(Orange, Texas)

March 22, 2014

Swamp Pop Blow Out keeps the music alive

Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — It is time to put on the dancing shoes because the biggest dance of the spring is happening this weekend.

The public is invited to the Swamp Pop Blow Out starting at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, March 22, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall, 5303 N. 16th St. in Orange. Admission is $15 per person at the door.

The dance and concert will feature live music performances by local music legends such as “Jivin” Gene Bourgeois, G.G. Shinn, T.K. Hulin, Gregg Martinez and Charles Mann with the music being provided by Ken Marvel and Swamp Rock.

According to Orange resident Jimmy Guidry, who, along with his wife Judy, has organized this event, organizing a concert featuring this array of artist has been a goal for many years.

“I wanted to set up this concert because I want to try and keep this music alive,” said Jimmy Guidry in a telephone interview. “It’s dying out and that’s a shame. This is some of the best music in the world and these men all live within three hours of Orange.”

“Jivin’” Gene Bourgeois began his career as a teenager and had several hit songs, including the well known singles “Going Out with the Tide” and “Breaking Up is Hard to Do.”

G.G. Shinn was a member of The Fabulous Boogie Kings, a group which spawned numerous hit songs and performed for over 55 years across the U.S.

Gregg Martinez, a native of Lafayette, La., has been performing  Swamp Pop music for decades and is considered to have one of the best voices in the business, according to Guidry.

Louisiana-native Charles Mann is well known for regional music hits such as “Keep Your Arms Around Me,” “You’re No Longer Mine,” and “She’s Walking Towards Me,” but his biggest claim to fame is his cover of “Red, Red, Wine,” in 1969, which was originally recorded by Neil Diamond.

T.K. Hulin, the longtime leader of the band Smoke, obtained his biggest hit in 1976 with a cover of “Alligator Bayou” by Eddy Raven. Other hits through the years included “As You Pass Me By” and “I’m Not a Fool Anymore.”

The music will be supplied by popular local music act, Ken Marvel and Swamp Pop, one of the busiest musical groups in the region which can be found performing across the region nearly every weekend.

Guidry holds an annual concert event every year at the American Legion Hall in Orange. The event originally began as a class reunion but transformed into a very popular annual holiday concert event.

“I’m 65-years-old and I was raised on this music,” Guidry explained. “It means a lot to me, and it means a lot to other people as well. I’ve had phone calls from Austin to Abbeville, La. asking about this show and hotels and restaurants.

“There’s a lot of excitement with these artists and a lot of fans,” he concluded. “If it goes well, we may try it again next year. Either way, it is going to be a great night.”

Call 409-738-2294 for more information.