"What is truly remarkable about this run is my wife's patience," says Ancelet. "She has given up virtually every Saturday night for almost 20 years. Now that's dedication." In 1986, he helped organize a few cultural events at the Liberty ' an old time radio show and programs exploring the traditions of weddings and Mardi Gras. In July 1987, it became a weekly program named Rendez-vous and settled into a mission of developing tourism through family-oriented Cajun and Creole music and cultural information. Ancelet also aims to cultivate a younger generation of musicians to carry on the traditions of south Louisiana music performed by older, established bands. On a deeper cultural level, the program's use of Cajun French is a strong play for its survival and continued usage.
"This [use of French] produced a certain amount of tension in the early going," says Ancelet. "In the end, the issue resolved itself as outsiders and locals alike were overwhelmingly positive in their comments concerning the show's authenticity."
From his spot on the stage, Ancelet watched unforgettable performances, most captured on video. His favorites are a list of classics that could easily fill Volume One of a best-of DVD ' a possibility as the tapes are now being digitized at the Archives of Cajun & Creole Folklore, an effort started by Ancelet. The Liberty stage served as the setting for a wide scope of events in modern Cajun and Creole music: the unlikely pairing of staunchly traditional Dewey Balfa and modern experimenter Wayne Toups; a young Horace Trahan coming out of the crowd to bring the audience to tears with his accordion-only version of Iry Lejeune's "Viens me Chercher;" Jo-El Sonnier shedding tears of his own after receiving a tremendous ovation; Robert Jardell's version of "Johnny Can't Dance," played the old way after Toups made his contemporary version a hit; and the a cappella talents of ballad singers Inez Catalon and Lula Landry.
For the milestone 1,000th performance, Ancelet dug into the program's past. Robert Frey, who played the first Rendez-vous, returns, as does Jeffery Broussard, who performed with his father Delton's Lawtell Playboys at the second event. Jambalaya, which has performed at the most Rendez-vous programs, accompanies D. L. Menard, Paul Daigle and Rodney LeJeune. The night will serve as a perfect bookend for the first 1,000 shows and a great launching pad toward 2,000.
Rendez-vous des Cajuns 1,000th performance
Jason Frey, Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys, Jambalaya with D. L. Menard, Paul Daigle and Rodney LeJeune
6-8 p.m., Saturday Feb. 24, Eunice's Liberty Theater
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
WaPo Watergate editor Ben Bradlee dies; Clintons stump for Dems; Liberians stranded and more national and international news for Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.
State education officials are preparing to release performance scores for public schools and public school districts.
Saints coach Sean Payton is starting a new week by emphasizing, repeatedly, the many good things he noticed during New Orleans' latest loss.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
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.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
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.
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.
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.
After the season's signature win (so far), here are some helpful tips for Cajun Nation during the conference stretch.
Did the state close last year's books with a surplus or a deficit?
Practicing without limitations on Wednesday, running back Mark Ingram looked ready to return to a New Orleans offense that once again ranks among the NFL's best when the Saints play at Detroit on Sunday.