Jimmy C. Newman
The first Cajun singer ever to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry, Jimmy C. Newman died in Nashville at age 86 after a battle with cancer. Born near Big Mamou, Louisiana, Newman, whose middle name was Yves, adopted the middle initial "C" (for Cajun) and began playing music in his teens. As the host of a TV series in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Newman blended Cajun and country music and sang in both English and French. In 1954, he scored his first big hit for Dot Records with "Cry, Cry Darling." Other chart-climbers included "Daydreamin'," "Diggy Liggy Lo," "A Fallen Star" (a Number Two country and Top 25 pop hit) and his signature tune, "Alligator Man." Invited to join the Opry in 1956, he was also a member of the Cajun Hall of Fame and North American Country Music Association's International Hall of Fame.