Arts/Fun

Ca C’est Bon! Mark Klein Inducted into Swamp Pop Hall of Fame

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 The current Band members that were at the induction (From Left to right as seen in the picture)were Robert Ardoin, Bill Leblanc, Allen Wayne, Jim Darnell, Earl Taylor, Bert Miller, Doug Ardoin, Ozzie Hart, W.L. Dugas, Sydney Janis, Mark Klein.
 
By Mia Freneaux; Photo by Val Daigle
    Anyone who attended last year’s Relay for Life or St. Alphonsus’ Festival of Two Rivers has heard Mark Klein in action.  With his band “The Last Sensations”, he has wowed audiences in Central for several years.  After playing with the Wildcat Band at Central High School and winning “Most Talented” Senior Superlative last year, Mark has gone on to attend Louisiana College. 
    The son of Robert and Julie Klein, Mark has been performing since he was 4 years old with such illustrious organizations as Louisiana Kids and American Kids, where he won “Entertainer of the Year”.  A member of several bands, his big break came when he was 10 years old.  The legendary Swamp Pop band “The Fabulous Boogie Kings” (who have been around for over 50 years) was performing at a festival, and Mark walked up to tell them what a fan he was.  Trumpet player Ned Theall asked him to sing with them, and the rest is history.  Mark has contributed lead vocals and guitar to the band, and recently took up the trumpet with the passing of Theall last year.  “It’s been amazing,” Mark shared, “I look in the eyes of the audience and watch them just come alive with memories.” 
    Swamp Pop is a traditional Louisiana form of music found in the Acadiana area and also southeast Texas.  It combines New Orleans style rhythm and blues, country and western, and French Louisiana musical influences.  Ville Platte dubs itself the “Swamp Pop Capitol of the World” and opened a museum in 2010 dedicated to this music form.  Last Friday, it inducted the “Boogie Kings” into the “Swamp Pop Hall of Fame.”  The “Boogie Kings” performed a benefit concert for the museum, and during intermission were officially inducted and awarded with plaques.  “I’m never going to forget it, it was incredible,” Mark enthused.  
    In addition to being a college student who made the Dean’s List last semester and member of an actively performing band, Mark has a full time job with KALB TV Channel 5 in Alexandria.  There he edits, shoots, and writes the “Weekend Drive” show, which highlights family friendly trips to local interest spots.  “I get to take vacations with my mom, dad and sister to great destinations.  I have a blast doing it, it’s so much fun!” Mark also has to keep up with guitar practice, along with bass, piano, drums, and trumpet.  He also pens original compositions and has released some recordings.  His plans for the summer? “Catch up on some sleep!” he said with a laugh.
    The “Boogie Kings” next perform at the Paragon Casino on July 3rd with “Louisiana LeRoux” of “New Orleans Ladies” fame. Catch one of Central’s finest as he performs in this great venue with Louisiana legends!  For more information, check out www.markklein.us.
 

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