BATON ROUGE, La. – Many gathered as Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser dedicated a lemon tree and plague to honor one of Louisiana’s first Creole, Cajun and Zydeco recording artists, Amédé Ardoin.
“Amédé made a significant impact on how people identify with Louisiana through our uniquely festive music that celebrates the passion and cultural diversity of our state,” said Lt. Governor Nungesser. “He is one of the most prominent figures in bringing awareness of our music of those outside of Acadiana at a time when the recording industry was just beginning to offer the old 78rpm recording to mass audiences. He made 34 recordings in New Orleans, San Antonio, and later New York. Little did he realize how many would be influenced by his music and for what is now a huge industry gaining popularity worldwide.”
Ardoin’s composed music including dance tunes and mournful ballads are considered by many to be the standard for Zydeco today.
Ardoin spoke only French, and did not read or write. Many are not aware of what he accomplished through the special genre of music for which Louisiana is now known. Whether it be a dance hall or front porch, Ardoin performed wherever he could. His tragic and untimely death at the age of 44 came after a racially motivated beating. Ardoin’s family continues to work tirelessly to keep his music and legacy alive.
Ardoin’s legacy lives through family members like Sean Ardoin, who performed at the ceremony. Sean Ardoin is a two time Grammy nominee. Speakers at the ceremony included East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome; Herman Fuselier, St. Landry Tourist Commission Executive Director; Patricia Cravins, educator, author, actress, and co-founder of Bring Amédé Home; and, Celeste Gomez, former St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission Executive Director, who led a dedication of a statue to Ardoin in St. Landry Parish on March 11, 2018.