In January Johnny started suffering with chest pains and was sent to ER at OLOL, where he was admitted for abnormal EKG, upon seeing a doctor was told that he had 90% in the main artery to his heart, and 65% in the other artery on top his heart. He was told that he needed immediate surgery to clear the blockage or he would die. The next day Johnny had a stent put in his main artery and is now on life saving medicine, and incurring enormous amount of medical bills. Johnny and his wife Winnie have no medical insurance. Please help us save his life while raising funds to defray medical cost.
For those of you who can't join us, there are a couple of ways to donate. First, you can send a check or money order to:
Ashley Guidry 200A main Street Cankton La 70584
You can donate by using paypal
February 29, 1960 Johnny Sonnier was born. From an early age Johnny would be infatuated with Cajun music, at an early age of nine after beating on his mother’s pots and pans, since he was 5. Johnny got his first set of makeshift drums. Be it good or bad the stage was set for him to become one of the best Cajun musicians in La.
In the years to come he would learn to play every instrument there was, while his heart belonged to the accordion. Johnny would buy his first set of drums for $100.00, selling fruits on the corner of Opelousas, La. At the age of 13, Johnny began playing with Gordon Lalonde as a drummer. It was his first real break into the music. The accordion was on his mind at all times. Every dance Gordon would let Johnny play 2 selections on the accordion, Johnny will always be grateful for this break. With the desire to be a accordion player, he formed his first band called "Cajun Fugitive".
In the fall on 1982, Johnny changed his style of music to what many believe was the start of progressive or zydecajun music. This may be witnessed on the 45 " The Devil Went down To New Iberia” which was released in 1984 before many groups now playing began. But life and work called Johnny to relocate to Mississippi. He never gave up trying to promote his music. He drove the 189 mile commute back and forth every weekend to keep playing his music. Johnny held that band together for 1 1/2 year, Till long drives and sleepless nights took its toll on him. He disbanded the group. A year went by when his music began to call him back. So Johnny came home and began playing with Howard Noel and the Cajun Ramblers. Where he cut several 45's, including "Saturday Night Special, Cajun Ramblers Special, Paul Daigle on the Jukebox, Not To Blame. In 1988 Johnny formed Cajun Heritage. In May of 1989; Johnny released his first "Tous Les Dimanche Apris Medi". This album consists of 10 new songs. It was a Hugh success. Johnny released in 1990 his second album "Oh! Pour Les Memoirs". Thanks to 2 special people, Harry Poche and the late Kenneth Vallot. Johnny believes in keeping the original, but he also continues on searching for a way to keep the Cajun music alive. Those who understand and live it as he does,can tell you what it means to be a Cajun and blessed to be a musician. Johnny has a way of touching people’s lives with his music. He seems to be able to know what they want to hear in his songs. Johnny is his music. He knows people, their likes, and emotions. In 1993, Johnny released his 3 CD; "Send a Message to My Heart” This also had 10 brand new songs. Never before heard or played. Also in 1993 he released two more 45's "In the Barn" & “When a Tear Becomes a Rose". Johnny's daughter Amber sings professionally with her dad from time to time. She is learning to play the fiddle and hopes some day to play with her dad. Johnny has 3 other children that play music. One can see that the music surely will live on. Johnny is married to the former Winnie Wilson, and has 4 children, and 4 grandchildren.
Some of his awards are:
CFMA Male Vocalist three times
Band of the year,
Album of the year
Single of the year
Male Vocalist award in Texas
He also fronted for Sammy Kershaw, Also played with Sammy’s band.