A life of memorable music, Cajun pride | The Miami Herald The Miami Herald

February 15, 2015 4:16 PM

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With 55 years in music, Jo-El Sonnier is overflowing with memories. He can tell stories of his friendship with Johnny Cash, a European tour with Reba McEntire and playing on stage at the Ryman Auditorium, home of the Grand Ole Opry.

But Sonnier, 68, also has fond memories of his Cajun roots in south Louisiana. Born to poor, French-speaking sharecroppers in Rayne, he played his accordion in the fields to horses and cows and was encouraged when they didn't leave.

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