- 26 years old
- Date of birth: Oct 27, 1928
- Place of birth:
Churchpoint, Louisiana, United States
- Date of passing: Oct 8, 1955
- Place of passing:
Basile, Louisiana, United States
|Let the memory of Iry be with us forever|
Ira "Iry" LeJeune (October 28, 1928 – October 8, 1955) was one of the best selling and most popular Cajun musicians in the mid to late 1940s into the early 1950s.
His recordings and repertoire remain influential to the present day. He was among a handful of recording artists who returned the accordion to prominence in commercially recorded Cajun music and dance hall performances. The return of the accordion contrasted with the popular Cajun recorded output of the late 1930s and 1940s, a time during which fiddles and Western Swing sounds from Texas were influencing Cajun music. The return of the accordion to prominence is referred to as a Cajun music renaissance, i.e. a return to the roots and rebirth in Cajun pride in their traditional music. Iry LeJeune is regarded as one of the best and most beloved Cajun accordionists and singers of all time.
Sadly, at the peak of his career, LeJeune was killed at the age of 26. LeJeune and fiddler J. B. Fuselier were returning home after playing at a dance at the Green Wing club in Eunice on October 8, 1955 when tragedy struck. "They were coming home on old Highway 90," recalled Shuler. "They had a flat where they were widening the highway and they couldn't pull off. They were trying to change the tire when a guy came along going about 90 MPH. He hit him (LeJeune) and knocked him into a field. That was the end of Iry."
LeJeune left a wife Wilma, and five children including Eddie LeJeune and Ervin LeJeune, who would follow in their father's musical footsteps.
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