Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"L'Abandoner" - Bartmon Montet & Joswell Dupuis

One of the earliest, fairly obscure, groups to record in New Orleans in the early years was Bartmon Montet & Joswell Dupuis.  In November 1929, this unknown duo recorded for Victor records, one of the first labels specifically looking for Cajun music.  

By the late 1920s, Victor Talking Machine Company was interested in selling more of their record players and realized in order to do this in the south, they were going to need to sell more regional records.  Victor had just traveled to Atlanta and recorded Leo Soileau and Mayeus Lafleur the previous year and enjoyed amazing sales of Cajun music.   During this session lasting from November 6th to the 16th, Victor would record musicians such as Bixy Guidry & Percy Babineaux, Soileau Cousins, Delin Guillory & Lewis Lafleur, Wilfred Fruge & Leo Soileau, Oscar Doucet & Alius Soileau, Joe Credeur & Albert Babineaux, and Joseph Landry.  

Oh quoi faire toi tu me dis,

Je m'ennuis de rester, qu'elle était mais si belle

Oh je connais aussi dur,

tu peux pas oublier ton p'tit neg et la terre!

Oh moi j'm'en va à la maison,

pour mourir moi tout seul,

Quoi faire toi tu viens pas?

The duo would only record 4 songs, one of them entitled "L'Abandoner (The Abandoned Waltz)" (#22211).  The song is jubilant yet doomed account of lost love buoyed by lively accordion and guitar.  Bartmon's name is listed in Victor's roster as "Berthmost" and "Bartmonse".   Montet plays the accordion and sings while Dupuis strums guitar.  Author and collector, Richard Spottwood, asserts that only 810 were sold.   

Oh, what do you say?

I'm bored staying here, but she's so beautiful,

Oh, I know it's just as hard,

You can't forget your little boy and the place of your home!

Oh, I'm going home,

To die by myself

Don't you want to come with me?

Their tune would be resurrected by Iry Lejeune with is recording of "Convict Waltz". The duo would also record another song, "L'Eau Haute (High Water Waltz)" which was probably about the famous 1927 flood that hit Louisiana and the Mississippi River.

  1. Lyrics by 'Ericajun'
Cajun Capers: Cajun Music 1928-1954 (Proper, 2005)
Cajun Country, Vol. 2, More Hits from the Swamp (JSP, 2005)
The Best Of Cajun & Zydeco (Not Now, 2010)
Aimer Et Perdre: To Love & To Lose Songs, 1917-1934 (Tompkins Square, 2012)

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