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October 9

King Of Country Cajun: Jimmy Newman

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Jimmy Yves Newman – born and raised in High point, Louisiana, his exposures on music were a mixture of Cajun and traditional country. His parents speak French and were devotees to Cajun culture. That did not prevent him though from getting fascinated with the country singing of Gene Autry, Jimmy Rodgers, and the Carter family.

In 1940, he set off for a musical career, did well but not quite that big, so he worked steadily to master some guitar works. By 1950, he finally made a name in country music with a song he had written himself called “Cry, Cry Darling” which skyrocketed to No. 1.

Before moving to Nashville and becoming a mainstay star at the Grand Ole Opry, he first made performances for the Lousiana Hayride radio-TV show. By then, he had several songs on top ten including Seasons of my Heart and A Fallen Star. For a decade, he consistently worked hard until he became an established performer by the 1960s. In fact, his peers includinnow-renowneded artists Dolly Parton, Tom T. Hall, and fellow Cajun-country musician Eddy Raven credit their breakthrough of stardom to Mr. Newman.

Later on, he started incorporating Cajun sounds in his music, hence, the addition of “C” on his name. He was so proud of his musical roots that led to him being crowned as the “King of Country-Cajun.” Two of his well- known works with Cajun influence were “Alligator Man” and “Bayou Talk.”

For over 50 years, he performed at the Grand Ole Opry until his passing in 2014. He was 86.

Though not Newman’s top charter, “A Fallen Star” was his biggest hit in 1957. It peaked at no.2 and was a crossover hit to pop music charts.

As what has been the practice, a former star’s latest performance of his or her old time hit would be embedded.

 


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  • We love Jimmy up here in Québec and French Canada in general because of his rendition of the song ”Lâche pas la patate!” It was a smash hit up here in the 1970’s when I was a kid.
    Repose en paix mon Jimmy!!! AAEEEY!!!

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