Tuesday, December 8, 2015

"J'vai Jouer Celea Pour Toi (I'll Play This For You)" - Bixy Guidry & Percy Babineaux

It's the original "J'Ai Ete au Bal".    Along with John Bertrand and Milton Pitre's "The Rabbit Stole The Pumpkin" recording for Paramount in Chicago, these two songs influenced several tunes throughout Cajun music for time to come. 

The instrumental, "J'vai Jouer Celea Pour Toi (I'll Play This For You)", was recorded during a RCA Victor session in New Orleans in 1929 (#22210).  Adolph "Bixy" Guidry and Percy Babineaux, an accordion-fiddle duo, cut eight sides in one session for the Victor company.  In some listings, he's known as "Dixie" Guidry.  According to Nathan Salsburg, curator of the Alan Lomax Archive: 
Inauspiciously issued in the second year of the Depression, their first releases sold poorly. Surviving copies—to say nothing of surviving playable copies—are laughably scarce.  They show Guidry and Babineaux to be an intoxicatingly loose and ragged pair, Bixy's accordion sighing mournfully behind Percy’s keening fiddle. 
It's origins are much older.  According to Raymond Francois says he believe it is related to the songs "Oh Susannah" and "Get Along Cindy".1  In 1934, Joe Falcon and Cleoma Breaux use the melody for their Decca recording of "Ne Buvez Plus Jamais".  This original melody may have also influenced Lawrence Walker's "Jolie (Johnny) Can't Dance".   However, it's most dominant influence can be found in Iry Lejeune's 1954 recording of "I Went To The Dance" for Eddie Shuler's Goldband Records in Lake Charles. 

  1. Ye Yaille Chere, Traditional Cajun Dance Music by Raymond E. François
  2. https://roothogordie.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/let-me-play-this-for-you/
Le Gran Mamou: A Cajun Music Anthology - The Historic Victor–Bluebird Sessions 1928–1941 Vol. 1 (Country Music Foundation, 1990)
Cajun Country, Vol. 2, More Hits from the Swamp (JSP, 2005)
Let Me Play This For You : Rare Cajun Recordings (Tompkins Square, 2013)

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