"Adventures of Madame Boudreaux"
Published by Acadiana LifeStyle Magazine.
CAJUN LADY MUSICIAN'S
"WALL OF FAME"
Helen (Hélène) Jeanne Boudreaux
2009 - Won CFMA Le Cajun “Female Vocalist”, “Song”, and “Song Writer” of the year.
2003 - CFMA “President's Award” by President Mack Arnaud for the promotion of Cajun heritage and culture.
2002 - Appreciation Award from the Young Aces of Cajun Music and Bayou Boudin Cafe' of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.
1999 - CFMA “Heritage Award”.
1999 - Nominee for CFMA Le Cajun “Female Vocalist” of the year.
1997 - Awarded the “Americanism Award” by Post Commander Richard Fruge from the Arnaudville Louisiana Chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
1996 - Won CFMA Le Cajun “Female Vocalist” of the year.
1994 - Won CFMA Le Cajun “Female Vocalist” of the year.
1992 - Won CFMA Le Cajun "Best Single" of the year.
1992 - Nominee for CFMA Le Cajun “Female Vocalist” of the year.
2002 - “Chansons d’Avant Les Bals” (CD) comprised of 23 acapella (vocals only) songs, all in French that originate from the early 1900's.
2000 - Co-wrote Matthew Courville's song "Pour Mon Pa Pa".
1998 - "Truck Driving Cajun Mama" (CD)
1995 - "Une Deuxieme Chance" (CD)
1993 - "Pour Tout Ma Famille" (CD and cassette)
1992 - "When A Tear Becomes A Rose", "Around Midnight”, "Return To Your Friend”
Helen was born in the small town of Catahoula Lake in St. Martin Parish Louisiana. She is one of fourteen children who grew up on her Papa's sharecropper farm. She worked the fields to help earn the family's living. She can remember when she was three years old singing Christmas songs and mimic singing along with a battery operated radio of which the battery was larger than the radio. She did not speak or understand English at all. After 8 or 9 songs the battery weakened and the music would fade out. She'd sit on the porch in a rocker and mimic the songs she'd heard from the radio and sang loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear. When she was a little older she would sing for company visiting, in school programs, at church, on the school bus, and while working in the cotton and pepper fields.
She is a mother of eight children, a grandmother of twenty-five and a great grandmother of thirteen. She has been a carpenter, bricklayer, plumber, electrician, seamstress, waitress, and cook. She grew her own vegetable garden, canned her own vegetables, milked cows, cut firewood, did domestic work in the neighborhood, was a den mother and is a recording artists.
She started sitting in with country and French bands when she was about thirteen years old and even younger. She worked with J.B. Perry and his band, Larry Brasseaux, Ralph Boutte and Willis Touchet's band and sang at Guidry's and The Star Club in Henderson Louisiana. Married at sixteen she had to give up her singing in her early twenties to raise a family, but started singing again in her early thirties. She sang at the Midway Club with Jo-el Sonnier, The Balcony with Johnnie Allen and for several years sang with Larry Brasseaux at La Poussiere on Sunday night and often sang with Walter Mouton's band on Saturday nights. In 1980, her children now grown up, she started a new career, driving eighteen wheelers which she was very proud of. She started running eighteen wheelers solo in 1984 pulling a tanker and hauling chemicals.
She continued singing with various Cajun bands and in July of 1987 she entered three talent contests at the Lafitte Bar in Lafayette, Louisiana sponsored by Tommy McClain. In the first contest she placed second, the second contest she placed first, and the third contest she placed first. For the rest of the year she continued to sing with different groups in Louisiana and Texas such as Belton Richard and The Musical Aces, Nolan Cormier and The Hee Haws, Jay and The Travelers, Howard Noel and The Cajun Ramblers, Aldus Roger and The Lafayette Playboys, Blackie Forestier and The Cajun Aces, and Rodney Mouton, Oran "Doc" Guidry, Nonc" Jule Guidry and others.
She was an over the road line haul truck driver in 48 states and Canada, driving solo. She was a driver instructor for two of the tank lines, a graduate of hazardous material training school and was a driver instructor who won several safety awards. In 1989 she was the pioneer woman contestant at the 22nd annual truck rodeo in St. Louis, Mo., representing the company she worked for.
She started singing professionally in 1991 and she joined The Cajun French Music Association of Louisiana, Lafayette Chapter. In the summer of 1993 she purchased a second-hand guitar, checked out a "How to Learn to Play the Guitar" at home video, from the public library and after one month she was entertaining locally. In 1994, she joined Le Theatre Cadien. She wrote the songs for the play, La Douce Reunion, and traveled to Acadie New Brunswick with the theatre troop for the first World Assembly of the Acadians. She was invited to perform on Canadian National Television. She was a Cajun music DJ for a local public radio station from 1994 till 1997. In 1996, she wrote a column for In Tune Magazine.
In 1999, she has published her first book titled "Cajun Survivor”. Also in 1999, Helen wrote the verse to the Cajun song "Pour Mon Pa Pa", in tribute to Mathew Courville’s grandpa which Mathew sang on his first released CD. That song was nominated and was on the Le Cajun ballot as one of the top three songs that were selected for the annual CFMA Le Cajun Music Award Ceremonies in 2000. This song was the only new song on Mathew’s CD and making Mathew the youngest male Cajun recording artist to have ever had that honor. Also, Helen’s Cajun song "Une Deuxieme Chance" was recorded on CD by Rodney Thibodeaux and Susan Fallon Diez in 1999. Another one of her song’s titled "Where Are You?" was recorded on CD by Hubert Maitre in 2000. Her last two CD's, Une Deuxieme Chance and Truck Driving Mama are recorded on her own label, "Boudreaux Records". She intends to use this label on any future recordings.
In 2000, she was profiled by Larry Woods of CNN for his program, "Across America" because of her work with young Cajun musicians. She is the founder of an annual festival for young Cajun artists, a monthly jam session, and a “Young Aces of Cajun Music Wall of Fame" program. She is the founder of the “Cajun Lady Musicians Wall of Fame”. In addition, she organizes a monthly program honoring Cajun musicians for volunteering their talent and playing Cajun music at nursing homes and other cultural events.
She is a songwriter with B.M.I. and has worked with artists such as Rick Benoit, Carl Hollier, Blake Mouton, Lee Benoit, Jay Cormier, Vernon Bergeron, Jimmy Usie, John Hebert, Robert Elkins, Russell Quibodeaux, Jason Bergeron, Gary Usie, Mathew Cormier, Mathew Courville. She volunteers much of her time to help others less fortunate than her.
(Source of biography: Helen Boudreaux.)
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