Monday, November 10, 2014

"Sundown Playboys Special" - Lionel Cormier

Cajun accordionist Lionel Cormier was one of the founding members of the Sundown Playboys in 1947. Originally called the Elton Playboys after the Louisiana town where Cormier and his family lived at the time, the group recorded for the first time in 1952. The result was a 78 rpm that featured "Sundown Playboys Special" for J.D. Miller's Feature Records (#1037).   Cormier and his bandmates, including Percy Fuselier and Emory LaPoint, went on to record a number of other songs.  The song is an instrumental two-step, named after the band.

He began to join in as an accordionist at house dances and informal family get-togethers when he was 12 years old and moving to Elton, he took work in a sawmill. 
Lionel Cormier

Lionel would also record for Ed Shuler's Goldband Records.  On June 5, 1971, after finishing the song "Church Point Two-Step", Cormier died of a heart attack unexpectedly with his boots on – onstage during a benefit dance at Lake Charles’ Bamboo Club, while taking a break as the emcee made announcements between songs. 

Accordion player Pat Savant eventually joined the band and briefly knew Lionel; having met him only twenty minutes before the veteran played his last Church Point Two-Step. Pat would be known for recording "Saturday Night Special", released by either George Harrison or Ringo Starr of the Beatles on their lablel Apple Records.

  1. South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous By John Broven
  2. Meet The Sundown Playboys By Leslie Berman

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