Sunday, June 29, 2014

One Final Big Ol' Aaa-Eeeee!

Category:  Obituary

Jimmy C. Newman had a long career as a country-Cajun singer.  The "C" stood for "Cajun," even though his given middle name was "Yeve."  More than perhaps anyone, with the exception of Doug Kershaw, Newman kept a bright spotlight on Cajun music.  He closed his Opry performances by saying, "A big ol' aaa-eeee! to you."

Jimmy C. Newman died June 21 after a battle with cancer.  His final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry was two weeks prior to his death.

Newman's early material was credited as "Jimmy Newman" and included country hits such as "A Fallen Star" (his biggest hit), "Cry, Cry Darling," "Alligator Man," and "Louisiana Saturday Night" (no relation to the 1980's song with the same title by Mel McDaniel).  All told, Newman had eleven top ten hits among his 33 songs to make Billboard's country charts.

A native of Louisiana, Newman took the Cajun music that was immensely popular in his home state to a new audience, performing traditional Cajun favorites such as "Allons a Lafayette" and "Jole Blon" as well as the aforementioned "Alligator Man," which Newman co-wrote.

Newman had been a member of the Louisiana Hayride when Elvis Presley was there.  His Opry membership began in 1956.  In 2004 he was inducted into the Cajun Music Hall of Fame, and in 2009 the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame enshrined him.

Jimmy C. Newman posing backstage
at the Grand Ole Opry in the mid-90's.
c.2014 K.F. Raizor

Jimmy C. Newman was 86.

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