The “old hippy” Cayouche dies at the age of 75

Country singer Cayouche is no more. He died Wednesday at the age of 75 in Maisonette in the Acadian Peninsula in New Brunswick. The “old hippy” has been around for more than 25 years and his songs have become part of the folklore of several families in Acadia.

Born in Moncton in southeastern New Brunswick in 1949, Réginald Charles Gagnon moved with his mother near Boston in the United States when he was 13 years old.

His artistic name comes from his American friends, who criticized him for not knowing what an Acadian was, when he arrived in our southern neighbors.

La Cayouche is an Acadian who is overthrown! The name stuck and I have been Cayouche ever since.he said in an interview with Radio-Canada in 1994.

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Cayouche, during a show in Cap-Pelé, in 2015.

Photo: Radio-Canada

At age 18, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps for three years, where he participated in the Vietnam War. He returned to Canada in 1979 at the age of 30. He lived in Maisonnette in the Acadian Peninsula.

5 albums

At 45, he released his first album entitled An Old Hippyin 1994. This album is inspired by the daily life of Acadians, with songs like André’s little Jeep, Export ”A”, I am 40 years, BootleggerOr My tractor chain.

Cayouche loved being near of the real world. From the first show tours in the Acadian Peninsula, the venues were packed.

drank, at least they forget their problems for a few hours, tsé there. I like that too”,”text”:”The world laughed, they clinked glasses, they drank, at least they forgot their problems for a few hours, that’s it. I like it the same”}}”>The world laughed, they toasted, that drankat least they forget their problems for a few hours, tsé there. I like it the samehe said with a laugh in 1994 in Shippagan.

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Cayouche, during the Matane country festival, in 2017.

Photo: Radio-Canada

Jean-Marc Dufour, his first manager, is his accomplice who propelled his career.

When we go back, it was fun, it was a good memory, a beautiful timehe said in an interview in 2020.

The former manager explains that the third album, Roll Rollwas recorded in a professional studio. It was probably his best album too, best material and that opened doors elsewhere.

This album was an important step for the artist who appeared on stage in Acadia, Quebec and Ontario.

We left the Maritimes, the community centers and we entered the performance hallsspecified Jean-Marc Dufour.

In 2006, the number of copies of his four albums sold was estimated at 100,000.

Albums:

  • An Old Hippy1994
  • Half half1996
  • Roll, Roll1999
  • Last Call2003
  • The reminder2011

In January 2020, at age 71, Cayouche launched an album in vinyl format, The best tuneson which we find his greatest hits, including The bingo queen, Drinking and driving, This is my Acadia, My boyfriend’s fridge And Last call.

Even if he did not launch a new album after that of 2011, Cayouche was still very present on the stages of Acadia and Quebec, until very recently, including at the Méga Spectacles de Tracadie in August 2023 .

Cayouche, time for a beer

In 2009, Cayouche appeared on the big screen. Director Maurice André Aubin wanted to make him known to everyone, but above all to succeed in capturing his soul. The documentary Cayouche, time for a beer follows the singer-songwriter and offers us a journey into his world.

For me, Cayouche is an icon, he represents so many things to so many people that we had to make a film about himexplained Maurice André Aubin in an interview in 2009.

THE road movie was launched as a grand premiere at the Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie (FICFA) in Moncton that year.

The film is available on Youtube (New window).

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