Vorance allowed Pilione to copy his tapes and Joel Savoy of Valcour Records converted them to digital files. This week, Pilione releases Live at Snook's, a two-volume set of the band's classic recordings. "It's not a slick recording quality sound," Pilione says. "It's how it would sound in the dance hall, which is what I like."
Maurice Berzas died in 1985, and the band dissolved. Vorance retired from performing for a year until Dewey Balfa convinced him to begin playing again. With Balfa, Vorance shared the stage with a budding young accordionist ' Steve Riley. When it came time for Riley to start his own band, he took the Mamou Playboys mantle.
This Friday, June 15 at Blue Moon Saloon, Riley and his Playboys join Pilione, Vorance and special guests for a performance of the vintage Playboys material and to perform a set of their own. The record sheds light on the original Mamou Playboys by capturing their renditions of dance hall favorites ("Evangeline Special," "M & S Special," "Grand Mamou,") and lesser-known gems ("Ville Platte Waltz," "Choupique Waltz").
During the peak of their career, the Playboys performed seven times a week. Saturdays they played KVPI's afternoon radio show, plus two separate dancehall gigs. Sundays offered no rest, with an afternoon and night dance in Basile. In the mid-50s, the Playboys reduced their load to about four shows a week. In Ville Platte, the band held the Saturday night slot at Snook's for 35 years. Despite the tremendous schedule, The Playboys never ventured outside of the Mamou, Basile and Ville Platte area, as Maurice was a tenant farmer and did not want to be far from his crops. Likewise, recording was not a priority.
"I wish he would have wanted to make more (records)," says Vorance of his father. "He was satisfied playing locally, playing dances."
Pilione's glad to make these rare recordings available. "Projects such as these are not ever going to be big sellers, will not draw the interest of big labels, but that is not the point," she says. "My projects don't have to make me a fortune, they just need to be presented to those who want to experience a little of the Cajun scene as it was 20 or so years ago. I think it is really important for people to know who Maurice Berzas and the original Mamou Playboys were and what great music they made."
Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys and members of the original Mamou Playboys play a CD-release party at 8 p.m. Friday, June 15 at the Blue Moon Saloon. Admission is $10.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Oscar de la Renta dies; Pistorius sentenced; World Series begins and more national and international news for Tuesday, October 21, 2014.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
Three bedroom in Lawtell or two bedroom in Rayne
Fall's new darling
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.
Even though it had been rumored for months, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu finally pulled the trigger recently on a major campaign shakeup that moved control over to a few Big Easy insiders.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
An investment group led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets will buy the Louisiana power company Cleco for $3.4 billion.
It wasn’t the historic slashes to higher ed funding or the ensuing tuition spikes that recently had LSU’s student body and faculty riled up in collective outrage.
"I feel it is appropriate to speak up when there are topics that are being bandied about with little or no factual data to back them."
Will $400 be enough for the re-election campaign of LPSB's Hunter Beasley to overcome two years of holding our school system hostage and hurting the education of our children all because of a personal dislike of the superintendent?
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he expects his playing status in Detroit to be decided by coach Sean Payton on Sunday, shortly before the game.
Two bedroom cottage in Lafayette or three bedroom traditional in Erath
Gulf Brew ready threads
Lawmakers have sidestepped a decision on whether they accept claims from Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration that the state closed last year's books with a nearly $179 million surplus.
Coming off the high of a fourth quarter comeback against Tampa Bay and a helpful bye week, linebacker Junior Galette sees a real turnaround coming for New Orleans' struggling defense.
Former President Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party's most popular surrogate this fall, is heading to Louisiana early next week for a campaign rally with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Time and again you hear people say DA Mike Harson is unbeatable because he's doled out political favors over the past 20 years. But a new lawsuit could end that speculation.
We welcome nominations from readers and leaders throughout the business community in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Ebola is kind of terrifying if you watch too much Fox News and CNN. Especially Fox, which makes everything look terrifying because, well, War on Christmas and Obama and all.
Local developer’s Lake Charles Gardens LLC purchases buildings and leases; land still owned by Dugas family.
One bedroom townhouse or two bedroom townhouse in Lafayette
Hit the barre for a good cause
Whatever district you are in, please do your research. Find out what the schools need in order to teach. Better yet, ask your child’s teacher. They know!
Get your groove on with two free concerts in Downtown Lafayette Friday, both at Parc Sans Souci.
After the season's signature win (so far), here are some helpful tips for Cajun Nation during the conference stretch.