When longtime Ford dealer Ronnie Lamarque thought a fast-growing rival was encroaching on his territory, he treated the Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission to a song.
"I was born by the river, in a town called Arabi," he crooned to the melody of the Sam Cooke civil rights anthem "A Change is Gonna Come." "It's been a long, long time coming, but I know that Ford ain't gonna bully me."
The special performance for state officials, lawyers and Ford Motor Co. representatives was all entirely in character for Lamarque, 75, who has been singing since he was a child. He's well known to New Orleanians from decades of memorable local TV commercials, and he appeared on the NBC show "America's Got Talent" in 2018.