Croker, Lead Vocalist For Hackberry Ramblers, Dies

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.

Photo: AP Photo
Members Edwin Duhon, left, Luderin Darbone and Glen Croker, right, perform during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

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