Usually birthdays are left merely for the 8:00am birthdays & anniversaries roll call. But when it's as big of a celebrity as "The Dreamy" Kip Sonnier, you make sure you shout it loud and proud to the entire world. And if we had better pictures, we'd have put up a billboard. (Kip, be glad we aren't authorized to show your 1985 pic in the red shorts!)

It is indeed the date of birth today of this man who really needs very little introduction or pomp and circumstance. But in case you have no clue who he is, let me enlighten you.

He was born on a small goat farm on the tough east side of Abbeville, Louisiana on July 1, 1965. Times were tough and he was scrawny and he didn't want to spend his summers picking watermelons so he decided he'd pick up a the drums instead. (Actually, I think his first instrument was an empty Miller Pony bottle, but who's really paying attention.)

Turned out he was natural. Kip would go on to pick up the guitar and just about every other instrument and would practice Commodores songs night and day. Soon, he would be moonlighting at local Vermilion Parish dancehalls as the lead singer of Kip Sonnier and the Pip Dickers.

But his newly found fame came at a price. Because this was in the days before cell phones, his momma would be the first to answer the calls from booking agents and next thing you know he's in a band called By You Self, featuring a little-known-at-the-time lead singer, Stacy Atkins.

The band would find regional success but Stacy left because "there's a girl in texas" who would win his love.

Kip, or "Skip", as some of his fans have called him over the years, was not out of work for long. He would then move on to a band named after a weed killer with another eventually-to-be superstar lead singer named Spammy Hershaw. That band would tear up the local scene for a few years before it was time for Skip Kip to finally spread his own proverbial wings and fly on his own.

I think that's about the time that I became acquainted with the legend himself. Kip Sonnier & Himicane would plant themselves as one of the hottest country, cajun, swamp pop, rock, disco groups below I-10 but above Youngsville.There were few a Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights in south Louisiana when Kip and the boys weren't entertaining the good Cajun people with a two-step, jitterbug, waltz or downright rockin' tune.

Fast forward through 4,572 "Hump the Walls", 1,874 appearances at Back-to-Back ("two clubs in one for two kinds of fun"), 9,521 new granny panties in the collection, and 18 "naps" in the parking lot of Cowboy's, and the Dreamy has had quite the run.

In all seriousness, I really just wrote this as an excuse to give some love to one of our personal favorite singers and musicians of all time here in south Louisiana. All of us here at the radio station actually are big fans. We've had the great pleasure of watching Kip do his thing on stage and play his music on the radio for many years and he truly is an amazing performer.

He's also a pretty darn good guy. He's helped us countless times for benefits, station events or even the multitude of years he has lent his talents with our caroling for the elderly Christmas shows.

Personally, Kip, you have been a dear friend all these years. From the good times we've shared out at your shows to all the years I've spent as your neighbor and you letting me just rummage through your garage to borrow tools to the years you've donated money to my fantasy football league (ha!), the pleasure truly has been mine.

So, I'm sure I write on behalf of your lovely bride Karen and kids Seth and Celeste and the grand youngens, when I say -- HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIP!

Now, let's all "Take a Sip"!



More From 97.3 The Dawg