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KENT HARDOUIN PHOTOGRAPHVINCE VANCE

Vince Vance’s trademarks space both his Eraserhead-style hair (according come his website, the overlapping pompadour-esque look to be 18.865 customs high on its finest day) and also costumes.

He is a brand-new Orleans native and also original, for sure – he grew up in the French quarter (and knew Ruthie the Duck Girl) and loves his city for this reason much, he created a song, “I Am brand-new Orleans,” the nostalgically celebrate what provides it so special.

Vince Vance isn’t his offered name. The never gives it come me, and also though I uncover it out during research, I’m hesitant to usage it.

“Vince Vance is a fantasy character,” the says. “And it’s a personality I’ve become. So people think there’s blurring of the real me and the real Vince Vance, everyone he may be.” (The Vince Vance I’m speaking to wasn’t constantly the Vince Vance in the band. This one started as Andy stone – another pseudonym, which he used greatly for songwriting.)

For practically four decades, Vince Vance and the Valiants, in its countless recreations and also incarnations, have performed at the cool Ole Opry, Superdome, rock N’ Bowl, Endymion Ball and Krewe of Halloween, to name just a few. I captured up through Vance after castle performed in ~ the better Baton Rouge State Fair. The band’s presentation is music, theater and also performance art – all at the exact same time.

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Vance is a provided composer. In fact, this year marks the 20th anniversary of the release of “All I desire for Christmas is You.” It has been spanned by several singers, including Shania Twain and LeAnn Rimes. (The track of the same title the Mariah Carey sings is different.) The video, starring Vance and then-Valiantette Lisa Layne (who to be the female vocalist in the Valiants’ variation of the song), has actually had much more than 230,000 hits on YouTube (a an excellent source because that Vince Vance videos). It charted in Billboard, and CMT called it as among its “Merriest Christmas Videos.”

When asked about his favorite song, Vance launches right into the motivation for one: a rhyme that little girls in the French 4 minutes 1 use once jumping rope. A note to harry Connick Jr.: Vance would love if you spanned the song:

“You’re such a Beautiful Girl.”

He has additionally branched out; his children’s book was published in 1995: The Vince Vance absent & roll Reader (Fullerton Books) – a book of bedtime stores, poems, songs, brain teasers and also trivia.

Anything rather you should know around Vance? “I really know how to litter a cruise and also raise money.” If you’ve to be to a fundraiser in the previous year, Vance most likely performed at it.

When asked if he’ll ever retire from performing, he offers a long and also thoughtful pause. Climate an answer. Yet I think we all understand – there is no revealing what he stated – Vance will constantly be top top stage.

Name: Vince Vance Age: 39 … and also holding Profession: Entertainer/composer/pianist (he additionally admits to gift a singer and also a dancer) Born: Yes, on Jan. 31 Resides: in ~ the Riverbend close to Carrollton and Oak streets. I prospered up in the French Quarter. Family: Widower with two sons: Stevie Ray, who resides in Florida, and Chris, aka Ratty Scurvics, pianist, composer, writer and musical director Education: Nicholls senior High School; Bachelor of arts in English and also Music native Southeastern Louisiana University. Ns didn’t end up my master’s in English. Favorite books: Contact, through Carl Sagan; The Stand, by Stephen King; and also the Dave Robicheaux novels through James Lee Burke.

Poets: Emily Dickinson, A.E. Housman, W.B. Yeats and Edgar Allan Poe Favorite movies: The Godfather I, II & III – Director’s Cut; Groundhog Day; quiet of the Lambs; Seven; Life of Brian; The meaning of Life; Monty Python & the divine Grail; The Unforgiven; and also The Shawshank Redemption. Favorite foods: Avocado, mango, shrimp and oyster bad boys on French bread Favorite restaurants: Deno’s, Drago’s, Mandina’s, Pascale Manale’s, imperial Palm and William’s Plum Street Snowballs Favorite music/musicians: The Skyliners, Dion and the Belmonts, Duprees, Gary Lewis and also the Playboys, The Beatles, Duffy and Erroll Garner Favorite vacation spot: Islands, like La Maddalena, Sardinia; Crete; Bermuda; Jamaica; and the Bahamas. I additionally love the Emerald Grande in Destin, Fla. Hobby: NFL football, especially the brand-new Orleans Saints. Ns rarely miss a game. However, ns enjoy many all NFL games. Quote: “You can’t purchase a an excellent time, yet you deserve to hire me and also improve your chances.”

How long have you to be performing? Vince Vance and the Valiants have been together for 39 years.

How did you pertained to be component of the Vince Vance and also the Valiants? While i was functioning on my master’s degree, i was playing piano at a ar where the man hated me. His wife at the time was JoAnn Clevenger, now owner that Upperline, and also she chosen me. That despised me due to the fact that I played all this retro (19)50s rock and roll, however the world loved me. Part waiters end at your Father’s Moustache said they want to put a band with each other to pat the kind of music ns was playing. I said you’re in luck, due to the fact that I’m a high college band director and I can teach girlfriend all how to carry out it.

We go on phase for the an initial time ~ above Sept. 18, 1971, 4 p.m. ~ above a Friday at your Father’s Moustache. The band was big, and it acquired bigger through the years – we had a horn ar at one time.

Who are some of your influences? James Brown and also the famed Flames. It to be a big production, and the an initial concert I ever went to. He to be my influence for the show. And, in ~ the exact same time us were living with the finish of the (19)60s, as soon as the musical, Hair, came out. The was very interactive. And Fats Domino on piano.

How numerous are in the band right now? ns have 5 members: piano, saxophone, drums, guitar, bass; plus three Valiantettes. I regularly have an assistant who walks behind me on phase spraying my hair.

What tools do you play? I’d always been top top the key-board until 1989. And then ns hired a keyboardist therefore I have the right to make an ext costume changes. Ns play the saxophone.

How countless costume changes can you make in a show? In a night, no more than 20 is absurd.

Do friend make her costumes? I’m working on some now, though some are made for me. I’m Uncle Sam virtually every night, I’m a Christmas tree every night, I’m a cop every night, I’m a nerd every night.

What type of hair spray carry out you use? frozen It – the bonus size.

In 1975, when you go by Andy Stone, you said in a new Orleans newspaper article about the band, “I don’t recognize what these men are in for, yet I’m in it for the glory.” tho true? most likely true. It’s never adjusted in all these years.

I’ll take it a project sometime, also though it could not it is in a moneymaker … , I’ll carry out something choose that due to the fact that I yes, really enjoy certain gigs.

It’s fun, and also being maybe to do what you want to perform all her life.

“All I desire for Christmas Is You” is the tune co-written by girlfriend (under the name Andy Stone) and Troy powers in august 1988. But it really come of importance in ’90, through a video clip released in ’93. It’s just celebrating the 20th anniversary that its major release. I’m questioning my friends to request it in ~ radio stations so it can be No. 1 again. I’m happy come be part of something that is successful.

How the came about was my etc player, trojan Powers, claimed he had actually a an excellent idea for a Christmas song, “All I want is Christmas is You.” ns thought around it, I actually prayed come be inspired – it’s Christmas, and it’s essential to me.

True Confession: despite I’m known for gift a performer, I desire to be known for gift a composer and writer.

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Little recognized fact: ns am a Mason and also a Shriner.

This month, you can see Vince Vance and also the Valiants carry out in Louisiana: Dec. 10: Speckled T’s Christmas Gala, Slidell; Dec. 18: Isle that Capri Casino, Westlake.