() – Radio station KBON and musicians close to the family are reporting Cajun music legend Belton Richard has died.
Richard, who was born in 1939, had been recently hospitalized with pneumonia. Funeral services are pending.
Richard’s rich baritone voice, accordion mastery, country-flavored arrangements and romantic, French lyrics brought him to Cajun music stardom in the 1960s,‘70s and beyond.
In her book, “Cajun Music: A Reflection of a People,” author Ann Savoy wrote “Belton Richard is the most widely imitated singer and musician in southwest Louisiana today. Not only has his vocal style set the new standard for Cajun singers, but his songs are played at every dance. Belton Richard’s poetry looks at life with a tough romanticism that appeals to the earthy Cajuns.”
Richard’s landmark albums, “Modern Sounds in Cajun Music, Vol.1 and 2,” gave birth to “Un Autre Soir D’Ennui,” a French version of Jimmy Clanton’s million-seller in 1958, “Another Lonely Night.” Critics and fans have argued Richard’s classic is Cajun music’s most popular song, rivaled only by D. L. Menard’s, “The Back Door.”
Richard’s other hits include “You’re So Easy to Love,” “Mom & Dad’s Waltz,” “Jamais Une Autre Chance (Never Another Chance”), “Juste En Reve (Just a Dream)” and “Let Me Talk To Your Heart.”