Just because a musician was born in 1929 doesn’t mean he’s ready for the nursing home. Cajun fiddler Ellis Vanicor, 81, broadcasts that message loud and clear on the title song of his debut CD, Don’t Bury Me. Vanicor started playing fiddle in the 1940s and began his own band, the Lacassine Playboys. Through the decades, he’s shared the stage and studio with Shorty Leblanc, Linus Touchet and Bobby Leger.
In 2010, Vanicor finally made his own CD, a 17-song disc filled with Cajun classics and a rendition of Freddie Fender’s million-selling country hit from 1975, “Before the Next Teardrop Falls.” The CD made Vanicor the big winner at the Le Cajun Awards and Music Festival held in August at the Cade Community Center in St. Martinville. Le Cajun awards are Grammy-style trophies given to artists chosen by the Cajun French Music Association.
Vanicor won Le Cajuns for Fiddler of the Year, Best First CD, Band of the Year and the People’s Choice Award. Kaleb Trahan, who played accordion on Vanicor’s CD, won Accordionist of the Year.
Kevin Naquin, a 32-year-old accordion ace who has won more than a dozen Le Cajuns since 1999, added to his trophy case. Naquin and his Ossun Playboys band won Best CD for Cravin’ Cajun. The disc includes “Les Fordorches,” which earned Song of the Year honors. Jamey Bearb claimed Male Vocalist of the Year. There were no nominees for Female Vocalist of the Year.