Croker, lead vocalist for Hackberry Ramblers, dies

August 24, 2011 - 10:20 AM
Obit Hackberry Ramblers Singer

FILE - In this May 1, 2005, file photo, the Hackberry Ramblers members Edwin Duhon, left, Luderin Darbone and Glen Croker, right, perform during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans. Croker died on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011, at age 77. (AP Photo/Burton Steel, File)

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — A lead singer for the Grammy Award-nominated Cajun band, the Hackberry Ramblers, died Tuesday. He was 77.

Drummer and last surviving band member Ben Sandmel said James "Glen" Croker, a lifelong resident of Lake Charles, had been in declining health for several years and that his family thought he had a heart attack.

Sandmel said Croker began playing with the band in 1959. The band's website said Croker's electric guitar helped evolve the band's string-band sound, by adding a "swaggering honky-tonk tinge" that included elements of the blues, R&B and rockabilly.

The band was founded in 1933 by fiddler Luderin Darbone and accordionist Edwin Duhon.

The group last performed in 2005 at LSU's Manship Theatre.

Their 1997 release "Deep Water" garnered a Grammy nomination in the best traditional/folk album category.