Sunday, September 27, 2015

"Jole Blon's Gone" - Harry Choates

Harry Choates gained early professional experience playing in the Cajun bands of Leo Soileau and Leroy Leblanc, then split off to form his own group called the Melody Boys in 1946.  In 1949, George Khoury, who saw the need for more Cajun music decided to help Virgel Bozman finance a new label called "O.T. Records" named after his band.

T'as perdu, m’a jolie blonde.

T'as perdu, m’a jolie blonde.

Elle m'a laissé pour s'en aller,
S'en partir, m’a jolie blonde.

On se connait mais chère petite
Quoi t'as fait, ça fait pitié,                                                       
Tu m’as laissé pour t'en aller,
L'as perdu ma jolie blonde.

Hey, je mérite pas ça,
Pourquoi t'as fait vilaines manières,
Mais moi je connais, faudra pas longtemps,
À partir ma chère jolie blonde.

Harry Choates
Not content to stick with Gold Star, Virgil persuaded Harry to write a swingy, sequel tune called "Jole Blon's Gone" (#107).  Recorded either June or July in 1949, it was recorded at KPLC radio station studio in Lake Charles, Louisiana and consisted of Harold "Popeye" Broussard on piano, B.D. Williams on bass, and Crawford Vincent on drums. However, Choates never gained the same success he did with his earlier hit.  Broven mentions: 
Khoury was [Virgel's] sponsor, so to speak, because he didn't have that much money.  He was a good salesman, he had a log of gab because being a cowhorn salesman he had to have a log of gab.  

Choates remained with the Melody Boys from 1946 to 1951. The Melody Boys disbanded over Choates' chronic problems with alcoholism and his frequent missed concert dates. In 1951, Choates was found to be in contempt of court for failing to pay his support payments for his children. He spent three days in prison, at which time he began hitting his head against the bars of his jail cell, eventually knocking himself into a coma. 

You've left, my pretty blonde,

You've left, my pretty blonde,

She left me to go away,
Get going, my pretty blonde.

We know each other, well, dear little one,
What you did, it's pitiful,
You left me to go away,
She's left, my pretty blonde.

Hey, I do not deserve this,
For you have wretched ways,
Well, I know it won't be long,
My pretty blond's leaving me.

Based in Westlake, Louisiana, this label would record famous Cajun artists including Nathan Abshire and Floyd Leblanc. Both Khoury and Bozeman produced the first recording of Abshire's "Pine Grove Blues", recorded at KPLC radio station in Lake Charles.   The O.T. label only produced 14 records that are known to exist.  The O.T. label would move to San Antonio and was run by James Bryant and Bennie Hess.  However, O.T. suddenly dried up.  Bozeman returned to San Antonio, Texas where he set up the Hot Rod label with local record man Bob Tanner of T.N.T. records. 

  1. South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous By John Broven
  2. Jasinski, Laurie E (February 22, 2012). Handbook of Texas Music (2nd ed.).
  3. Lyrics by Jerry M and Stephane F
  4. Image by Museum of the Gulf Coast
Cajun Honky Tonk: Khoury Recordings (Arhoolie, 1995)
Cajun Capers: Cajun Music 1928-1954 (Proper, 2005)
The Beginner's Guide to Cajun Music (Proper/Primo, 2008)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your tireless work and dedication it's much appreciated I really look forward to your posts always interesting and informative .


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