Thursday, April 21, 2016

"Rosalia" - Eddie Segura & Didier Hebert

As Columbia/Okeh was looking for other artists for it's Cajun music lineup in 1928, the company placed an advertisement in the local papers across south Louisiana and Texas.  According player Dewey Segura discovered this ad during a whiskey run and convinced his brother Eddie to record with him in New Orleans that year.   "Herbert" is believed to be Didier Gabriel Hebert born around New Iberia about 1901. He was a blind guitarist from Louisiana who accompanied them on the three songs and recorded a solo song, "I Woke Up One Morning in May", during the same session.  Together, they recorded "Rosalia" (#40512) for Columbia records.

Dewey's family were musicians. His mother and older sister Anita played accordion as did most of his brothers.  Dewey wasn't greatly influenced by them, however, he taught himself to play music, first the harmonica and then the accordion - the latter by sneaking practice session on Anita's instrument, which at first, he was "ashamed to play".1

Oh Rosalie, 

Mais, t'en as fait, mais, quand t'as visité, Lord, Lord Lord,

Depuis que t'as l'age de quatorze ans t'as poisonné mon cœur.

Eh p'tit nèg, est ton dans lit qui sont poisonné,

Je vais les voir aller-ler dans la coulée, Rosalia.

Quand j'ai quitté la maison pour m'en aller si loin de toi,

J'ai été voir la belle, j'l'ai trouvé, jolie, malade,

Moi, j'ai dis, ça fait de la peine de quitter le lit,
Mais, je suis obligé de partir, mais moi tout seul, chérie.
Dewey and Eddie Segura

The verse "est ton dans lit qui sont poisonné" is a strange phrase as reference to being poisoned by someone and becoming bedridden.   Others have suggested it's the bed itself which has poisoned the person.  

The song has a slow, bluesy accordion feel with a similar style yell in which Amede Ardoin used on "Les Blues De Crowley", "Blues De Basile" and in Nathan Abshire's "French Blues".  It would also be re-released on Okeh's 90000 "Arcadian French" series.

Later, in 1929, Dewey, along with Didier Hebert on guitar and Dewey on accordion and vocals, would record three more songs. The musicians would be labeled as "E. Segura & D. Herbert" on the records, however, Columbia credited Dewey's recording to "E. Segura", probably confusing him with his brother.

Oh, Rosalia,

Well, what you've done, well, when you visited, Lord, Lord, Lord,

Since the age of fourteen, you've tainted my heart. 

Hey little one, is it your bed that poisoned you,

I'm going to see them go into the stream, Rosalia.

When I left home to go so far away from you,

I went to see this beautiful one, I found her sick,

I tell you, it hurts to leave the bedside,
Well, I have to leave, well, all by myself, dear.

The tune would later become the focus of several blues tunes including "Le Crepe A Nasta" in 1937 by Happy Fats, "Hula Hoop Two Step" by Nathan Abshire",  "Le Crepe A Nazaire" by Shirley Bergeron, "Coulee Rodair" by Canray Fontenot and "Le 'Tit Negre a Tante Dolie" by Ambrose Thibodeaux.

  1. Old Time Music.  No. 40, Winder 1984. 
  2. Label scan by University of Louisiana at Lafayette Cajun and Creole Music Collection - Special Collections
  3. Lyrics by Stéphanie D, Stephane F and Jerry M
Cajun Dance Party: Fais Do-Do (Legacy/Columbia, 1994)
Cajun Origins (Catfish, 2001)
Cajun Country, Vol. 2, More Hits from the Swamp (JSP, 2005)


  1. Wade, where did Columbia have a recording space set up in New Orleans. I know in Shreveport Okeh had used the local radio station as their set up.

    1. We know that Columbia had a sales/distribution office on the 500 block of Canal St, sitting between the Godchaux building and the Maison Blanche Building. We know they used the Godchaux building for several sessions in 1928, probably in 1929 too. Since Maison Blanche had a radio station setup there, it's most likely Godchaux did too.


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