In 1936, Walker performed at the National Folk Festival. Although known for his accordion playing, he made most of his money through rice farming. He focused on music after World War II when he toured with his band The Wandering Aces. Walker died in Rayne, Louisiana of heart failure. Lawrence Walker, the reigning king of accordion players during the 1950s, is still considered one of the all-time great Cajun performers.
Born near Duson, Louisiana, Walker was the son of a prominent fiddler, who later moved the family to Orange, Texas. Lawrence and brother Elton, a fiddler, formed their first band in the early '20s and played Cajun and hillbilly songs. The Walker Brothers made their recording debut for Bluebird in 1929 with "La Breakdown la Louisiane" and "La Vie Malheureuse." Seven years later, he and his band won rave reviews and first place at the National Folk Festival in Dallas, Texas. Despite his notoriety as a musician, Walker made the bulk of his living as a rice farmer until after World War II, when he returned to Louisiana and played in clubs throughout southern Texas with his band the Wandering Aces.
He next recorded in the early '50s and had success with such Cajun tunes as "Reno Waltz" and "Evangeline Waltz" for George Khoury's label. Walker had quite a following in his day, and was known as a perfectionist, running his band with an iron hand. Unlike other Cajun performers from his time, Walker wrote only original songs. He died of heart failure in 1968.
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