Blind Uncle Gaspard Biography (Wikipedia)
Alcide "Blind Uncle" Gaspard was a partially blind vocalist and guitarist from Louisiana who alternated between string-band music (in a band with his brothers) and traditional Cajun balladry on his recordings for Vocalion. Born in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana in 1878 of French-Canadian descent, he became partially blinded when he was seven. It is unknown how Gaspard became blinded in one eye. Very little is known about Gaspard and his life as a musician; even among big-time Cajun musicians and fans. A brilliant, dexterous guitarist and songwriter, he is often regarded in Cajun and Americana music circles as a very mysterious and unacclaimed figure. His influences remain unknown, although his family is believed to have brought him into music. Gaspard suffered from deep depression and isolation throughout his life, and it is believed he remained a bachelor until his untimely death. Many of his rare recordings were re-released on Cajun compilations into the Millennium. He has since recently retained a small cult-following. Gaspard formed his first band with his brothers Victor and Amade. When he began recording in the late 1920s it was mainly as a backing guitarist for fiddler Delma Lachney (1896) also from Avoyelles Parish of French-Canadian descent. It was then that he also recorded some solo selections of his own during these sessions. Little else is known about Gaspard, though four of his sides (and a few of his appearances with Lachney) appear on the Yazoo compilation Early American Cajun Music released in 1999. None of Gaspard's original recordings are believed to have sold over 100 copies within his lifetime. Gaspard reportedly died untimely and alone in 1937. He was believed to be in good-health during the time of his premature passing. His sudden cause of death remains unknown. Gaspard is buried at Mater Dolorosa Catholic Cemetery, in Plaucheville, Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana.