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 The Acadian Museum

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Living Legends

Junior & Patsy Martin
Inducted on May 07, 2011

Junior & Patsy Martin Clarence Joseph Martin, Jr., known as "Junior", was born in Cankton, Louisiana on December 21, 1940. Martin , who is self-taught, purchased his first steel at the age of 15 and within two years he was playing with Adam Hebert. His unique Cajun steel guitar style was influenced by Dick Richard and Rodney Miller. During his musical career, Martin has recorded with more than 20 artists. His more notable recordings include Tit viseau recorded with Adam Hebert; several singles with Belton Richard; "Scott Playboys Special" and "Lonely Girl Waltz" with Walter Mouton; and "Pine Grove Blues" with Austin Pete. In addition, he has played with many notable Cajun bands and musicians such as: Lawrence Walker, Amudes Adam, Milton Adam, Joe Bonsall, Nolan Cormier, Doris Matte, Wayne Toups, Phil Menard, Gene Savoie, Fa Tras, Leroy Broussard, Johnny Sonnier, Bruce Daigrepont, Jay Cormier, Aldus Roger, Sheryl Cormier, Pat and Becky Richard, Joe Douglas, Joe Warren Cormier, Jo-el Sonnier, Nathan Menard, and Joel Martin.

“Junior” has been recognized on several occasions for his musical talent and his contributions to Cajun music and heritage, including induction into the Lake Charles, Lafayette, and Louisiana Halls of Fame and being honored by the Cajun French Music Association (CFMA) during their "Tribute to Cajun Musicians" on five different occasions with: Walter Mouton and the Scott Playboys (2001), Belton Richard and the Musical Aces (2002), Aldus Roger and The Lafayette Playboys (2003), Adam Hebert and The Country Playboys (2007), Sheryl Cormier and Cajun Sound (2010), and Jay Cormier (2011).

In addition to his musical abilities, Martin continues to contribute to his Cajun heritage by conducting interviews and documentaries for both his music and skills as an accordion builder. This combination of skills earned him the 1996 CFMA Le Cajun "Prix de Comite D'Excellence"for his dedication to Cajun French music.

In 2009, returning to the roots of his musical heritage, Martin's latest recording project was with his family and friends, where he and his grandson Joel Martin, daughter Pennye Huval and The Family Band's first CD entitled L'Ange de Ia Chapelle received the Cajun French Music Association nominations for Band of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best First Recording of The Year in 2009.

Today, Martin is still playing music with two different bands: Joel Martin and The Family Band and Walter Mouton and The Scott Playboys.

Patsy Martin was born in Lafayette, Louisiana on January 9, 1943 into an English and Cajun French-speaking household. She spoke French with her grandmother who lived with their family.

In 1979, the Martins joined the Cajun French Music Association (CFMA) "Chapitre de Lafayette" and became very involved with the organization. Patsy served as President of the Chapitre de Lafayette for several years. One of the projects she organized was to recognize the talents of youths of the area and spotlight them. Today, most of these youths are still involved in Cajun music. The Chapitre de Lafayette also sponsored a week-long camp at Acadian Village for the youths of the Chapter and the residents of LARC (Lafayette Association of Retarded Citizens) Center. Guest musicians played music for the attendees. They also learned to make Cajun scrub boards, handmade corn dolls, and had hands-on experience with making boudin the old fashioned way with the cow horns.

Patsy also became involved in the Le Cajun Festival and Awards Program held annually, serving with Wayne Landry and Gerald Trahan. She also served as President of the National Board of the Cajun French Music Association for two years.

Participating in the CFMA organization introduced the Martins to many French teachers who allowed Patsy to substitute for them when they had to be out of their classrooms. This enabled her to learn the French words for many things that are different from her native Cajun French.

Being married to a well-known Cajun musician, Patsy had several opportunities to travel with the bands across the United States and to several countries in Europe. Being able to speak Cajun French helped them to promote the culture of Louisiana when they visited French-speaking countries.

The Martins own Martin Accordions, Inc., which specializes in making handmade Cajun-style accordions. This business has allowed them to meet many people from all over the world who enjoy Cajun and Zydeco music. Martin Accordions, Inc. and The Martin Family Band offer tours for groups from throughout the country. The tour features a history of the accordion, and Cajun and Zydeco music from the early 190074s to the present time. The Martin Family Band is made up of their daughter Pennye, grandson Joel, and “Junior.” This provides the opportunity for the whole family to continue spreading the Cajun traditions.

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