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Mike Soileau To Join His Dad In Cajun Music Hall Of Fame

Mike and his Dad Dave Soileau (Photo by Mike Soileau)
Mike and his Dad Dave Soileau (Photo by Mike Soileau)

It’s a day I will never forget!  Last Wednesday, October 11th, 2017, I was informed that I would be inducted into the Lake Charles Chapter of the Cajun French Music Association’s (CFMA) Hall of Fame.

The thing that hit me, and what I thought about at the moment I was told about the honor, was that my Dad, Dave Soileau, is already in the Hall of Fame. Now, I’ll be joining him.  Wow, what an honor!

Dave Soileau on Cajun Radio (Photo by Mike Soileau)
Dave Soileau on Cajun Radio (Photo by Mike Soileau)

I remember as a kid, like 9-10 years old, going to the radio station with my dad as he did a Cajun music show every Saturday morning on stations like 1400 AM KAOK back in 1982-1983. Then, on KLCL 1470 AM around 1988.

So how did I get into radio?  Well, in 1990, right after I graduated from high school, my dad got sick.  He was doing a Cajun music program on 1470 AM in Westlake Monday through Friday from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m..  He asked if I would go fill in for him so, of course, I said yes.

I had been to the studio many times with him, and saw how he did the show.  I am not going to lie, I was super nervous. On my first break, I said, “Here is Wayne Toups and Two Step Mamou, Thank You”.  LOL! I actually said thank you.  I will never forget that.

Needless to say, I got a lot more comfortable doing the shows.  During that time, all the music we played was on 33 and 45 vinyl records or cassette tapes.  We didn’t have fancy computers with music in them yet.

Mike Soileau & Dave Soileau Circa 1992 broadcasting Live (Photo by Mike Soileau)
Mike Soileau & Dave Soileau Circa 1992 broadcasting Live (Photo by Mike Soileau)

From 1990 to about 1995, we also did a live broadcast every Saturday morning from the Downtowner Hotel bar, with Live Cajun music artists playing.  It was called “Louisiana Bandstand.”  We would mic up their instruments, and they would play live on the air. When they took a break, we would talk live on the air, and play records on turntables from the location.

I have been on the air playing Cajun, Swamp Pop, and Zydeco music on 1470 AM KLCL, 92.9 KJEF FM in Jennings, 99.5 then called KBIG 99, and then back on 1470 KLCL & 1290 KJEF.

Cajun Radio (TSM)
Cajun Radio (TSM)

In 2005, I had the honor, along with my dad, of starting a 24 hour / 7 day a week all Cajun music radio station calledCajun Radio“, and became the program director.

It’s hard to believe that it has been 27 1/2 years now that I have been on the air promoting the Cajun culture, language, and music.  During my career, I have received a couple of awards from the CFMA, like the Continuing Promotion of the Cajun Music culture.  I received these awards in 2007 and 2011.

Kevin Naquin with Mike Soileau

Mike Soileau With Kevin Naquin (Photo by Scott Lewis TSM)
Mike Soileau With Kevin Naquin (Photo by Scott Lewis TSM)

During my career, I have emceed many festivals, and become very good friends with the who’s who of Cajun music, like:

Wayne Toups

Mike and Wayne Toups (TSM)
Mike and Wayne Toups (TSM)

Jamie Bergeron

Mike with Jamie Bergeron (TSM)
Mike with Jamie Bergeron (TSM)

Geno Delafose

Mike with Geno Delafose (TSM)
Mike with Geno Delafose (TSM)

Travis Matte

Mike Soileau With Travis Matte (TSM)
Mike Soileau With Travis Matte (TSM)

Richard LeBouef

Mike With Richard LeBouef (TSM)
Mike With Richard LeBouef (TSM)

Keith Frank

Mike With Keith Frank (TSM)
Mike With Keith Frank (TSM)

And many more.

This honor means so much to me, because of my heritage of being a Cajun, and where my family comes from in Ville Platte and Grand Prairie, Louisiana.  But most importantly, being inducted into the Hall Of Fame next to my dad just makes it all complete.

I owe it all to him teaching me the Cajun culture, teaching me the radio biz, telling me the stories behind the music, and overall just being a good person.  I couldn’t have done it without him.

My induction will be Sunday, November 12th, 2017 in Lake Charles at the Cajun French Music Association’s building on East Prien Lake Road.  The festivities start at 10:00 a.m., and the inductions start at noon.

I would like to invite all of you who have been listening to me for years.  You are the reason I am receiving this award, and I would love for all of you to be a part of this special day.

Merci Beau Coup Mes Amis!

Best of Gator 99.5

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