Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Mr. Calvin Leblanc - No Myth , the Real Deal Music Legend

A Man of Integrity and Friend to All at Bayou Pigeon

Bayou Pigeon has lost another irreplaceable member of our Community.

Calvin Pierre LeBlanc passed away on Tuesday, January 16, 2024 at the age of 86. He was a native of Pierre Part and lifelong resident of Bayou Pigeon. 

He was the son of Walter and Zelmire who moved to Bayou Pigeon in 1942. Together they raised their eight children in Bayou Pigeon. 

Mr. Calvin experienced all the elements of Cajun folk life. He was an Army Veteran, a commercial fisherman, ran a truck route business, and was a union pipe fitter in the construction industry, worked with wholesale crawfish buyers picking up and delivering crawfish to retail outlets all over South Louisiana. He was known and respected by every resident of Bayou Pigeon when he ran his truck route business selling fruit, bread, meat and ice to the residents of Bayou Pigeon.

Calvin was attracted to music at a very young age. He began by listening to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio on Saturday night at his Uncle Ernest Hebert’s house. He would pick up a broom and used the handle as a neck of the guitar and the straw as the body and imitate.

For two of Walter and Zelmire children, Calvin and Roy, music has become a life-long passion. They are self-taught musicians, with Calvin’s son, Kerwin following in his dad’s footsteps, playing, writing and recording his own songs and a CD. Calvin’s fondest times were playing music with his family members, especially his son, Kerwin, and his brother, Roy.

Roy Leblanc, Calvin Leblanc, Kerwin Leblanc playing at the LeBlanc Family Reunion.

Calvin, Kerwin and Roy playing and singing at a Bayou Pigeon Spirit of the Atchafalaya Book signing event.

With his lifelong friends, Adam Berthelot and Alcide Berthelot, they played music at many types of venues, bars and dance halls and weddings.  

Calvin and his band play what we call Bayou Pigeon Dance Hall music, i.e., rhythm, guitar, bass guitar and drums. The music is a hybrid of Rock and Roll, Country and Western and something called rock-a-billy. This style of music was the staple of small town dancehalls. Alcide played the lead guitar, Adam played bass guitar and Calvin was the lead vocalist and played the rhythm guitar.  They were swamp pop before swamp pop existed.

In later years Calvin and Adam, played pro bono at St. Joan of Arc Church Fairs, and sang gospel songs at St. Joan of Arc mass and Nursing homes for elderly.  

Our team Bayou Pigeon Spirit of the Atchafalaya book team was lucky enough to have Calvin join our team. Calvin played music at over a dozen Bayou Pigeon Spirit of the Atchafalaya book signings.  

Calvin Playing at Pierre Part Library, where part of the presentation was that he and Adam Landry only spoke in French to the delight of Cajuns in the audience.  They brought that Cajun kinship to the forefront

Two of our audience's favorite songs, were Pauvre Pecheur (Poor Fisherman)   by Roy Leblanc and Bayou Pigeon by Lou Millett whom Calvin knew personally.

Our Book team playing for  the Landry’s (of the Swamp People) at Troy Landry’s home, was another highlight.

Calvin Leblanc, his life was about Bayou Pigeon Kinship, God, Family, Friends, and Cajun heritage. 

R.I.P. Calvin we are sure that you are playing music in Heaven with Roy, Adam Berthelot and Alcide Berthelot.

Ton ami 

Chachie and the Bayou Pigeon Spirit of the Atchafalaya Book Team