STANLEY “Buckwheat” DURAL, Jr., 68, from lung cancer on Sept. 24 in Lafayette, Louisiana. One of the few zydeco artists to achieve mainstream success, he was an accordionist who was better known by his stage name, Buckwheat Zydeco. For more than 35 years, it is said that he exposed zydeco to more people on the planet than any other artist.
His Grammy and Emmy Award-winning band had high-profile gigs that included the Olympics, presidential inaugurations, national TV shows and hit movies. The New York Times described his music as “a down-home and high-powered celebration, meaty and muscular with a fine-tuned sense of dynamics, propulsive rhythms, incendiary performances.” He acquired his nickname as a nod to the Little Rascals movie character.
Lew Shaw started writing about music as the publicist for the famous Berkshire Music Barn in the 1960s. He joined the West Coast Rag almost thirty years ago and has been a guiding light to this paper through the two name changes since then as we became The Syncopated Times. 47 of his profiles are collected in Jazz Beat: Notes on Classic Jazz. Volume two, containing profiles from 2013-2016 will be available on Amazon soon. He taps his extensive network of connections and friends throughout the traditional jazz world to bring us his Jazz Jottings column every month.