Saturday, December 19, 2015

"Beaumont Waltz" - Harry Choates

In the spring of 1951, Harry Choates was struggling to make payments and alcoholism was taking it's toll.  He was already getting banned from some places but still was recording and many of his former musicians bailed.   Familiar with the recording scene throughout Texas and after re-connecting with his good Virgil Bozman, together they set out to San Antonio to record again.

Hé, petite, tu m’as laissé pour t’en aller,

Hé, chérie mais, mais, quoi t’as fait avec ton pauv’ vieux nég,

Oh, meon, quoi t’as fait, ça a pas fait bien,
Oh mais, moi j'connais, mais, ca ta fais ton pauv’ vieux nég.

Hé, meon, oh, moi j'connais,
Hé qui t'en me quand t’as fais ton pauv’ vieux nég, 
Hé, chérie, oh, mais, moi j'connais,
Oh, mais, moi j'connais t’as pas fais bien, ton pauv’ vieux nég.

Hé, ha ha, hé, chérie, 
Hé petite, quoi t’as fais ton pauv' vieux chien.

Virgil Bozman, who had gave up on his O.T. label, left Lake Charles and headed to meet with Bob Tanner, who had started his T.N.T. and Hot Rod label earlier.  Together, they either decided to create their own label called Allied or partially lease the name from the much larger Allied Recording Company.  Either way, Bob and Virgil had Choates show up to the KCOR radio station in San Antonio and record four tunes, one of them being the "Beaumont Waltz" (#103).  The session would kick off Tanner's short lived Allied label.
Hey, little one, you left me to go away,
Hey, dear, well, what did you do to your old man,
Oh, cutie, what you did wasn't good,
Oh, well I know, well, what you did to your poor old man.

Hey cutie, oh, I know,
Hey, who were you with when you did that to your poor old man,
Hey, dear, oh well, I know,
Oh, well, I know, you didn't treat well your poor old man.

Hey, haha, hey, dear,
Hey, little one, whatever did you do to your poor old man.

Lucky Ford
This time, Harry was working with a slew of new musicians including guitarist Lucky Ford, the vocalist for the Texas based band Jimmy Revard & His Oklahoma Playboys.  Lucky would go on to play with Jimmie Rivers & Vance Terry.  Anther would be steel guitarist Lloyd Hazelbaker who also played with Revard.   Junior Keelan stayed with him as his bass player.  According to Link Davis' wife, Doris Meadows:
Choates was the kind of guy, he worked and make money ,then wouldn't work anymore 'till he spent his money.
Bob's radio station recording studio and pressing plant couldn't match the sound quality Choates was used to having at Bill Holford's ACA studio when he was recording for Macy Henry the previous year.  However, this session is believed to be his last.   Under strange circumstances, he was jailed for late payments and died in a jail cell, believed to be either due to physical trauma and/or his alcoholism.

  1. South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous By John Broven
  2. Dance Halls and Last Calls: A History of Texas Country Music By Geronimo Trevino III
  3. All over the map: true heroes of Texas music by Michael Corcoran
  5. Lyrics by Stephane F

Harry Choates: Five-Time Loser 1940-1951 (Krazy Kat, 1990)
Harry Choates: Cajun Fiddle King (Aim, 1999)
Top 45 Classics: The Very Best Of Harry Choates (GRR Music, 2014)


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    1. Very little documentation survives talking about the Hot Rod years. It's known he had this label for a short period of time around 1950-51. You can tell by looking at the label, it's font style, and San Antonio address listed. Lyle Ferb is the person who would know the most about it. See this article for reference.:


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