Van Broussard, ‘King of Swamp Pop’, dies at 83
ASCENSION PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Ascension Parish musical legend Van Broussard has died at the age of 83, friends say.
“It’s with a very heavy heart that I post the passing of a true Ascension Parish legend,” family friend Brenda Whitney posted on Facebook Tuesday morning. “Mr. Van Broussard, the King of Swamp Pop, passed away this morning. Our condolences go out to Van’s family and friends and all who enjoyed his wonderful music!”
Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment issued the following statement on Broussard’s death Tuesday, Nov. 17:
“Van ‘The Man’ Broussard was a music legend and a great ambassador for Ascension Parish. Most of us grew up on Van’s music, and as long as we still have that, then Van lives on.”
Here is an online biography about Van Broussard:
Although he is not a household name nationally, Van Broussard is almost legendary in the Cajun bayou areas of Southern Louisiana for helping forge the way for swamp pop music. At various times, he has performed as a solo act, as half of the team Van & Titus, and more recently with the Bayou Boogie Band. Before his sister, Grace Broussard, had a hit record in 1963 with Dale Houston in the pairing Dale & Grace, she also performed frequently with her older brother in their hometown of Prairieville, LA, at a nightspot called Cal’s Club. During the early years of Broussard’s career, his music revolved around Dixieland as he performed in the region of Ascension Parish. A turning point came in the mid-'50s, when Elvis Presley’s early recordings caught Broussard’s attention and he started leaning toward the sounds of R&B and, later, straight-ahead into swamp pop. Broussard’s long career includes releases for a number of different labels, among them CSP, Red Stick, Rex, and Bayou Boogie. During his later years, Broussard put out more than half a dozen albums with CSP, amassing approximately 100 recorded songs for that label alone. His popular singles include “Lord I Need Somebody Bad Tonight” in 1977 and “Feed the Flame” in 1958. The Louisiana Hall of Fame inducted the artist in 1997.
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