Bourgeois honors bandmate with vest

Published 8:33 am Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Port Arthur musician Jivin’ Gene Bourgeois plays two or three shows a month and when he plays in the golden triangle he almost always plays with the Ken Marvel Band.

Just last April the band lost its long-time saxophone player Doug Deane, a man revered by many in Southeast Texas.

Comments on his online obituary read, “Just a wonderful man,” “Ever-present smile,” and “You will be missed.”

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His widow, Shirley Deane, gave Bourgeois her husband’s purple, yellow and green Mardi Gras vest as a gift to mark the friendship the two musicians had made through decades of playing music together.

During an interview with Bourgeois on Monday, the legendary musician told the News that to honor his friend he will wear the vest on stage at Groves Knights of Columbus Mardi Gras Dance January 28.

“I thought it would be nice to wear this vest at Mardi Gras as a tribute to Doug Deane,” said Bourgeois.  

“He was a great friend and I feel so honored his wife gave it to me,” Bourgeois added.

Since his rise to fame in the early 1960s after the break of his hit song, “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do,” Bourgeois performs at high profile venues and music festivals year round and across the globe.

In 2011 he appeared at the Ponderosa Stomp Show in New Orleans, and in November at the “Rhythm Riot” music festival in Sussex, England.

Among his numerous accolades, Bourgeois is an inductee in the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and the Museum of the Gulf Coast.

According to Bourgeois, the Knights of Columbus show is one of the shows he enjoys most each year because it marks the beginning of the Port Arthur Mardi Gras celebration.

“We look forward to participating in a great crowd and really kick off Mardi Gras in a good way,” said Bourgeois.

If you don’t catch him at the Knights of Columbus, he will also be wearing the Mardi Gras vest on February 18 downtown Port Arthur, when he plays on the mainstage at the Port Arthur Mardi Gras Celebration.

Tickets to the Groves Knights of Columbus Mardi Gras Dance are $10.

For reservations call (409) 626-2076.