the Wedding issue Poo Pah Doo’ and Oliver Morgan did ‘Who Shot the LaLa.’ It was a star-studded party.” Maxwell has seen some weddings with made-for-movie moments. Over-the-top encounters one does not expect at nuptial celebrations. “I remember one bride — she was quite uncomfortable in her wedding dress, and she started taking it off. The crowd was jumping up and down, yelling. She stripped! The song? It could have been ‘I Feel Good’ by James Brown. The guy she married was this Marine, a muscular guy like you couldn’t believe — he could have been on the defensive line for the Saints. And he’s standing there, cheering and egging her on!” Wedding gigs have been more wholesome for the Cajun chanteuse Yvette Landry. A schoolteacher in Breaux Bridge, Landry got her launch as a guitarist and country-and-western singer
something, and wanted the option of lyrics in French. Landry called Barry Jean Ance- let, a prolific poet and scholar who helped with the translation. She did the song at a wedding for a couple in their mid-20s with grandparents from the generation that still speaks French. When the grandparents walked in, she sang the French verse. Would you like to spend forever together And look me in the eye when I love you Would you like to spend forever together Forever, together, I do Voudrais-tu rester ensemble pour toujours Et me regarder dans les yeux quand je t’aime Voudrais-tu rester ensemble pour toujours Pour toujours, ensemble, moi ouais Together, forever, I love you Ensemble, pour toujours, je t’aime Landry has been elated by the response to
the bilingual song. “Young kids in our area aren’t speaking French, and grandparents who had it as their first language are dying off,” she says. “The bride at that wedding didn’t realize how much it would touch those elders, and she was glad for what it brought to the wedding. I’ve recorded it in English, but not yet in French.” Businesses that specialize in the planning of weddings are a booming industry in heavily populated areas, which augurs well for hotels, reception halls, caterers, musicians — and the airline industry, a pivotal link in the chain of destination weddings for which guests travel far and wide. Even in an age when many couples make lives together while putting off the ceremony of commitment, often for many years, the river of life flows on with couples young and old taking the big step.
For a country club wedding at which Deacon John and the Ivories played, the groom was severely ill with the flu and barely able to stand. “He said ‘I do’ and passed out,” recalls Deacon John. “They carried him off to the hospital.The best man was the stand-in for the first dance with the bride.When she threw her bouquet it went into the chandelier; they had to get a ladder and bring it down so she could throw it again.” Of that inauspicious ceremony, the bandleader chuckles. “You know, Woody Allen once said that marriage is the death of hope.” He paused. “And then Woody got married.”
in 2010. The first invitation to play a wedding left her a bit wary. Her repertoire ran heavy on lyrics of heartbreak and loss, not the romantic wellsprings of Sinatra or the Carpenters. “A song like ‘Dead and Gone’ didn’t strike me as appropriate for a wedding,” recalls Landry. But the father of a former student was emphatic in asking her to play at the big event. Music is an adventure,if nothing else. “I played accordion with a fiddler while the couple made their entrance,” says Landry. “We did some country love songs in the ceremony. And then some of my stuff for the reception.” The event at Cafe des Amis in Breaux Bridge went off without a hitch. Landry actually does more funerals than weddings. “I think it’s the instrumentation we have with the steel guitar [played by Richard Comeaux]. Sacred steel is beautiful when you hear ‘Old Rugged Cross’ or ‘Amazing Grace.’ I’ve tended to write more songs about death than love.” But on writing “Together For- ever” she thought she was onto
The Dixie Cups hit the top of the charts in 1964 with “Chapel of Love.” Photo from AllMusic.
MY ROUSES EVERYDAY
JULY | AUGUST 2018
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