Jeanette Aguillard, Janet Aguillard, Lisa
Aguillard and Donna Thibodeaux were all raised in Acadian
(Cajun) families in Southwest Louisiana. When Jeanette was
a little girl she lived near Welsh where the legendary Cajun
singer and accordionist Iry LeJeune lived with her family (the
family of Milton Vanicor). After Iry married, he continued
to live in Ardoin Cove near the Vanicor family. Jeanette's
father and several members of her family formed the group
"The Lacassine Playboys", the band which helped to
launch the short but memorable musical career of Iry LeJeune.
Janet's father, Cleadis Mott, played and
recorded Cajun and Country music and Janet's grandmother sang
her old children's songs which came from France. The
father of Donna, Jessie Arabie, played fiddle; her grandfather
played the accordion and there were numerous other musicians in
the family. Any excuse was good to gather the family together
for a house dance. They would take the kitchen table
outside to make the kitchen into a dance floor.
Lisa is the daughter of Jeanette. The father of
Jeanette and the
grandfather of Lisa, Milton Vanicor, is one of the last links to
renaissance of Cajun music after the Second World War. He
often gives fiddle classes to teach les old songs to young
musicians who are eager to learn this traditional music.
Lisa's uncle, Jimmy Aguillard, is a Cajun musician who is
talented composer and singer of Cajun songs in French.
And, of course, during their youth the four Amies heard
Cajun music around them, in dances, at festivals and on the
radio. But the tradition was that girls did not sing Cajun
music. Les Amies met when they were part of a church
choir. When Les Amies began to sing together, they wanted
to present the unique music of their Acadian/Cajun heritage to a
larger audience. That presented certain problems because
traditional Cajun music was almost always sung by a man and the
voices were rarely harmonized.