by VVN Music
Zydeco great Stanley Dural, Jr., better known as Buckwheat Zydeco, has died after battling lung cancer at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in Lafayette, LA. He was 68.
Buckwheat's manager, Ted Fox, announced his passing:
It is with deep sadness that I have to announce that our great, beloved leader Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, Jr. has passed away. He died at 1:32 AM Louisiana time, keeping musician's hours right to the bitter end. I am grieving for my best friend and colleague of more than 30 years. But, as this great road warrior once said: "Life is a tour, and it’s all about how you decide to get where you’re going…I don’t want to ignore the bad things in life, but I want to emphasize the good things." Buck made everything and everyone he touched better and happier. RIP my dear friend, my brother.Dural was born in Lafayette to a father who was a Creole accordion player; however, Buckwheat instead started playing the organ.
His daughter, Tomorrow Dural, has created a fundraising campaign https://www.gofundme.com/2khuzztk to help with medical and other expenses.
-- Ted Fox
Even though he had a heavy Creole influence, Buckwheat preferred rhythm and blues and, by the late 50's, was playing with the likes of Joe Tex and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. In 1971, he formed Buckwheat and the Hitchhikers, a funk band, scoring a local hit with It's Hard to Get.
In 1976, Dural finally started to take an interest in Zydeco music and began backing the great Clifton Chenier. Two years later, he finally followed in his father's footsteps, taking up the accordion. In 1979, he started his own band and released his debut album, One For the Road.
Buckwheat's reputation grew as he released new music almost every year and continually toured. In 1988, he opened for Eric Clapton on his North American tour along with a twelve night stand at Royal Albert Hall in London. The exposure opened even more doors and he found himself playing with some of the greatest artists in the world along with having his music featured in a number of films.
Overall, Buckwheat released over two dozen albums during his 37 year recording career.
Dural was first diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013. He did recover enough to start touring again and played the New Orleans Jazz Festival earlier this year.
He is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters.