‘Swamp Pop’ fans work to bring show to Mansura
Nothing recaptures the pleasant memories of our youth more than the music of our youth.
With Avoyelles Parish nightlife in their blood, the Roy family of Mansura hopes to bring back some of those good memories.
Bruce Roy and his son, Dax Roy, decided to bring the popular “Swamp Pop Legends Show” to Avoyelles. They were joined in this quest by fellow music lovers Carey Juneau, Jeannie LaCour and Louis Coco.
The result of their efforts is that the show will be held from 4-7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 in the Avoyelles Plaza in Mansura.
The purpose is to bring back the parish’s “golden age of clubs,” when this kind of music was played in night clubs throughout Avoyelles Parish.
Bruce’s father, Shep Roy, and his uncle, Kyrle Roy, ran Mansura’s hot spot, Shep’s then later Kyrle’s, during the heyday of the club scene in Avoyelles.
“We want to bring back the days of Shep’s Club in Mansura, the Pelican Club in Marksville, Lee’s Club in Cottonport and other clubs throughout the parish at this event,” Bruce said.
“Avoyelles Parish at that time was a very special place,’ he continued. “Every town had a high school. While there was a rivalry on the playing fields, on weekends everyone came together and had a great time.”
Bruce said the music clubs were “a big deal in the parish,” attracting 600-800 patrons each weekend.
The “Legends” include Warren Storm, Willie Tee, Bert Miller, T.K Hulin and Tommy McLain, backed up by the Cypress Band. The Cypress Band will have guest horn players from the “The Original Boogie Kings” and “The Swing Kings.”
Bruce attended the “Swamp Pop Legend’s Show” at the Liberty Theatre in Eunice on July 30. The memories of 1950’s and ‘60’s Avoyelles Parish came flooding back to him.
He recalled when the same bands played in local night clubs in the parish and felt that the Swamp Pop Legend’s Show needed to come here.
The entire month of July was spent with the Roys, Coco, Juneau and LaCour working to get the show to come to the Plaza.
The effort is truly a “work of love,” with all proceeds from ticket sales going to the musicians and none to the event coordinators. Kyrle’s Seafood and Steakhouse will serve or be selling drinks and food at the event.
Bert Miller, one of “The Original Boogie Kings,” was instrumental in making the Avoyelles concert a reality. The group once enjoyed national popularity.
“There are 400 pre-printed tickets to be sold,” Bruce said. “We want everyone to have a seat and enjoy the music. There will be a dance floor between the seating and stage area.”
He said those attending the show “will not be disappointed. The horn section of the band, to me, is still unbelievable.”
Bruce wanted an early afternoon show to accommodate elderly fans. He said he saw several couples in their 70’s and 80’s dancing in front of the stage at the Eunice show.
The musical group currently has invitations to perform at festivals, casinos and at Pat’s in Henderson. The core group of the band plays eight to 15 times a month.
Advance tickets are $20 with a limit of 400 tickets to ensure those attending can be seated comfortably.
Tickets can be purchased at Shawn’s Grocery in Hessmer and Moreauville; Kyrle’s Seafood & Steakhouse, Durand’s Food Store and the Handy Shop in Mansura; Carey’s Liquor Store in Marksville and online at www.cypressband.com.
“The initial reaction to ticket sales has been great,” Roy said. “People are buying groups of tickets for themselves and friends. We will have tables for the groups to sit.”
For more information or to purchase group or individual tickets, please contact Bruce Roy at (318) 964-5129 or 359-1948.