BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO FACTS:
Members: Stanley Dural, Jr.
Genre: Zydeco, R&B
Hometown: Lafayette, Louisiana
Albums: One For The Road (1979), 100% Fortified Zydeco (1983), Turning Point (1983), Waitin’ For My Ya Ya (1985), On a Night Like This (1987), Taking It Home (1988), Where There's Smoke There's Fire (1990), On Track (1992), Buckwheat's Zydeco Party (1992), Choo Choo Boogaloo (1994), Five Card Stud (1994), Trouble (1997), Classics (2003), Jackpot! (2005), Lay Your Burden Down (2009),
Other: The band's songs have been used in films like The Waterboy, Fletch Lives, Hard Target, and The Big Easy, the last of which they appeared in.
The general public typically associates zydeco music with a niche population that inhabits parts of Louisiana and Mississippi. However, thanks to Stanley Dural, Jr., more commonly known as the lead singer of Buckwheat Zydeco, the unique style has entered the mainstream. With his accordion in tow, he leads one of the most energetic bands in the country, and even at 63-years-old, continues to perform on a regular basis.
Dural, Jr. got his start in the industry in the early '70s, however it was in a genre outside of zydeco. His first band, Buckwheat & the Hitchhikers, was primarily a funk driven group, but after five years he began the switch to a more cajun-infused sound. After collaborating with zydeco legend Clifton Chenier, Dural, Jr. picked up the accordion, and the rest is history.
Buckwheat Zydeco released their debut album, One for the Road, in 1979 with Dural, Jr. at the helm, and although it failed to gain much traction, by the early '80s they were beginning to cause considerable waves among critics. Throughout the decade, they earned numerous Grammy nominations, including one for 1983's Turning Point and 1985's Waitin' for My Ya Ya.
While they had begun to make an impact in the world of popular music, Buckwheat Zydeco's presence was felt by the late '80s after music legend Eric Clapton invited Dural, Jr. and the gang to tour with him throughout North America. Since then, the band's music has been used in a bevy of films including the Adam Sandler flick The Waterboy and the crime thriller The Big Easy.
During much of the '90s, the band continued to tour extensively while still rolling out albums on a regular basis. Choo Choo Boogaloo and Five Card Stud, both released in 1994, along with '97's Trouble, rounded out the decade, which was concluded with an extensive compilation album.
It was during the '90s that Buckwheat Zydeco gained perhaps its most significant exposure. The band performed at the opening ceremony of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, and also took the stage at both of President Bill Clinton's inaugurations. In addition, the group shared the stage with acts ranging from Paul Simon to Keith Richards.
The band's most recent album, 2009's Lay Your Burden Down, was well received by critics across the board and earned the band a Grammy nomination. The record also features contributions from legendary guitarist Warren Hayes.