Saturday, November 8, 2014

"La Vie De Campagne" - The Arcadians

The Arcadians would be another Cajun-influenced country band recorded on an obscure label called Arcadia Records (not to be confused with Richard Raichelson's label with the same name).  The label focused on country, Cajun, blues, jazz and rockabilly around the New Orleans area and only ran for a short time between 1956 and 1959.  However, in that time frame, they would record Joe Gaines, Earl Williams, and a "story telling Cajun" named Louis Marion Marcotte, Jr. 

Born in Moreauville, Louisiana, Marcotte lived in Gretna, outside New Orleans.  He wrote his first song at 14 and bought his first guitar with money he earned picking cotton.  Marion, along with Art Petivan, wrote the song "La Vie De Compagne (Country Life)" (#112) and sung it with the group Gilroy Jesselin and his Arcadians. 
Raoul avait dit y aura ….. du manger
Et quand il est rev'nu il m'a dit,
Essayons vite donner,
Une brosse à dents, une paire d'caleçons
Et un paquet d’gomme,
Une livre de café vert avec un corset pour sa femme, 
Et des boucles d'oreilles, hey, et une charrue,
Un rat de bois maigre, hey, et du the cru.

Il a dit aille à sa femme, mais, qu’elle aille (a)trap(er) des coton de maïs, 
"Va m’attisoner le feu et faire un gross pain maïs."
Elle a coul(é) une grègue du café fève qu’elle a mis dans les braises. 
Il se roulé un Durham et se l’a accrochée derrière l’oreille. 
He would later end up having a career as a French-language storyteller and comedian, spinning tales about country life on radio stations. One of his characters was "Cousin Pogoyo", delivering a sales pitch for his miraculous new tonic and cough syrup.  He went on to write more than 300 songs and record more than 40 records, some for Swallow and JIN records. He also wrote campaign songs for political candidates and a jingle for "Whataburger."  According to musician Allen Fontenot:
Marion Marcotte

Mr. Marcotte had a following across south Louisiana and was known for his homespun comic style. He was always the life of the party, telling jokes.  A typical Marcotte joke was about a mother-in-law making coffee "so weak, even the pot fainted." 
Information on the label is non-existent however, there lies a curiosity about the name of the band and the name of label being identical.  We do know that it was one of many labels pressed by Monarch Records out of Los Angeles, California. They did a lot of business with small, independent labels but they also did large quantities for the major labels when they had a hot 45 and needed extra copies.
Raoul had said he will want to eat,
And when he returned, he told me that,
Let us quickly get him
A toothbrush, a pair of shorts,
And a pack of gum, 
One pound of unroasted coffee with a corset for his wife, 
And earrings and a plow,
A lean possum and some raw tea.

He said to his wife, well, that she go grab some corncobs,
"Go stir up the fire for me and made a big cornbread loaf",
She brewed up a pot of coffee that she put on the hot coals,
He rolled himself a Durham and hooked it behind his ear.
Also originating from Avoyelles Parish, Bruce Daigrepont in 1987 would use a similar melody for his song "Le Two-Step De Marksville", talking about country life around the town of Marksville, Louisiana; not far from where Marion was from.

  1. South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous By John Broven
  4. Biography of Louis Marcotte, Jr., Jefferson, Louisiana, Submitted by N.O.V.A. July 2005
  6. Lyrics by John C, Marc C, Bryan L, and Jerry M

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got info? Pics? Feel free to submit.