Jimmy C. Newman
Member Since 1956
Jimmy C. Newman was born and raised in true Cajun style just outside Big Mamou, Louisiana. However, it wasn’t Cajun music but the cowboy music of boyhood hero Gene Autry that got him started singing with bands, traveling through the South and Southwest. Soon, he was host of his own radio show in Lake Charles, Louisiana. That led to membership on the famous Louisiana Hayride radio showcase, to a TV show in Shreveport and to a Dot Records recording contract.
In 1954, Jimmy C. had his first country hit — the plaintive “Cry, Cry Darling,” which he co-wrote. He followed that with the hits “Daydreamin’” and “Blue Darlin’” and won Opry membership in 1956. In 1957, he had his biggest country hit with “A Fallen Star,” which also crossed over to the pop charts.
Then it was time for Jimmy C. to get back to his Cajun roots. He formed his Cajun Country band and was soon playing the music of his native Louisiana to fans around the world. Along the way, he became the only Cajun artist ever to receive a gold record on a Cajun French song. The tune, “Lache Pas La Potate,” earned gold status in Canada in 1976.
Jimmy C. and his band—known for their skilled, high-energy performances—have enjoyed success in Europe since their first appearance in London, England, at the famous Wembley Country Music Festival in 1980.
In 1991, Jimmy C. and Cajun Country earned a Grammy nomination for their Rounder Records album Alligator Man. The next year, Jimmy C. earned a special award from the Cajun French Music Association of South Louisiana for contributions to the promotion of Cajun music worldwide.
In November 1993, Jimmy C. added to his list of television credits with a guest appearance on the CBS Sunday Night Movie Conviction, playing and singing traditional Cajun music.
On March 12, 2000, Jimmy C. was inducted into the North American Country Music Association’s International Hall of Fame; that award hangs on the wall alongside his induction into the Cajun Music Hall of Fame in Lafayette, Louisiana. Jimmy was inducted into the Cajun Hall of Fame in October 2004. For all that acclaim, he’s equally proud of his induction into the Fred’s Lounge “Wall of Fame” in his hometown.
The proud Cajun credits his band for much of his unique sound. With Bessyl Duhon on Cajun accordion and some of the best musicians in Music City, the group treats audiences to such high-spirited favorites as “Jole Blon,” “Jambalaya,” and “Diggy Liggy Lo.”
Jimmy C. and wife Mae continue to make their home on their 670-acre Singing Hills Ranch in Rutherford County, Tennessee, just a short drive from Music City and the Grand Ole Opry.
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Birthplace: Big Mamou, Louisiana
Birth Date: August 29
Opry Induction: August 01, 1956