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Justin Wilson

A man who made his fortune from his twin talents for cooking and comedy, Justin Wilson rose to fame with his humorous stories of life in Louisiana's Cajun country, as well as demonstrating how to cook the hearty dishes associated with Cajun culture. Wilson was born in Roseland, Louisiana on April 24, 1914. His father, Harry D. Wilson, was Louisiana's Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry from 1916 to 1948, and was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives. Justin's mother, Olivette Mintern Toadvin, was a pianist and composer who was also an expert cook, from whom Justin learned his way around a kitchen. Olivette was also of Cajun heritage, unlike her husband who was Welsh, and Justin would often refer to himself as a "half-bleed Cajun."

Justin originally pursued a career as a safety engineer, and when he spoke to audiences about safety procedures, he discovered many listeners found him too dry. Having frequently traveled through Bayou country, Wilson began telling humorous anecdotes about Cajuns and their lifestyle to put himself and his audiences at ease. In time, Wilson was attracting larger audiences for his comedy than for his safety lectures, and he became a successful humorist in the South and Southwest with his exaggerated Cajun accent and familiar catch phrase, "I Gawr-on-tee!" While some criticized Wilson for his sometimes unflattering portrait of Cajun life -- author Trent Angers wrote of Wilson, "To hear him you'd think all Cajuns are barely literate and not very bright" -- others cited him as helping to spread the word about Cajun food and heritage when they were little known outside the South.

In 1960, Wilson released his first comedy album, The Humorous World of Justin Wilson, which was issued by Ember Records and promptly reissued in 1961 by Tower Records, a subsidiary of Capitol Records. Between 1961 and 1985, Wilson would release 28 comedy albums, including ten for Tower, and another ten for the Louisiana-based label Paula Records. Wilson also received nationwide exposure with appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Hollywood Squares, and Late Night with David Letterman.

In 1965, Wilson published his first cookbook, fittingly titled The Justin Wilson Cook Book, and he would publish six more cookbooks between 1979 and 1998. Wilson first took his epicurean skills to the airwaves in 1971, with a cooking show commissioned by Mississippi Educational Television in which he told jokes while demonstrating how to prepare Cajun specialties. Wilson gained a new audience in the 1980s when another series, Louisiana Cookin', began airing nationwide on PBS. In the '90s, his shows from the '70s gained a new life when they were rebroadcast coast to coast under the title Justin Wilson: Looking Back, sometimes with new segments offering healthier options for some ingredients. On September 5, 2001, Wilson died in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at the age of 87. ~ Mark Deming
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: How Y'all Are?

1. Definition Of A Cajun

2. The Backwards Farmer

3. The Cold, Cold Cajun

4. The Non-Reckless Driver

5. The Long Stairway To The House

6. The Courageous Cajun

7. Keeping God Alive

8. The Key To Fire Insurance

9. The Marksman

10. A Forced Reciprocal Agreement

11. A Proof Of Sobriety

12. The Misplaced Patriots

13. The Curious Barmaid

14. Eggs Eliminated

15. A Favor Returned

16. The Infallible Pointer

17. The Dogs That Couldn't Swim

18. The Illiterate Duck Hunter

19. The Alligator With No Shoes

20. The 10-Year-Old Who Saw A Miracle

x

Track List: Cajun King Of Comedy

1. Introduction/What Is A Cajun

2. The Truthful Sheriff's Dog

3. Sure Cure For A Sick Mule

4. The Canine Bouree' Player

5. Challenging The Jury

6. A Solution For A Problem Drinker

7. A Fisherman's Helper

8. Murphy Brown's Hunting Dog

9. A Free Cajun Electrician

10. An Honest Driver

11. Uncle Jean Pierre

12. The Paintin' Mill-Wright

13. The Obedient Quarterback

14. A Room Enlarger

15. The Biographer

16. Frugal Husband

17. Closing

x

Track List: The Old Master Story Teller

1. Introduction & What Is A Cajun?

2. The Coastguard Trainee

3. The Hunting Lamb

4. New Kind Of Plow Horse

5. The Reluctant Student

6. The Real Weigh

7. Chicamauga

8. The Thunderstorm Sanctuary

9. The Lost Wallet

10. The Saleable Horse

11. The Winless Candidate

12. Fear Motivation

13. Out Of Gas

14. Closing

x

Track List: Justin Wilson for True

1. Introduction & Definition of a "Cajun"

2. The Truthful Sheriff's Dog

3. Sure Cure for a Sick Mule

4. The Canine Bouree' Player

5. Challenging the Jury

6. A Solution for a Problem Drinker

7. A Fisherman's Helper

8. Murphy Brown's Hunting Dog

9. A Free Cajun Electrician

10. An Honest Driver

11. Uncle Jean Pierre

12. The Paintin' Mill-Wright

13. The Obedient Quarterback

14. A Room Enlarger

15. Closing

x

Track List: In Orbit

1. Introduction & What Is A Cajun?

2. Safety Expert / Space Workers

3. The Cajun From Texas A & M

4. The Smart Egg Buyer

5. Innovative Chicken Farmer

6. Hoping For A Full Moon

7. Sheriff's Dispatcher

8. The Diplomat

9. The Biographer

10. Keen Eyed Witness

11. Frugal Husband

12. Inquiring Optometrist

13. Police Radio Dispatcher

14. Smart Barber

15. Closing

x

Track List: Hunting with Justin Wilson

1. Introduction & What Is a Cajun?

2. A Retriever Named Phideaux

3. The Scared Cow

4. The Dog That Couldn't Swim

5. The Disobedient Pointer

6. Chicken Hawk Gumbo

7. The Illiterate Duck Hunter

8. The Alligator with No Shoes

9. The 10-Year-Old Who Saw a Miracle

10. The Hard-Shelled Opossum

11. Closing

x

Track List: Wilsonville U.S. And A.

1. What A Cajun Is

2. Duck Hunter's Guide

3. The Moonshine Story

4. Mean Old Truant Officer

5. Gondolas On The Bayou

6. Drunk Driver And The Preacher

7. Sample Carrying Preacher

8. Cajun Scientist

9. Judgment Day

10. One More Month To Hunt Duck

11. Little Boy On The Elevator

12. Bear Hunter

13. A Stretching Ordeal

14. Apprentice Carpenter

15. Volunteer Paratrooper

Comments

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His cooking show was my Dad's favorite shows to watch. Miss this old man.
Report as inappropriate
f*g
Report as inappropriate
I sure do miss you sir..
Love your cooking shows..
Your comedy.
Having a glass of white whiine...
Here's to you Justin.
Report as inappropriate
Don't forget Lewis Grizzard!
Report as inappropriate
Louisana spokesman and love his stories and his lingo. His peach too...! :o))
Report as inappropriate
Love Justin Wilson every thing.
Report as inappropriate
An original like Jerry cloward
Report as inappropriate
Liove justin wilson's cookong show the story's at the end were the best part

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