He began playing his accordion in his first band in 1949 with David Roy. Soon he began playing in a three-piece band with Adam Maitre, and then played with Walter Mouton. In 1955, Mr. Thibodeaux joined Aldus Roger and the Lafayette Playboys and played with them for over thirteen years.
In the late 1960’s, he joined Belton Richard, recording three albums during this fifteen year period. He joined his cousins, Paul Daigle and Cajun Gold, and Doris Matte and the Lake Charles Ramblers; in which several LPs resulted, including at least two with Paul and Cajun Gold.
He was also continually present in the bands of many Cajun performers, including Rodney Miller and Vin Bruce.
Over the years, one of his prime associations was with Rufus Thibodeaux. He and Thibodeaux played twin fiddles which resulted in their award-winning 1997 CD, Fiddlin’ with Friends. This album highlights a twin-fiddle rendition of the beautiful “Fiddler’s Waltz”.
After semi-retirement, Tony fronted a new band, Tony Thibodeaux and the Cajun Five, which included members Reggie Matte, David Guidry, Joe Simon and Leon Thibodeaux.
Several of his students have affected the Cajun music scene. One of which was Travis Matte, who was chosen as CFMA Fiddler of the Year in 1997, and Jamie Bearb and Travis Benoit were each nominated for the prestigious award. Others included Hunter Hayes, Arthur J. Simon, Louis Dronet, Beau Thomas, Elodie St. Martin and Pat Savant.
A partial list of awards given Thibodeaux included the Texas Longhorn Club Fiddler of the Year in 1988, Fred’s Lounge Wall of Fame, Cajun French Music Association Fiddler of the Year in 2002, Louisiana Hall of Fame, and the Cajun French Music Association Award of Excellence in 1998. He was inducted into the Cajun French Music Association Hall of Fame in both Eunice and Lake Charles.
Survivors include his wife Norma, three sons and two daughters.