Thursday, October 16, 2014

"Homesick Waltz" - Cleby Richard with Adam Hebert

In the 1950s, fiddle player, Adam Hebert,  and accordionist, Cleby Richard (misspelled "Calby" or "Claby"), formed the Welcome Playboys.   Adam used Cleby as his accordion player on almost all of his recordings.  Most of Adam's material would be recorded by the Swallow label in the 1960s.  However, at some point earlier, Hebert's band would record for an unknown, obscure label called "Cajun Records", including the song "Homesick Waltz" (#500).   It's undetermined if this release was a re-issue of a previous recording or an early attempt by Swallow to market 78 records.
Adam Hebert

Adam was involved in music early.  At the age of four he was dancing for tips and by the fourth grade was singing Jimmie Rodgers songs for his fellow classmates. After realizing he had a talent to share, Adam built his first fiddle out of an old chocolate box and screen wire. His bow was strung with horsehair from the tail of the family mare. His hit title "La Valse de Ma Cherie" was used in the soundtrack of the 1975 Charles Bronson movie, "Hard Times."   However, his most well known song would be "La Pointe Aux Pins". 

Hey jolie, moi y après m'en aller,

Jolie, malheureuse, pour la balance de mes jours.

Hey chère, là ça ma va te tracasser,

Toi tu vas aller faire, comme je va m'ennuyer de toi.

Hey yaille, ça sa ra dur te quitter toi,
Toi connais faire, (toi tu feras comme tu voudras. ??)
Hey Madame, moi je connais tu ……
Ouais comme d'aujourd'hui, moi je connais c'est toi la cause

Hey mignonne, oublie tu jongles à moi,
Ma vie est gaspillée, ça fait toi chère aussi content.
Hey Madame, y a des choses j'veux tu te rappelles,
Le jour que t'as parti, je t'ai quittée par obligeance.

The word "jolie" is inferred in this transcription, however, the singer sounds as if he's referring to someone named "Joline", a common name at the time. Cleby was a popular player around the local area and performed at the old Saturday night fais-dodos with his band. It seems Adam frequently used his band as backup for his vocals and fiddle playing.  The recording features Richard "Dick" Richard on steel guitar. Cleby Richard would eventually show his son, Belton, how to play. 

Cleby Richard and Belton Richard
Belton Richard would go on to record alot throughout the 1970s and 1980s, however, it would be his smooth, vibrant vocal sound that would change Cajun music singing.  His baritone voice and singing style would be one of the most copied among Cajun musicians to this day.

Hey pretty lady, afterwards, I will leave

Unfortunately, for my own sake,

Dear, it bothers me

That you're going away, I will miss you.

Hey yaille, it's hard for you to leave,
You know this how you'd like it to be,
Hey lady, I know you,
Today, I realize you're the reason for this.

Hey cutie, forget reminiscing about me,
My life is wasted, if that makes you feel better,
Hey lady, this is what I want you to remember,
The day you left, I was kind to you.

According to Happy Fats Leblanc, he was walking out of a doctor's office in Lafayette and ran into Cleby.  Cleby had just been told that he had a terminal heart condition.  Leblanc, distraught and emotional from the information, went home and wrote the song "Vieux Cajun".  That song would be later recorded by Jim Olivier.

  1. Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.)
  2. South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous By John Broven
  3. Discussions with Tee-Mick, Radio Louisiane
  5. Lyrics by Marc Chaveau
  6. Photo by David Simpson

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