Around Acadiana

Sep 3, 2013 8:05 PM by Alex Labat

Acadiana Family Hopes to "Save the Southern Club"

The Southern Club was a popular entertainment venue in the 1950's that saw everything ranging from Swamp Pop, to legends of Rock & Roll.
Ray Vidrine, brother of Chuck Vidrine, says, "The biggest name was Fats Domino, he played here probably about 5 times. Jimmy Reed, Chuck Berry, the Platters the Coasters. I can't think of all the names that played here."
The club was shut down back in 1996, and has since seen a rash of robberies and vandalism that is ruining the bar.
That's why the family of original owner Chuck Vidrine wants to save The Southern Club.
And they're getting a little help from the Center for Louisiana Studies.
"Every Swamp Pop band in this area, the Southern Club was home base for those bands. It's a very special place not only locally, and regionally, but nationally. It's known nationally and internationally as well", says John Sharp, Assistant Director of Research for the Center for Louisiana Studies.
The UL Organization is working with the family to place the 63-year-old building on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Which means the time worn building might get a face life thanks to federal grants and restoration funds.
"I'd like to see it back in operation. For people from the Swamp Pop era. So old people like me have a place to go", says Vidrine.
If you'd like to help save the Southern Club, you'll have the chance to give your input at an upcoming meeting.
The Center for Louisiana Studies and save the southern bar will be holding a public meeting on september 19th at Toby's Lounge in Opelousas.
The meeting starts at 6:30pm, and will cover the current status of the bar, and organizers are hoping anyone with pictures or old memorabilia from the Southern Club can donate to the cause.

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