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Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, leader of Buckwheat Zydeco, dies

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  • Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, leader of Buckwheat Zydeco, dies

    From USA TODAY -

    Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural Jr. of Carencro, leader of the Grammy- and Emmy-winning band Buckwheat Zydeco, died at 1:32 a.m. Saturday at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center. Dural, who had lung cancer, was 68.

    For more than 35 years, Dural exposed zydeco to more people on the planet than any other artist. His band’s music has been heard by millions, from high-profile gigs that included the Olympics, presidential inaugurations, national TV shows and hit movies, like “The Big Easy,” “Fletch Lives” and “The Waterboy.”
    Ted Fox, Buckwheat Zydeco's personal manager and frequent producer and collaborator since 1986, said Dural's native music from southwest Louisiana had a global impact.
    "Many people in Louisiana know that Buck was a musical legend and the preeminent ambassador of zydeco music," said Fox. "For others around the world, if they got into zydeco music, or felt its influence, or watched the world celebrate this great aspect of Louisiana culture over the past 30-plus years, it’s likely been because of Buckwheat Zydeco.
    "Whether performing on the final episode of 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,' or on the Letterman show many times, or in the closing ceremonies of the Atlanta Olympics, or at President Clinton’s inaugurals, or with Eric Clapton, Paul Simon or Willie Nelson, Stanley Dural Jr.’s musical genius and genuine warm, welcoming personality carried the banner for zydeco and Southwest Louisiana’s Creole community.
    "I am deeply saddened and grieving for my best friend and colleague of more than 30 years. But, as this great road warrior once said: ‘Life is a tour, and it’s all about how you decide to get where you’re going…I don’t want to ignore the bad things in life, but I want to emphasize the good things.’ Buck made everything and everyone he touched better and happier."
    Since 1979, Buckwheat Zydeco has been one of the most celebrated bands to come out of Louisiana. The group has shared the stage and studio with Eric Clapton, U2, the Boston Pops Orchestra, B.B. King and other renowned names.
    Dural and band performed in the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, which reached a TV audience of 3 billion people. They played at both inaugurations for former President Bill Clinton and countless commercials and TV shows, such as "The Late Show with David Letterman" and the last episode of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."
    Last November, Dural and band members were part of an all-star tribute to country music legend Willie Nelson, who received the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The TV special aired on PBS stations across the country.

    Buckwheat won the Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album Grammy for the 2009 CD, “Lay Your Burden Down,” which featured Trombone Shorty, Sonny Landreth and other stars. The band received an Emmy for the music in the CBS TV movie from 2001, “Pistol Pete: The Life and Times of Pete Maravich.”
    In August, friends and family set up a GoFundMe account titled “In Support of Buckwheat Zydeco” to help with medical expenses. As of Friday, more than $19,000 of the account’s $50,000 goal had been raised.
    Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural career highlights
    1971 – Formed Buckwheat and the Hitchikers, a 15-piece funk and soul band
    1976 – Joined Clifton Chenier’s Red Hot Louisiana Band as an organist
    1979 – Started his own band, Buckwheat Zydeco
    1987 – First zydeco band to sign with a major label (Island Records)
    1988 – Opened Eric Clapton’s North American tour, followed by 12 shows in 1989 in London
    1990 – “Hey Good Lookin’” video with Dwight Yoakam and David Hildago
    1994 – First zydeco band to release a children’s record, “Choo Choo Boogaloo”
    1996 – Performed in Summer Olympics in Atlanta closing ceremonies before a TV audience of 3 billion
    1998 – Performed at Boston Pops 25th annual Fourth of July show before a crowd of 500,000 and PBS-TV
    2002 – Emmy for music in CBS TV movie, “Pistol Pete: The Life and Times of Pete Maravich”
    2002 – Song “What You Gonna Do? used as theme for 10th anniversary season of BET’s “ComicView”
    2010 – Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album Grammy, “Lay Your Burden Down”
    2014 – Honoree of the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Foundation Gala
    2014 – Started YouTube channel, Buckwheat’s World
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    • #3
      RIP Buckwheat. I have a few of his albums. Really fun music.

      Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

      Join Date: Aug 2001
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      • #4
        I saw him open for Clapton once - it was one of the most fun and joyful performances I've ever experienced. I was sad to hear he had passed away.


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