"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 circumstances surrounding the death last March while in the backseat of a sheriff’s cruiser of Victor White III, long a source of dispute by White’s family, have earned an investigation by federal officials.
With six of the LPSB’s nine members poised for Pat Cooper’s termination, a request was filed Tuesday for a fast-tracked hearing on the federal lawsuit calling for the disqualification of two board members from voting on the matter due to bias.
Louisiana's Republican Party has filed a complaint against Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu with the Senate's ethics committee about her use of private chartered planes.
An attorney signs up to run against LPSB's Mark Cockerham, and within a week a lawsuit is filed by a former LPSS employee in an attempt to disqualify him. Coincidence?
The Ragin’ Cajuns got off to a superb start Saturday night, and the Human Jukebox made the soaked season opener even sweeter for the third-largest crowd in Cajun Field history.
The Louisiana health department will follow a federal judge's order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors who are trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday.
While bogged down with qualifying candidates last month, Secretary of State Tom Schedler didn’t lose sight of the true endgame coming in November and December.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Stoned driving a concern when pot is legal; Detroit's bankruptcy trial; speed trap scandal in Florida and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 02, 2014.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."