Lesa Cormier, Louisiana Cajun music legend, dies at 88 years old

Lesa Cormier and the Sundown Playboys
Lesa Cormier and the Sundown Playboys(kplc)
Updated: Aug. 18, 2019 at 4:48 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Louisiana Cajun music has lost another legend.

Lesa Cormier of the Sundown Playboys passed away Saturday morning at the age of 88.

Cormier was born in Lafayette, but he later moved to Lake Charles which was his home for many years before his death.

His band, the Sundown Playboys, were well known on the Southwest Louisiana Cajun music scene.

“His daddy, Lionel Cormier, started that band like in 1947," said Mike Soileau, a family friend. "Then when he passed on, Mr. Lisa took the reigns, to keep the band alive, to keep the name alive, and tradition alive.”

Soileau said that Cajun tradition is something that Cormier embodied.

He said his generation of bands represented something you don’t see as much of today.

“People like Lisa Cormier and bands like that you’re going to see more of your traditional VFW, Cayce Hall, old school dance halls, you know," Soileau said. "Where people will throw the cornmeal on the floor, and just start two stepping and waltzing all night long.”

Soileau said as many traditional musicians get older, and Cajun music continues to evolve, it’s important not to forget it’s roots and all that it stands for.

But, he also said that’s the beauty of music.

That even as greats like Cormier pass on, their legacies can live on forever.

“He might be gone, but he’s not forgotten," Soileau said. "He’s a pioneer of cajun music, he took the reigns from his daddy, Lionel, and he kept a tradition going. You know, we’re gonna miss him a lot, but his legacy will live on.”

Cormier’s funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, August 20, at Christ the King Catholic Church.

Visitation will be at Johnson Funeral home on Monday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., with a rosary at 7 p.m.

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