Lionel "Toots" Bouthot: A life filled with music

A story by Biddeford Cultural & Heritage Center "Voices of Biddeford" project from 1930s to 2018

Biddeford Cultural and Heritage Center "Voices of Biddeford" project interviews Lionel "Toots" Bouthot

Born in Biddeford in 1929, Lionel "Toots" Bouthot is well-known as a musical performer. Starting out by winning a contest at Biddeford's City Theater at the age of 5, he continued to perform through the years. The money he earned, even while going to elementary school, often exceeded the weekly wages paid to millworkers at the time. His work history included 27 years at Metropolitan Life, Fire Commissioner, and volunteering to teach children about salmon fishways. It was his musical talents, however, that especially endeared him to the community at dances, weddings and La Kermesse. He has been recognized in articles and contributed to sharing Franco-American cultural traditions through a Maine Arts Commission program.

"Toots" reminisced about life growing up in Biddeford, St. Francis High School, the fire of 1947, his Franco-American roots and the changes he has seen over his lifetime.

Recorded December 17, 2018.

View a transcript of this interview, more pictures, and additional information on Voices of Biddeford - Lionel "Toots" Bouthot.

See more stories from the Voice of Biddeford project.

Lionel "Toots" Bouthot

Toots as a young musician

Toots Makes Music - Nov 1985 SALT magazine

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