| Folk, Cajun|
| March 20, 1927 (1927-03-20) |
Grand Louis, Louisiana, USA
June 17, 1992, Eunice, Louisiana, United States
Hilda Fruge (m. 1949–1992)
Christine Balfa, Nelda Balfa, Roberta Balfa, Norma Balfa, Dewey Jr Balfa
Nathan Abshire, Christine Balfa, Marc Savoy, D L Menard, Canray Fontenot
The Balfa Brothers
Amay Balfa, Charles Balfa
Dewey Balfa Wikipedia
Dewey Balfa (March 20, 1927 – June 17, 1992) was an American Cajun fiddler and singer who contributed significantly to the popularity of Cajun music. Balfa was born near Mamou, Louisiana. He is perhaps best known for his 1964 performance at the Newport Folk Festival with Gladius Thibodeaux and Vinus LeJeune, where the group received an enthusiastic response from over seventeen thousand audience members. He sang the song "Parlez Nous à Boire" in the 1981 cult film Southern Comfort, in which he had a small role.
Dewey Balfa was born in Grand Louis, Louisiana, a small community west of Mamou. He was the son of Amay (née Ardoin) and Charles Balfa who were sharecroppers. Dewey had learned most of his songs from his grandmother and father who was a fiddle player.
During World War II, Dewey worked in a shipyard in Orange, Texas. After returning in 1948, he and his brothers Will and Rodney formed the Musical Brothers. In 1965, he formed The Balfa Brothers after an enthusiastic response from a performance at the Newport Folk Festival. This led to their first LP, produced by Swallow Records.
Dewey Balfa married Hilda Frugé when he was 22 in 1949. They had five children together: Nelda, Roberta, Norma, Dewey Jr., and Christine. Many of whom became musicians. Christine founded the band Balfa Toujours to continue the family tradition.
Dewey Balfa appears in a documentary file entitled "Les Blues de Balfa" produced by Yasha Aginsky. In one scene, Balfa is shown with Nathan Abshire entertaining a group of school children. Balfa gives a short lecture concerning the origins of Cajun music:
"We are here to tell you a little bit about what a Cajun is. A Cajun is a person who his homeland was France. Went into Nova Scotia, at the time Acadia, and settled there and was there for about a hundred years, and afterwards the British took over the territory and then the French-speaking people, the French descendants, known as the Acadians, came down to the South-Western part of Louisiana, and that was back in 1755. So over all of these years, your language, and your music has been preserved from daddy to son or daddy to daughter or momma to daughter."J'ai Passé devant ta Porte Listen
Jolie Blonde Listen
1976: Traditional Cajun Fiddle: Instruction (Smithsonian Folkways)
1977: Cajun Fiddle, Old and New: Instruction (Smithsonian Folkways)
1984: Les Quatre Vieux Garçons (Smithsonian Folkways)
1986: Dewey Balfa and Friends Fait A La Main!(Handmade) Spicy Traditional Instrumental Cajun Classics! (Swallow LP-6063)
1993: Folk Masters: Great Performances Recorded Live at the Barns of Wolf Trap (Smithsonian Folkways)
Selected Filmography1972: "Dedans le sud de la Louisiane" by Jean-Pierre Bruneau
1983: "Les Blues de Balfa" by Yasha Aginsky