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Hixson Funeral Home

5010 Creole Highway
Creole, LA 70632
(337) 542-4141
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Creole LA Obituaries and Death Notices

Buckwheat Zydeco, bandleader who helped introduce Louisiana zydeco to the world, dies at 68 - The Advocate

Monday, November 14, 2016

Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural Jr., an accordionist, organist, singer and songwriter who, under the name Buckwheat Zydeco, championed traditional southwest Louisiana Creole dance music on the world stage, died early Saturday of lung cancer at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in Lafayette. He was 68.His longtime manager, Ted Fox, confirmed his death.Dural's zydeco was firmly rooted in the dance halls of his native Lafayette, but it was not confined to them. His ambition and reach were much broader.His performance during the 1996 Summer Olympics closing ceremony was broadcast to a television audience reportedly in the billions. He was featured at both of President Bill Clinton’s inauguration celebrations. In February 2014, Jimmy Fallon selected him to open the final episode of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”; the host gleefully strummed a guitar alongside Dural’s glittering accordion.He broke new ground for zydeco, both stylistically and commercially. In 1987, Island Records, home to the likes of U2 and Bob Marley, released Buckwheat Zydeco’s Grammy-nominated “On a Night Like This,” the first zydeco album on a major label.More recently, the...

Louisiana accordionist Buckwheat Zydeco has died - Fox News

Monday, September 26, 2016

As news of his death spread, friends from around the world paid their respects."Buckwheat Zydeco embodied a genre and represented a community with his signature playing style that brought distinctly creole zydeco music to fans across the globe," said Neil Portnow, who heads The Recording Academy. "The world lost a music heavyweight today."Zydeco music was well known across southwest Louisiana where people would often drive for miles to small dancehalls where zydeco bands featuring an accordion and a washboard would rock the crowds for hours.But Dural took zydeco music mainstream, launching a major-label album — the Grammy-nominated "On a Night Like This," — with Island Records in 1987.He went on to jam with musical greats like Eric Clapton, play at former President Bill Clinton's inauguration and perform at the 1996 Olympics closing ceremony in Atlanta.He jammed with Jimmy Fallon on the final episode of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." Fallon played the guitar backed up by the Roots while Buckwheat Zydeco rocked the accordion."He brought zydeco to unprecedented new audiences," said Ben Sandmel, a music historian who wrote a book titled "Zydeco!" about the music.Dural earned his nickname because he had braided hair when he was younger that resembled Buckwheat from The Little Rascals television show. Born Nov. 14, 1947 in Lafayette, Louisiana, Dural was one of 13 children. His father played the accordion but the younger Dural preferred listening to and playing rhythm & blues and learned to play the organ, his obituary said.Sandmel said while Dural was internationally famous for his zydeco music he was also an accomplished R&B artist and a diverse musician.By the late 1950s he was backing up musicians and eventually formed his own band. In 1976 he joined legendary zydeco artist Clifton Chenier's Red Hot Louisiana Band as an organist, launching an important musical turn in his career."I had so much fun playing that firs...

Natural Resources - Oxford American

Monday, August 22, 2016

When I got here, Mound Bayou was jumping!” Hermon Johnson recalled. A trim, birdlike man with a quick smile and a bright Creole complexion from his half–Native American grandfather, Johnson moved to town from Louisiana in 1951. Those were the days when Mound Bayou was the only place in Mississippi where black people could swim in not just a concrete pool but an Olympic-size concrete pool. It had multiple cotton gins owned and operated by blacks, as well as a zoo that welcomed black visitors and two hospitals that served black patients. To Johnson it seemed like a dream, a world turned inside out, where people who looked like him ran the place. “When I learned that there was a town that was run by us, I said if I lived anywhere in the South, it would be somewhere where I could be a part of what’s going on.” This was the vision—a fantasy, really—of the community’s founder, Isaiah Thorton (I. T.) Montgomery, a man who was a slave under the unorthodox plantation system of Joseph Davis, the elder brother of Jefferson Davis. In a strange twist of history, sometime around 1825, Joseph is said to have met the British philosopher and industrialist Robert Owen on a stagecoach ride. Owen was a utopian socialist. When Davis returned home to the Davis Bend plantation just south of Vicksburg, he implemented some of Owen’s principles among his slave community. These offerings—sanitary living conditions, education, regular work hours, a jury of one’s peers—seem more inalienable than utopian today, but back then they were radical acts for a Mississippi slave-owner. They also gave Joseph’s trusted slave Ben Montgomery, I.T.’s father, enough leverage to educate his children, to run a mercantile operation selling to both blacks and whites, and to buy the plantation, the third largest in Mississippi, from the Davises after the Civil War. In 1887, after his father’s death and the backlash of Reconstruction, I. T. Montgomery made a deal with the Louisville, New Orleans and Texas Railroad to settle the swamp wilderness where two bayous embraced a Native American burial mound. Some twenty years later, Montgomery’s experiment had grown into such a success that Booker T. Washington called Mound Bayou “a place where a Negro may get inspiration by seeing what other members of his race have accomplished.” During the darkest depths of the Jim Crow era, African Americans in Mound Bayou exercised the right to vote, walked through the front doors of restaurants, and established banks, hospitals, and insurance companies. It was a place where black planters owned land and produced such a coveted grade of cotton that all farmers in the area, black and white, vied to bring their crop to the town gin so it could be stamped with the MOUND BAYOU label. A place where in 1907 a train rolled into town bearing Theodore Roosevelt, who gave a ten-minute speech declaring Mound Bayou “the Jewel of the Delta.” A place were T. R. M. Howard, a black man, would become one of the most prominent entrepreneurs in the state of Mississippi in the 1950s. A place where, before Medicaid, the nation’s rural healthcare system was pioneered at Delta Health Center. It was also a refuge where black people were not disinclined to resort to arms to defend their property, their way of life, and their bodies. During the travesty of a trial for Emmett Till’s murderers in nearby Sumner, his mother, Mamie Till, stayed in Howard’s house under armed guard.Of course, leaving the town limits meant crossing back into the black-and-white world of hard boundaries and often the harshest of lessons. Before the Voting Rights Act, the people of Mound Bayou could vote, though today locals remember how somewhere between the town and the...

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Buckwheat Zydeco, bandleader who helped introduce Louisiana zydeco to the world, dies at 68 - The Advocate

Monday, November 14, 2016

Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural Jr., an accordionist, organist, singer and songwriter who, under the name Buckwheat Zydeco, championed traditional southwest Louisiana Creole dance music on the world stage, died early Saturday of lung cancer at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in Lafayette. He was 68.His longtime manager, Ted Fox, confirmed his death.Dural's zydeco was firmly rooted in the dance halls of his native Lafayette, but it was not confined to them. His ambition and reach were much broader.His performance during the 1996 Summer Olympics closing ceremony was broadcast to a television audience reportedly in the billions. He was featured at both of President Bill Clinton’s inauguration celebrations. In February 2014, Jimmy Fallon selected him to open the final episode of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”; the host gleefully strummed a guitar alongside Dural’s glittering accordion.He broke new ground for zydeco, both stylistically and commercially. In 1987, Island Records, home to the likes of U2 and Bob Marley, released Buckwheat Zydeco’s Grammy-nominated “On a Night Like This,” the first zydeco album on a major label.More recently, the...

Louisiana accordionist Buckwheat Zydeco has died - Fox News

Monday, September 26, 2016

As news of his death spread, friends from around the world paid their respects."Buckwheat Zydeco embodied a genre and represented a community with his signature playing style that brought distinctly creole zydeco music to fans across the globe," said Neil Portnow, who heads The Recording Academy. "The world lost a music heavyweight today."Zydeco music was well known across southwest Louisiana where people would often drive for miles to small dancehalls where zydeco bands featuring an accordion and a washboard would rock the crowds for hours.But Dural took zydeco music mainstream, launching a major-label album — the Grammy-nominated "On a Night Like This," — with Island Records in 1987.He went on to jam with musical greats like Eric Clapton, play at former President Bill Clinton's inauguration and perform at the 1996 Olympics closing ceremony in Atlanta.He jammed with Jimmy Fallon on the final episode of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." Fallon played the guitar backed up by the Roots while Buckwheat Zydeco rocked the accordion."He brought zydeco to unprecedented new audiences," said Ben Sandmel, a music historian who wrote a book titled "Zydeco!" about the music.Dural earned his nickname because he had braided hair when he was younger that resembled Buckwheat from The Little Rascals television show. Born Nov. 14, 1947 in Lafayette, Louisiana, Dural was one of 13 children. His father played the accordion but the younger Dural preferred listening to and playing rhythm & blues and learned to play the organ, his obituary said.Sandmel said while Dural was internationally famous for his zydeco music he was also an accomplished R&B artist and a diverse musician.By the late 1950s he was backing up musicians and eventually formed his own band. In 1976 he joined legendary zydeco artist Clifton Chenier's Red Hot Louisiana Band as an organist, launching an important musical turn in his career."I had so much fun playing that firs...

Natural Resources - Oxford American

Monday, August 22, 2016

When I got here, Mound Bayou was jumping!” Hermon Johnson recalled. A trim, birdlike man with a quick smile and a bright Creole complexion from his half–Native American grandfather, Johnson moved to town from Louisiana in 1951. Those were the days when Mound Bayou was the only place in Mississippi where black people could swim in not just a concrete pool but an Olympic-size concrete pool. It had multiple cotton gins owned and operated by blacks, as well as a zoo that welcomed black visitors and two hospitals that served black patients. To Johnson it seemed like a dream, a world turned inside out, where people who looked like him ran the place. “When I learned that there was a town that was run by us, I said if I lived anywhere in the South, it would be somewhere where I could be a part of what’s going on.” This was the vision—a fantasy, really—of the community’s founder, Isaiah Thorton (I. T.) Montgomery, a man who was a slave under the unorthodox plantation system of Joseph Davis, the elder brother of Jefferson Davis. In a strange twist of history, sometime around 1825, Joseph is said to have met the British philosopher and industrialist Robert Owen on a stagecoach ride. Owen was a utopian socialist. When Davis returned home to the Davis Bend plantation just south of Vicksburg, he implemented some of Owen’s principles among his slave community. These offerings—sanitary living conditions, education, regular work hours, a jury of one’s peers—seem more inalienable than utopian today, but back then they were radical acts for a Mississippi slave-owner. They also gave Joseph’s trusted slave Ben Montgomery, I.T.’s father, enough leverage to educate his children, to run a mercantile operation selling to both blacks and whites, and to buy the plantation, the third largest in Mississippi, from the Davises after the Civil War. In 1887, after his father’s death and the backlash of Reconstruction, I. T. Montgomery made a deal with the Louisville, New Orleans and Texas Railroad to settle the swamp wilderness where two bayous embraced a Native American burial mound. Some twenty years later, Montgomery’s experiment had grown into such a success that Booker T. Washington called Mound Bayou “a place where a Negro may get inspiration by seeing what other members of his race have accomplished.” During the darkest depths of the Jim Crow era, African Americans in Mound Bayou exercised the right to vote, walked through the front doors of restaurants, and established banks, hospitals, and insurance companies. It was a place where black planters owned land and produced such a coveted grade of cotton that all farmers in the area, black and white, vied to bring their crop to the town gin so it could be stamped with the MOUND BAYOU label. A place where in 1907 a train rolled into town bearing Theodore Roosevelt, who gave a ten-minute speech declaring Mound Bayou “the Jewel of the Delta.” A place were T. R. M. Howard, a black man, would become one of the most prominent entrepreneurs in the state of Mississippi in the 1950s. A place where, before Medicaid, the nation’s rural healthcare system was pioneered at Delta Health Center. It was also a refuge where black people were not disinclined to resort to arms to defend their property, their way of life, and their bodies. During the travesty of a trial for Emmett Till’s murderers in nearby Sumner, his mother, Mamie Till, stayed in Howard’s house under armed guard.Of course, leaving the town limits meant crossing back into the black-and-white world of hard boundaries and often the harshest of lessons. Before the Voting Rights Act, the people of Mound Bayou could vote, though today locals remember how somewhere between the town and the...