Wednesday, November 12, 2014

"Mardi Gras Dance" - Aldus Roger

"Lache aller!". Every Mardi Gras in the rural areas of south Louisiana, communities would gather around and chant "La Vielle Chanson de Mardi Gras".  During the event known as the "courir", some of the participants will dance around to the playing of a Cajun accordion, simply known as the Mardi Gras dance. 

Eventually, around 1954, Aldus Roger would record an instrumental version of the song entitled "Mardi Gras Dance" (#2004) for J.D. Miller's Feature Records recorded in Miller's studio in Crowley, Louisiana.  The label focused on recording Cajun music in the region.   Roger's version would be would be a quick tempo, full-sounding instrumental with solos throughout the song.  Unlike the early traditional chant, the "dance" would have a bluesy chord progression with room for different musicians to take lead.  Roger's version of the deeply traditional Mardi Gras Dance went even further, being pepped up to a frenzy by rock'n'roll drumming.
Aldus Roger
Courtesy of Emile Waagenaar

Known as the "King of the Accordion Players", Aldus would be known for his band The Lafayette Playboys and his Saturday afternoon music broadcast show on KLFY.  His band consisted of a well talented group of musicians including Doc Guidry, Phillip Alleman, Johnny Credeaur, Tunice Abshire, and Fernice Abshire.  He would also record for Quinn's Folkstar label out of Houston and Bob Tanner's T.N.T. label, recorded by Eddie Shuler in Lake Charles.

Rumor has it, it became the unofficial "official" song for the Tit Mamou Mardi Gras run.  Also known as the "Mardi Gras Jig", the melody would find it's way into the 1971 popularized two-step by Nolan Cormier known as the "Hee Haw Breakdown", which would find it's way into a British telecom commercial.  In it, the instrumental and vocal yells refer to the mardi gras participants attempting to hold back the jackasses along the trail... to no avail.

  2. Discussions with Bryan L
Acadian All Star Special: The Pioneering Cajun Recordings of J.D. Miller (Bear Family, 2011)


  1. I do like your blog 'Early Cajun Music', Wade. I thank you so much for sharing all these beautiful music. But I have to ask you to put my name with the picture of Aldus, which I took from him in 1982. See also
    Many thanks in advance! Emile Waagenaar, Breda, the Netherlands.

  2. Great! You're (more than) welcome!


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