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D.L. Menard

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Biography

Doris Leon Menard (born April 14, 1932) is one of the most important songwriters and performers in Cajun music. He has been called the “Cajun Hank Williams” because of the country-tinged sound of his voice and music.

Born in Erath, Louisiana to a Cajun farming family, he started to play guitar in Louisiana clubs in the late 1940s. Since then he has performed in more than 30 countries and served as a good-will ambassador for Cajun culture. He has also recorded with non-Cajun artists, including Bryan Ferry.

Menard is best known for his song “La Porte En Arrière” (“The Back Door”), which Cajun folklorist Barry Jean Ancelet has called the most played and most recorded Cajun song. It has been covered by dozens of Cajun and zydeco bands and by other Francophone artists such as Kate and Anna McGarrigle. Menard has said he modeled it on Hank Williams’ “Honky Tonk Blues.”

In 1993, his album Le Trio Cadien was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Traditional Folk Album category. In 1994, he was awarded the National Heritage Fellowship Award by the National Endowment for the Arts.

For decades, Menard has maintained a separate career as a craftsman, and he is noted for the handmade ash-wood chairs he makes at his one-man factory in Erath.

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  • Cajungrandma

    DL is going to be at the Liberty Theater on April 4th 2009 , Jambalya Cajun Band is doing a tribute to him. Come and see him. Liberty Theater is located in the Heart of Eunice Louisiana. See Ya'll There!

    22 Feb 2009 Reply

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