John A. "Johnny" Faulk, a bass player with the Cajun band
The Hackberry Ramblers, died Sunday at a Lake Charles Hospital
after falling ill unexpectedly earlier in the week. He was 79.
Faulk was a relative newcomer to the Ramblers, a band that started
in the 1930s with its mix of Cajun songs in French and Western Swing.
He joined around 1979, with a bass he'd bought from Sears in the late 1940s.
Although the band celebrated its 70th anniversary last year, it won
national acclaim in more recent years, with a Grammy nomination and
a film on PBS earlier this year, "Make'em Dance: the Hackberry Ramblers Story."
Faulk was one of the youngest members of the band — the founders
are still playing in their 90s. And Faulk was the band's showman,
the live wire whose whoops and hollers from the back line sparked the performances.
Survivors include Faulk's wife of 59 years, Eddie Mae Faulk, one
son and three daughters — and a large extended family. Sandmel noted
that 18 of Faulk's relatives accompanied them on one performance
at the Grand Ole Opry.
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