SWLA Cajun musician celebrates retirement and 90th birthday

Ellis Vanicor retirement celebration
Ellis Vanicor retirement celebration(kplc)
Updated: Aug. 25, 2019 at 4:35 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - To many in the Southwest louisiana music scene, the name Ellis Vanicor is recognized as one of the greats.

This weekend was all about celebrating Vanicor both for his retirement from music, and his 90th birthday. Vanicor has had an impressive life, including the creation of his band, the Lacassine Playboys.

While publically, he’s best known for his music, those who know him personally said their friendship with him was formed because of his kindness and humility.

“Mr. Ellis and I were more or less raised together, in Ardoin Cove, we knew each other all our lives," said friend, Lee Landry. "And he was good to everybody in the neighborhood, played music all his life, so today, it’s Ellis Vancord day.”

While all of his accomplishments throughout his career were celebrated at the event, how he used his platform to help others who had a passion for Cajun music was also highlighted.

“Mr. Vanicor had the main grocery store in Lacassine, and I also knew that he could play the fiddle, and had a long history with Cajun music, so when I got interested in it, he was the obvious person to come check in with.”

That generous spirit was shown yet again, when all Vanicor had to say about the celebration, was thank you.

“I want to thank everybody that came today, thanks a lot, 90 years old don’t mean nothing," Vanicor said.

While Vanicor is retiring from playing music professionally, his family said it will continue to be a big part of his life.

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