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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Cajun Music: Why I Love It!
by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado   

Last edited: Saturday, June 15, 2002
Posted: Saturday, June 15, 2002

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You're happening to be hearing from one of the BIGGEST Cajun music fans on the planet!

I happen to be one of the biggest Cajun music fanatics around!

I have loved Cajun music since 1980 (or thereabouts; my memory isn't as sharp as it once once; guess I'm getting old..); I discovered it quite by accident.

I have loved country and bluegrass music since I was a little girl, and I happened to spot an album whose cover intrigued me. It was of a group of men, and they were all wearing satiny blue western style shirts and jeans, and the lead singer, a good-looking man in his 50's (at that time), was wearing a brown shirt and pants; and the album cover was quite colorful. The name of the group was Jimmy C. Newman and "Cajun Country", and I had never heard of them; but I was curious; so I got the album.

When I put it on at home later that day, I liked what I heard; but it WAS NOTHING like I had heard on my bluegrass or country records. Oh, there was plenty of fiddle and steel guitar to be heard, but the rhythm was different somehow, and there was an accordion; the sound was unique, and it had a sense of "bounce" to it. They were singing in French, and--I liked what I heard.

That's when I did my research. I learned what "Cajun music" and what "Cajuns" were, and I was all the more intrigued. I decided I had to get more of it.

Which was what I did.

I then discovered artists like Belton Richard, Sheryl Cormier, BeauSoleil, Walter Mouton, and others, and I became HOOKED. Cajun music was quite unique, and it wasn't long before I started wanting to go to Louisiana.

I did just that..not once, but 4 times! I went to Louisiana in 1990, 1992, 1994, and again in 1995. I went to hear Cajun music, and I heard PLENTY!! I also went to places like Mulate's and Brunet's and Randol's, and I went to Vermillionville in Lafayette, and I even had the opportunity to go to several Cajun music festivals (Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival in Breaux Bridge and LeCajun Cajun Music Awards Show and Festival in Lafayette--that one, I went to TWICE--). Never dreaming I would be seeing my favorite Cajun stars in concert, like BeauSoleil, Jimmy C. Newman and Cajun Country, Walter Mouton, Belton Richard, Sheryl Cormier, Jo-El Sonnier, Johnny Sonnier, and Hunter Hayes (who was 2 YEARS OLD when I saw him; yet, the little guy already had talent at that unbelievably young age; I also saw him again a year later, and he was even more talented!!), to name a few. I got all of their autographs, and had my picture made with quite a few of them, too! Yeah, this Cajun music fan was in CAJUN HEAVEN when she went to Louisiana!!!!!

I have amassed quite a collection of Cajun music CDs, tapes, and albums; but I still face a big problem, like I did back in Ohio, where I am originally from: I have a HARD time trying to find some in the local record stores!! Oh, they sell everything else under the planet (including Mexicano music, which I CAN'T STAND!!), but NO CAJUN MUSIC!!

All I would like to know is this: WHY????

In the meantime, what is a Cajun fan like me to do?? I have to special-order a lot of my Cajun music CDs, and/or I have to have other people send me some; or I have to wait until I go to a mall or to a specialty record store like Ernest Tubb's Record Store here in Fort Worth, near where I live. (I live in Burleson, Texas, which is 12 miles south of downtown Fort Worth.) It isn't easy, as I don't have a car, and I have to depend on others to take me if I want to go shopping. Which is a really BIG PAIN IN THE REAR!!!!!!!

Any suggestions, anyone??

Oh, by the way: I am a member of the Cajun French Music Association.


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Reviewed by Linda Alexander 1/7/2008
Karen:

Obviously, you have taste! I'm about the most Cajun non-Louisiana born person you could ever know. My mother, & her family from waaaay-back, are born & bred from Louisiana. My husband, too. It's my favorite-est place in the country, & the BEST spot in the state is Lafayette . . . a home base of this wonderful type of much.

You do it proud!


Blessings -- Linda Alexander
Reviewed by Jackie Brooks 5/24/2003
I love Cajun music too though I don't have any on CD. Would you believe, we actually have a group here in North Yorkshire, UK, that specialise in Cajun music. I have got a Cajun Recipe Book!!!
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 6/15/2002
And she's not kidding...I live with her! Karen LOVES Cajun music...ya wanna know something about it, chances are she knows what you want. Great write, Karen! (((HUGS))) Love, Your Twinkie, Karla.
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