"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
The Lafayette superintendent insists the budget is illegal and vows to fight on.
"I am not a scientist," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said numerous times, a response that other members of his party have parroted.
Republicans are running strong races against endangered Democratic incumbents in states such as North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska. Republicans are also looking to replace retiring Democrats in Iowa and West Virginia with a GOP lawmaker.
Republican congressman Vance McAllister is trying to make up to Louisiana voters for getting too close to a married former employee.
You may not like all of “it,” but U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, unlike many of her colleagues, isn't sitting around twiddling her thumbs in Congress.
Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro says he "can't wait" to play against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The heat keeps rising for Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal as a new slate of corruption allegations surfaced this week.
If opposing defenses sell out to stop the Packers' passing game, they risk being gashed by powerful running back Eddie Lacy, a New Orleans-area native.
At the horn the officiating crew trotted to the tunnel and left security personnel to clean up after them.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
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State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
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.