CajunRadio Remembers Dave Soileau on His Birthday [PHOTOS]
CajunRadio would not be what it is today without Dave Soileau's vision and passion for Cajun music. Unfortunately, we lost him in 2007 at the age of 61. Today would have been Dave Soileau's 65th birthday, so we wanted to celebrate the life and contributions he gave to Cajun music and to his family.Dave was born in Ville Platte/Grand Prairie, Louisiana on Aug. 29, 1946 to Allen and Barbara Soileau. He grew up in the area until his dad made a move to the Lake Charles Area when Dave was in elementary school.
Dave went to and graduated from LaGrange High School in Lake Charles in 1964. He then went on to enlist in the U.S. Navy, and when he finished his stint there, he became a police officer in Washington D.C.
After working in Washington D.C. for a few years, Dave came back to Southwest Louisiana and started work as a Lake Charles police officer. Dave did that for a couple years until he enlisted again -- this time in the U.S Army -- and went overseas. He lived in Berlin, Germany, serving the Army as a Military Police Staff Sergeant.
Dave then came home after his duty ended, and he went back to work at the Lake Charles police department until he retired in 1988 at the rank of captain. He then became the director of the emergency 911 services and was instrumental in getting 911 online in the Lake Area.
After a major health scare in 1990 which forced him to step down from the 911 position, he retired for a while. But if you knew Dave, you knew he couldn't stay still. He then went back to work at the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office as a violent crimes detective and then moved over to the polygraph division, where he worked until he passed away in 2007.
Throughout his professional working career, Dave's passion was Cajun music, its culture, and the heritage of Louisiana. He worked tirelessly to promote it.
Dave started out on KAOK 1400 AM back in the early 1980's, doing a live show every Saturday morning. In 1990, Dave moved over to KLCL 1470, then in Westlake. He did a Cajun music show every morning from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. Monday thru Friday and was the founder of "Louisiana Bandstand." Louisiana Bandstand was a live show on Saturday mornings from the old "Downtowner Hotel" on Lakeshore Drive, where the site of what is now the remains of the old Harrah's casino sits.
Louisiana Bandstand was a one-of-a-kind show where Cajun bands would play live and Dave and I would broadcast them. People would come in each Saturday to watch the band, to dance and to watch Dave do the show live on the air. It got so popular that Phil Menard/Ivy Dugas and the Louisiana travelers made a theme song called the "KLCL Special," which was the theme song to start the show every Saturday -- a song we still play here on Cajun Radio today.
Here is a little taste of the song:
Do you remember that?
That went on for several years until Players Riverboat Casino bought the property and the Downtowner was torn down.
Then it was on to Cajun Country 92.9 FM in Jennings, where Dave did a show after the legendary Jerry Dugas on Saturdays. In the following years, with radio stations being consolidated into clusters, 92.9 was sold and moved to Lake Charles. That's where Dave did a show on 99.5 on Sundays for awhile before moving down the hall to 1470 & 1290 AM. Dave and I did shows back to back on Saturday mornings. Dave was on from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and Mike's Show was from 12-4 p.m.
After doing that for a couple years, CajunRadio was born on March 7, 2005 as Southwest Louisiana's first and only full-time Cajun music radio station. Dave was so excited that, finally after so many years, Cajun Music and the Cajun people had their very own station dedicated to promoting the music and culture of Louisiana.
Dave continued doing his show every Saturday morning, and I did and still do a morning show Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Here is one of Dave's commercials that he cut promoting a cruise for the CFMA:
Kind of cool, huh? People usually say they remember Dave by that commanding voice he had.
Dave was inducted into the Cajun French Music Association's Lake Charles Chapter Hall of Fame during his career, but the big one came in August of 2007 when he was inducted into the Louisiana Cajun French Music Hall of Fame as a Cajun disc Jockey. Dave passed away Sept. 21, 2007 at the age of 61.
Cajun music lost one of its biggest advocates that day, but his memory and legendary contributions he made live on and the music does to through Cajun Radio.
Happy Birthday to our very own Dave Soileau. We miss you and we also thank you for everything you did for Cajun music, culture and the Cajun folks of Louisiana!