RIP: From deathbed, Buckwheat Zydeco urges artists to take music to “another level”



Louisiana music legend Stanley Dural Jr. (better known as Buckwheat Zydeco) died Saturday morning.

Louisiana music legend Stanley Dural Jr. (better known as Buckwheat of Buckwheat Zydeco) died Saturday morning.

When musician Sean Ardoin went to see the legendary Buckwheat a few weeks ago, the artist was near the end of his battle with throat and lung cancer. Still, Buckwheat whose birth name is Stanley Dural Jr., urged Ardoin to keep pushing – to “take the music to another level.”

Buckwheat died Saturday morning at 1:32 a.m. (via CNN). It’s easy to believe that music was on Buckwheat’s mind in the closing weeks of his life.

Buckwheat was backing bands on the organ before he was a teenager. Born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana, his father was an accomplished traditional Creole accordion player.

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“I heard the zydeco music 24/7,” Buckwheat recounted in 2013. “My father played at the house. Every day. Before he left for work in the morning. When he came home for lunch. At night. And that was enough for me.”

But Buckwheat tended toward rhythm, blues and rock. And he’d eventually help take zydeco from a regional style to a well-known musical genre that now has its own Grammy category.

Buckwheat helped popularize the genre with his ripping covers of popular music like Jimi Hendrix’s Hey Joe:

Buckwheat’s manager Ted Fox announced the artist’s passing on the band’s website:

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.

His daughter, Tomorrow Dural, has created a fundraising campaign to help with medical and other expenses.

Dural was born on Nov. 14, 1947. “His family, with six brothers and six sisters, shared a two-bedroom house in Lafayette; growing up, he picked cotton,” the New York Times reports.

Photo credit: Xopher

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