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Former Band: Goodrich remembered for music store, generosity

Herman Fuselier, The Advertiser, April 19, 2016

Raymond Goodrich never won a Grammy. He never had a million-selling record.

But friends and associates have trouble counting the lives Goodrich touched as owner of Lafayette Music Company for close to 40 years. Scotty Walker, longtime director of Lafayette High School’s award-winning band, bought his first Proline instrument from Lafayette Music when he was in the seventh grade.

Through the years, Walker witnessed Goodrich’s generosity with music students at all levels. But Walker said nothing tops his work to establish the Louisiana Showcase of Marching Bands.

READ:Marching band changed this girl’s life

With more than 30 bands competing each year at Cajun Field, the showcase has helped raise more than $1 million for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Foundation, various UL music programs and participating bands.

“It’s regarded as the cornerstone marching band contest in the state,” said Walker. “He did it so no bands have to pay an entry fee. He took the proceeds from the concessions stands and donated them bands to went, in order to help them with instruments or whatever they needed.

“The most important thing was a lot of the proceeds would go to fund an endowment at UL that would pay for scholarships for music students. That was all through the marching band contest that he did. He was always giving to people.”

Walker and others are remembering Goodrich, who died Friday at his residence, following a battle with cancer. Goodrich, 69, was eulogized Monday at Holy Cross Catholic Church and buried in Lafayette Memorial Park Mausoleum.

Besides his work with the Rotary Club, Boy Scouts, Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and other organizations, Goodrich was fueled by a lifetime passion for music. He began working at Lafayette Music in 1965 and purchased the company with his wife, Karen, in 1977.

Lafayette Music created endowed scholarships for more than 150 music education students. Jackie Lyle, former director of the Performing Arts Society of Acadiana, said Goodrich was a trusted resource in PASA’s Play It Again program, which gathered donated instruments and gave them to local students.

Goodrich and staff evaluated the instruments and restored the worthy ones at little or no cost.

“If you called Raymond Goodrich to support something, he wasn’t necessarily going to write a check,” said Lyle. “What you got instead was the service and commitment of his staff which, in many times, was way more valuable. It was the kind of support that money cannot buy.”

As a performer, Goodrich played trumpet with Bobby and the Rockers, Gene’s Boogie & Brass Band and many other groups. Cajun fiddler Beau Thomas, who appeared in TV commercials for Lafayette Music, said Goodrich’s support was felt away from academic circles, too.

“He’s always been a positive encouragement and force behind our local musicians,” said Thomas. “He always had a lot of respect for the different genres, from jazz to swamp pop to Cajun. He gave a lot of musicians the opportunity to work during the day and help them out.

“Some years ago, I ran into a snag in my personal life. My name was in the paper and he told me, ‘Look, everybody makes mistakes. The most important thing is to find out what caused you to make those mistakes and get yourself back on the right path. There’s no reason why I wouldn’t want to associate with you.’

“He helped me to understand you can be an artist and a business person, and not do those things perfectly, but still be successful. I have a lot of respect for Mr. Raymond.”

Athletic Network Footnote by Ed Dugas:
Please click here for Mr. Goodrich’s obituary.