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Cajun Band Leader and Musician
J.C. Labbie, a Cajun, was born April 10, 1938 in Eunice, Louisiana. He is still a resident of Eunice, where he lives with his wife Delores. He is the proud father of three married daughters: Clara, Emily, and Jennifer. He has four grandchildren: Bryan, Joshua, Hali, and Kristi. His parents, who are now deceased, were Joseph Labbie and Clemance Thibodeaux.
When he started school, he could not speak English. He had to master the language quickly, because Cajun children were punished if they spoke French while either on the school grounds or in the classroom. Just like his language, Cajun music in his family was passed down through several generations. Family members from both his father and mother's sides could play the fiddle, triangle, and accordion. J.C. has some triangles that were handed down to him by his mother, which belonged to his great-great-grandfather. J.C. began playing the accordion at the age of 23. He bought his first accordion from Marc Savoy; it wasn't new, but it was a sterling tuned in the C key. The original owner was LeRoy Broussard, who had left the accordion with Marc Savoy with hopes of finding a buyer for it. J.C. now owns two hand-made accordions crafted by Marc Savoy.
J.C. has played Cajun music in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Austria. He continues to play Cajun music on a regular basis for festivals, restaurants, clubs, private parties, and at weddings.
Updated Febuary 20, 2017 by Natchitoches-NSU Louisiana Folklife Center Staff