A unique window into the world of Cajun music between 1928 and 1965. Compiled histories from websites, books, news articles, liner notes, and interviews. Most come from my personal 78 collection. Also covering Creole, Cajun-Country, and Cajun swing.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
"Janot Special" - Austin Pitre
In Austin Pitre's later recordings with J.D. Miller, he formed the LA. Rhythmaires and recorded a few tunes, one of them called the "Janot Special" on a vanity label called French "Hits" (#503). It contains elements of Aldus Roger's "Lafayette Two Step" melody and almost a direct copy of his High Point Two Step. The melody has a vague similarity to the an older tune by Joe Falcon called "Osson Two Step" recorded in 1929 and Amede Ardoin's "Tortope d'Osrun".
Hé, comment ça s'fait, jolie,
Tu vien pas a ton neg',
Quand meme un fois avant d'mourir.
J't'aurai voulu bébé t'en r'venir, catin,
Quand même une fois avant d'mourir,
J'te pardonerrai pour tout ça tout m'as fait.
Z’au jour d’hui, bebe, je prend ça dur, malheureuse.
The song is possibly an ode to John Remie Janot (better known as Johnny Jano), a radio broadcast DJ at KEUN in Eunice, LA, then at KPAC in Port Arthur, TX and again at KPLC in Lake Charles, LA where he placed rockabilly music in south Louisiana. He worked with, and later married, Lee Parsley as a duo at KLOU. The couple were known as "Mr & Mrs Radio" and were popular around the 1950s and 1960s.
Hey, how did that happen, pretty one,
You won't come to your man,
Even once before dying.
I would have wanted you to come back, pretty doll,
Even if one time before dying,
I would forgive you for all you did.
Today, baby, it's hard on me, unfortunately.
In the 1950s, he changed his name to Johnny Jano and became a rockabilly singer and performer. He also recorded for J. D. Miller in Crowley, LA, releasing his music on Excello Records, and with Eddie Shuler at Goldband Records in Lake Charles. In 1970, Johnny was in the pursuit of a new career as a Cajun/country music singer. In Beaumont, he teamed up with Cajun fiddler Manson Manuel and they formed a band and played the clubs and honky-tonks of southeast Texas. Johnny even opened his own club on Hwy 90, on Beaumont's west side. He performed at Gilley’s in Houston and made several appearances on Mickey Gilley's television show in Houston. He recorded songs such as "I'm Proud To Be A Cajun" and a french version of "A Closer Walk with Thee".
In 1978, he started the Sunday morning radio show called "Cajun Bandstand". With the powerful signal of KLVI Radio, Johnny Jano was a Sunday morning ritual through out bayous of South Louisiana, the plains of Southeast Texas and to piney woods near Lufkin. Johnny was being heard playing Cajun music and serving up "Dark Roast" Community Coffee to friends and listeners who would drop in to visit and chat.
Discussions with Milton Allen Graves
Lyrics by Jerry M and Bryan L
Find: Acadian All Star Special - The Pioneering Cajun Recordings Of J.D. Miller (Bear, 2011)