by Juba Normand
THIS IS ACTUALLY A 2-PART SERIES ABOUT ONE OF CENLA’S VERY OWN HOMETOWN ENTERTAINERS. WE HAVE ALWAYS LOVED JUBA, HIS MUSIC, AND HIS CONTRIBUTIONS TO OUR COMMUNITIES. WE MISS HIM VERY MUCH BUT WE HEAR TELL THAT HE’LL BE IN TOWN FOR LITTLE WHILE BEFORE TOO LONG … BE SURE TO TRY TO CATCH UP WITH HIM! WTG, JUBA, YOU ROCK!!!! (THE OTHER EPISODE CAN BE FOUND IN THE ARCHIVE LIBRARY)
Where did I get the name Juba and more?
When I was about 4 years old, my family and I were watching a movie together. It was sponsored by a business called Juban Lumber Company. Evidently, I was enjoying the movie and they seemed to go to a commercial break every 5 minutes. I would get upset every time they switched to the commercial and I could not pronounce Juban … I would say, “There’s that damn Juba, commercial again!” My older brother, Blane Normand, labeled me with that name to pick on me. I later found out that the first musician in the Bible was named Jubal, ( where Jubilee comes from) … he played horn and stringed instruments, I play sax and guitar. My brother passed away in 2012, but the name he gave me stuck with me my whole life. In fact, some people don’t even know me by my real name … Dana.
My Brother Blane, my older sister , Nona Dubea, my mom, Jeanette and my Dad Emile (Junior) have all passed away … I miss them so much. My younger sister, Amy Dupuy, lives in Brusly, La.
My name is Dana “Juba” Normand and I was born and raised in Marksville, LA. I married Leverne Perry’s daughter, Julie, in 2005 and moved to Alexandria. My father was a singer/left handed bass player who played in a band called The Crowns throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s. My uncle, Larry Normand, was a singer and had a band called Larry and the Diamonds. Larry’s Voice sounded like Elvis Presley. I played saxophone throughout middle and high school. I started playing guitar and singing in high school. I performed in several bands and had a successful novelty hit called, “The Cajun Rap Song“ during my years with the band, Cypress City. The Cajun Rap Song became a Southern Swamp Pop hit and was also a hit here and in other states and countries around the world on the Louisiana Swamp Pop label, Jin Records. Our CD, “Shake That Fess,” was also a hit and unique in the Louisiana music genre and was also played on many Blues stations around the world.
My musical influences Include blues, rock, country, folk. My love for the Blues, along with my influences, can be heard and felt in my performances. I have opened for some of the great music legends, such as Rockin Doopsey, Clarence Carter, Dr. Hook and Jerry Lee Lewis. I have also performed with Louisiana and other legendary artists such as Tommy McClain, Johnny Allen , Warren Storm, Ace Cannon and Leon Medica, to name a few. I now live in Alexandria and has lived there for the past 14 years. I now perform with several local bands and do solo performances in the Central Louisiana area.
My children are Nicholas Normand, Aaron Normand, Jess Deville (stepson) and Aprill Laborde Clutter (step daughter), and they are also very talented in the arts.
STAY TUNED NEXT MONTH FOR MORE ABOUT THIS INTERESTING, EXCITING LOCAL ARTIST!