Former KLFY Broadcaster Jim Olivier Dead at 57

I just got word that long time Cajun broadcaster Jim Olivier has passed away at the age of 57. If you grew up in the Lafayette area in the 80s and early 90s, you probably know who Jim Olivier was. In the pre-500 channel era, it was hard to flip the channel without catching one of Jim’s shows. My grandmother used to wake up every morning and watch Passe Partout, which was sort of like a Cajun Good Morning America. Because the first half of the show was completely in French, it was her favorite news show. She’d tune in to hear him talk about the latest news, or to watch a local Cajun or Zydeco band play a tune. Jim also hosted a noontime show called Meet Your Neighbor which my grandmother never missed. Hearing about his passing brings back a lot of old memories.

Commenter liztrudy on the Daily Advertiser website put it best when she said, “Jim was an all-around great guy who was one of Acadiana’s true ambassadors. We have lost a treasure.”

Here’s a short clip of Jim introducing the Basin Brothers back in 1990:

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9 thoughts on “Former KLFY Broadcaster Jim Olivier Dead at 57

  1. Sad news. Had no idea he was so young, and I wouldn’t have recognized him from the picture above. He had put on some weight in his later years.

    I can still hear his voice though, and I remember the Passe Partout / Meet Your Neighbor sets being a lot more spartan than what’s in the 1990 video here. But my memories go back to the early eighties.

    More videos on KLFY’s site: http://www.klfy.com/Global/story.asp?S=8160806

  2. Man, a flood of memories came back with this news. Funny, growing up I couldn’t stand Passe Partout because I wanted more “mainstream” stuff, now I long for those days.

    Most people didn’t know of Jim Olivier’s music career. Here’s a link to some of that…

    http://www.flattownmusic.com/Jim_Olivier_-_The_Essential_Co_P1437.cfm

    My husband’s grandfather started KLFY. I know they still owned it when “Cajun Bandstand” was on, but sold it to LBJ’s Broadcasting company in the late ’60s. Growing up in Lafayette, we had three channels. Channel 10 (KLFY), Channel 3 (KATC) and Channel 15 (Independent). If the weather was just bad enough, we could catch Channel 7 (KPLC) in Lake Charles.

    I had forgotten about Meet Your Neighbor and Jim Baronet and Maria Placer and Mike Barras…thanks for letting us know.

    So sorry for his family….58 is so young.

    For another blast from the past, you might be too young, but I surely remember, ole PolyCarp Phillpe Pecot #2. He even has his own Wikipedia page.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycarp_(children's_TV_show_host)

    He died at 46.

  3. I always thought Passe Partout was kind of hokey, but I did get hit with a wave of nostalgia when I heard about Jim’s death. Anyway Jim always seemed like a genuinely nice guy.

    PolyCarp Pecot was a bit before my time. I do, however, remember The Great Boudini.

  4. I remember Mr. Olivier as a youngin’ on Passe Partout while having to wake up early in the morning to catch my school bus. I forget his name now, but my French teacher in the 3rd grade at Delcambre Elementary used to do the French Word of the Day segment every morning on the program. French class wasn’t but one day a week, so on the days that we had class, whoever knew the word of the day from the program that morning got extra points. My only other real memory of Passe Partout was how I thought that that was such a strange name for a TV program. When I asked the grownups in my family what it meant, they told me it was a kind of big saw for cutting wood, which REALLY made me think it was a strange name for television show.

    Condolences to Mr. Olivier’s family. He truly was a beacon of Cajun spirit and a most delightful personality to get started on your day with.

  5. Hey, mavin, thanks for that Polycarp link. I’ll have to send it to my dad. I remember him singing the theme song (and yes, I guess it did sound a lot like ‘Hang on Sloopy’ now that I think about it) when I was a kid.

  6. Oh wow, it is a sad time in Acadiana. I remember watching him when I was younger at my mawmaw’s house during Passe Partout. He embodied Cajunness and he will be missed 😦

  7. to chuval…thanks for acknowledgement, the great boudini is back hosting “boogieman theatre” on KLFT t.v. channel 22 in lafayette, and 135 on COX cable. friday nights 9:00 to 11:00 .

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