At the Marcantel home in Jennings, Louisiana, music and dancing were always a big part of life. In the heart of Cajun country, a southwest Louisiana location, the music was always a real gumbo. They played and sang Cajun, country, pop, classical, Broadway and rhythm and blues tunes. Nancy Tabb, Tabb is her middle name, Marcantel's voice would consistently put her out in the spotlight at musical gatherings. She would simply close her eyes and transform into a virtual Barbra Streisand or Julie Andrews, who were her first real influences. When asked what she would like to be when she grew up she would always reply, a professional singer. At her first public performance before a school assembly in the third grade, sing she did. Her early years of performing were filled with plays, musicals, weddings and talent shows. Progress came her way quickly, soon she was headed for recording studios, albums, and larger audiences. Ma Louisiane, her first record, was the largest selling Cajun album up to that time. Before a year had passed, she had recorded two albums and been featured in a French television documentary. She had made the cover of the New Orleans Times Picayune Dixie magazine, played every major festival in Louisiana. Topping off this "super-year", she ended up singing on the Seine River in Paris over the national French radio network. Nancy Tabb Marcantel followed Ma Louisiane, with Lagniappe, a bilingual country album. Next was Saute Crapaud, a children's album of Cajun and Creole folk songs. This was followed by, Spun Gold, an English pop album. Yet another gem was, That's What Makes Me Sing, a contemporary Gospel album. Noel, an English Christmas album was followed by, Noel En Louisiane, a French Christmas album which won the Cajun French Music Association's Award of Excellence that year. La Louisiane Chante Noel, a double album project with other Louisiana artists, and Cajun Lullabies, a bilingual album of lullabies for bayou babies, were more of the albums added to her list of many accomplishments. Nancy Tabb Marcantel's voice has been heard on commercials for Mahatma and Water Maid rice, Mello Joy coffee, Burger Chef hamburgers and the KATC news. She has performed with Lawrence Welk, as Miss Champagne Music in Louisiana. She has opened for Conway Twitty, Jerry Lee Lewis, Marty Robbins and Willie LaMothe, a Canadian recording artist. She has performed at professional hockey, soccer, football and baseball games across the South, as well as being a featured performer at tourist attractions throughout Cajun Country. Feeling always at home in Acadiana, she has been able to pursue her career while still enjoying her family and the culture of south Louisiana. Nancy Tabb Marcantel's 1999 release, Louisiana Makes Me Smile, is sure to put a smile on many a face, with a song in their heart as a consolation prize.
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