Arconge Touchet *
Inducted on May 19, 2012
Arconge Touchet, affectionately known as “T Coon”, was born January 6,1928 in Forked Island, Louisiana to Euphemon Touchet and Celestine Suire Touchet.
The family later moved to Berwick where, at the age of 12, Arconge learned to play guitar from his brother Iday "Pierre" Touchet. At the age of 14, he was playing music with his brothers, Iday and Willis, at the Brown Derby in Berwick. In time, he learned to play the steel guitar and the group became known as the “Touchet Brothers” with brother Elier on the accordion, Willis on the fiddle, and Iday on guitar. In 1947, they were joined by sister Eva on guitar. The band performed for 68 years. From 1967 through 2000, the group recorded some well-known standards such as: La Vie Je Croyais Je Voulais (The Life I Thought I Wanted), Dans Les Pins (In The Pines written by Touchet), the Old Fashioned Two Step, Jolie Fille (co-written by Touchet), It's Lonesome in Prison, and New Iberia Blonde (also written by Arconge).
Touchet was also a member of the “Louisiana Aces” which was originally formed by Elias "Shute" Badeaux around 1950. The band was joined in 1952 by singer, songwriter and guitar player D.L. Menard. Touchet joined the “Louisiana Aces” as its steel guitar player around 1954 and played for 14 years. Also included in the group was Joe Lopez on the fiddle and "Big John” Suire on the drums. The band recorded its first 45-pm record in 1961 with the "Louisiana Aces Special" on one side and "La Valse de Jolly Rogers" on the flip side. The Jolly Rogers Waltz took its name for a dance hall where the band played regularly. In 1962, the ever popular and classic "Porte En Arrierre" (The Back Door) was recorded. There was a long discussion among the musicians all the way to Swallow Music in Ville Platte not to record that song. The majority of the band felt it would not be well-received. It was eventually agreed upon that it would be recorded as the flip side of "Je Peu Pas T'Oublier" (I Can't Forget You). The “Louisiana Aces” disbanded in 1967. Touchet then reformed the “Touchet Brothers Band”. They played all types of venues including Smiley's Club in Erath, La. Over the years, other musicians who played with the “Touchet Brothers Band”, included Reggie Matte, Nathan Menard, Murphy Stelly, D.L. Menard, “Butch” Menard, Gerald Vaughn, Dalton Delcambre, Edward "Tee Neg" Gaspard, Autry Colligan, Joe Lopez and Lionel Leleux.