Little did Gilbert and Carrie LeBlanc know, when their baby boy was born
on January 30, 1915,
that their cheerfully named child would become one of Louisiana's most
recognized Cajun musicians. "Happy Fats" LeBlanc grew up in Rayne, Acadia
Parish, and began his career at 17 with Amedee Breaux and Joe Falcon. For
the next 50 years he was renowned as one of the greatest Cajun
accordionist/singer/composers and preservationists of Cajun culture.
In 1935, Happy realized one of his dreams by forming
"The Rayne Bo Ramblers" which starred the talents of Eric
Arcemeaux, and other great musicians. they played regularly at the OST
Rayne. In 1937, he played alongside Doc Guidry, and Uncle Ambrose
Thibodeaux. Other associates were Luderin Darbonne, "Pee Wee Broussard,
Guidry, "Pappa Caro" Lamperez, Rex Champagne, and Crawford J. Vincent. He
was invited and spoke on many radio stations including: KANE, KEUN, KUOH,
KROF, and others.
. His many recordings were played on radio stations in his beloved
course, but also national and international stations. Some of his more
memorable recording consisted of "Colinda", "La Viex de Accordion", "Mon
Vieux Mari" and "Dear Mr. President" for which he received a silver
He recorded music for the likes of RCA, Victor, Decca, Fais-Do-Do, Bella,
and Cajun Classics.
For his contributions to music and cultural preservation, Happy was honored
time and time again through out his career. Governor Edwin Edwards declared
November 9, 1980 as "Happy Fats" Leblanc Day.
Happy presided as Grand Marshall of the Rayne Frog Festival, where the
"dejeuner de boucherie"
was dedicated to him. "Happy" and his "Rayne Bo Ramblers", appearing many
times on local news
station, and on what was to be his final birthday, two huge celebrations
were given to him by family and friends for his long and successful career
as an accordionist, singer, and composer.
He was a family man who lived up to his "Happy" name.
A self taught musician, Happy was a generous mentors to
He devoted many performances to raise money for charitable causes and was
an active member of his Catholic faith. Though his later years were
complicated by diabetes, his spirit remained the same.
On Tuesday, February 23, 1988, Leroy "Happy Fats" LeBlanc was called home.
Listen to "RAYNE BREAKDOWN
" by Happy Fats and The Ranyebo Ramblers