceland, the Club Rondevous, Bridgeside Inn and dances at Marrero Jr. High SchooL

With the popularity of "Swamp Pop" Music, Jerry has been busy singing at festivals, fairs, and music festivals all over Southeast Louisiana.

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Lynn Charles "Grits" Ramagos, Sr.

"Grits" was born on August 6, 1943, raised on Bertucci Street in Marrero. He attended Ames Elementary and Marrero Jr. High Schools.

At the age of eleven (11), his father Isaac, who had also been a musician, bought an old piano on which "Grits" put numbers on the keys when he practiced. Later learning the organ proved to be more difficult because along with his left and right hands moving on the keyboard, his left foot had to press the pedal at the bottom.

It was around the age of thirteen (13) when he used to sit in with the house band at the "Gay Paris" in Harvey.

"Grits" played for twenty (20) years with Johnny Thomassie, Eddie Parrino, Richard Pitre, Ronnie Galle, Ricky Hanks, and Carroll Freeman; who formed the group called, "The Deacons." The band played at the 300 Club, The Joy Lounge, Club 18, The Hawaiian Room, The Tahiti Club, The Raven in Boutte, and The Welcome Inn in Raceland. "The Deacons" also won 1st place in the Battle of the Bands at the VFW Hall on Monroe Street in Gretna.

A three piece band named, "Country Fire" which included Cliff Fonseca, and Stan Cantrelle, was the last band that "'Grits" played with for seven (7) years.

Lynn and his wife, Gerri, still reside on Bertucci Street and have raised nine children, 21 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.

Thanks to the Good Lord, who has given him the opportunity to play with many talented musicians during his musical career, and has kept his talent alive today. "Grits" present musical location is St. Joachim Church in Barataria, where he performs with the church band and choir.

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Duane Schurb

Duane was born on November 19,1942; raised in Gretna and Crown Point, Louisiana. He has been in the music business for 46 years.

During his musical tenure he has been in such bands as: "Duane Schurb & the Sherbets," "The Esquires," "The Mystics," "Music, Inc.," "Duane Schurb and Friends," and "Duane & Memories." And he has sung in several clubs on the Westbank including, The Last Round Up, The Tip Top, The Orchid Lounge, The Alibi Lounge, The Moulin Rouge, My Father's Junk Yard, The Old Scorpio, Hank's in Bridge City, The Welcome Inn in Raceland, Club Belvedere in Houma, and The Raven in Boutte; just to name a few.

In 1958, Duane recorded two singles, "You're A Fool" and "Rollie Pollie," which did very well locally. He wrote the title song for Ronnie Boudreaux's CD named, "I Wrote This Song For You" along with other originals: "You Hurt Me Baby," "I've Learned A Thing Or Two," and "What Am I Gonna Do."

Known to some as the, "Godfather of Swamp Pop," Warren Storm of Lafayette, Louisiana, has also recorded some of Duane's songs, which include: "I've Lost Everything," "What's The Reason You're Leavin," "What's New With You Today," and "Actions Speak Louder Than Words."

In recent years Duane has gained regional recognition for his song writing in the Swamp Pop Music Category. But what is Swamp Pop but a little country, rock & roll, and a little 50's doo wop. And Duane has surely blended all these flavors together into his musical gumbo.

In 2002, his first CD, "Duane Schurb and Friends" was released, followed by, "Try Me One More Time" in 2003. In these two CDs there are many requested songs written by Duane that are played on local radio stations like KLRZ in Larose, KAGY in Port Sulphur, KBON in Eunice, KCIL in Houma, WYPI in Baton Rouge, KQKI in Morgan City, and WWOZ in New Orleans. Duane also teamed up with a young and very talented swamp pop musician named Aaron Foret, from Westwego, Louisiana and in 2004 released a CD entitled, "Two Generations of Swamp Pop."

In 1961 Duane married Janelle Miller and raised 4 children, 2 boys: Duane Jr. and Shane, 2 girls: Terry and Brandi. The couple now resides in Marrero.

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Anthony Joseph "Midge" Terminie, Jr.

"Midge" as we all know him, was born and raised in Harvey, Louisiana on September 11, 1940.

"Midge" has played drums for 38 years. During his musical career, he has played with such country greats as Connie Smith, George Jones, Charlie Walker, Carl Smith, and Web Pierce.

He spent his earlier years playing with Billy Fayard's band, Duane Schurb & The Sherbettes, The Last Round Up band, Huey Bourgeois' band at the Keyhole and Old Fireman's Hall band in Westwego. "Midge" also had the pleasure of playing with Mac Rebennac (Dr. John), C.J. "Joe Clay" Cheramie, and Johnny Bonvillain.

"Midge" carried his drums all over the Westbank. Besides playing for school dances, he played at Hank's Place, Larry's On The Hill, Fun Pavillion, Paradis Inn, Orchid Lounge, Moulin Rouge, Pecan Grove, Willy Boudreaux's Lounge, Joy Lounge, Little Fish in Boothville, Bonvillain's Lounge in Houma, and in the recording studio of Cosimo's in New Orleans.

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Roland J."Skeeter" Thomassie

Born on September 26,1939 to O.J. and Verna Guidry Thomassie, "Skeeter" was raised in Marrero, Louisiana and attended both Marrero Jr. High and West Jefferson High School. "Skeeter" has been a musician for 56 years playing guitar, bass, piano, and organ.

In 1958, "Skeeter" was drafted into the Army, served in Korea, and won 1st Place in a USO Talent Show and went back to Korea in 2003 to entertain the troops.

In his musical career he has played with such bands as: "The Eight Tones," "Green Valley Playboys, "Joe Barry & The Doucet Brothers," "The Starlighters," "Country Swingers," "Connect Four," "Boogie Band," "The Chevelles," "The Chiffons," "Skeeter's Swamp Pop Band," "Kool Knights," (with Dan Ory, played various retirement homes), "Cajun Brass," and "The Hot Sauce Band."

During the last almost 6 decades, "Skeeter" has played numerous clubs, dance halls, festivals, KC and American Legion Homes all across the Westbank area. Some are still around today and some have left us with great memories of good times, namely: Tee Lee's, The Raven, Welcome Inn, Stage Coach, College Inn, Keyhole, Larry's On The Hill, Swamp Inn, Fireman's Hall, Canal Bank Inn, Mona Lisa., Tahiti Club, Orchid Lounge, Moulin Rouge, Robert E. Lee, Junkyard, Tip Top, Friendly Inn, Midway, Rose Room, Scorpio, Jose's Cantina, Moonlight Inn, Mel's Villa, La Petit (in Harvey Bowing Alley), Buzzard Inn, Cellar Club, Bat Cave, Suburbon, Silver Eagle, Lantern Club, Round Table, Joy Lounge, Down The Hatch, Buhler's Lounge, Wu Du, Lamplighters Club, Tropicana Lounge, 509 Club, Pierre's, Pirate's Cove, Laftite Grill, The Point, Fuzus, Blue Bayou, and Martin's Lounge.

Presently, "Skeeter" lives in Lafitte, Louisiana with his wife of 47 years, Suzanne Primeaux Thomassie, and they have raised 3 children.

It's been a long time coming, but "Skeeter" has been vigorously working on his first CD which should be out soon. It will include some country, swamp pop, oldies, classic standards, and a couple of original tunes written by "Skeeter." For those of us who know and have been entertained for the last several decades by "Skeeter" look forward to this new CD of one of the Westbank's favorite musicians.

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Andy Valence

Born on March 30,1935, Andy and his family moved from his native Grand Isle to New Orleans when his father, who was a U.S. Coast Guard Chief, was transferred to the West End of Lake Pontchartrain. He attended Beauregard and St.Anthony Catholic School on Canal St. The family then moved to Westwego in 1942 when their home burned.

At the age of eight (8) while attending Our Lady of Prompt Succor Grammar School, Andy began his musical career. He started taking accordion lessons from The Joey Buck School of Music and was then known as "Accordion Andy." He continued playing the accordion for many years thereafter.

While attending Westwego High School, Andy sang in the Glee Club, who entertained at other high schools throughout Jefferson Parish. Andy then attended night classes at Tulane and Loyola Universities for ten years; earning a degree in Criminology. During this time, Andy also had a wife, Rose Marie, and three children: Randy, Kelly and Lynde to support. So he worked at Avondale Shipyards, Westbank Guide Newspaper, and taught the notary course at Delgado College.

He also played drums for fourteen (14) years with 3 piece country western bands, 5 piece pop and rock & roll bands, and even with a 20 piece orchestra traveling throughout Southeast Louisiana. He also gave 15 years of his talents to such worthy causes as singing on television telethons for Cerebral Palsy.

As a drummer, Andy played many years in the late George Beflamore's band, "The Stardusters" at the American Legion Hall in Westwego, between the tracks.

In the midst of his musical career, Andy has also led a very public life as an elected official for 30 years. He has served as a member of The Jefferson Parish Democratic Executive Committee, a member of the Westwego City Council, a member of the Jefferson Parish School Board, and Mayor of the City of Grand Isle. Andy has just retired from Boomtown Casino where he served as Execute Host.

Andy loves music and still includes it in everything he does. He may be fishing, cutting grass, or just about anything and he still sings and claps his hands to the beat of the music. He has proven to be one of the Westbank's proudest individuals both professionally and musically.

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