Friday, May 20, 2016

"Lafayette Two Step" - Lawrence Walker

Allons A Lafayette!  Lawrence Walker, like many others during the 1950s, took earlier recorded Cajun tunes and modernized the sound, speeding up the tempo, and creating a frenzy of listeners eager to dance.   Walker played classic mainstream Cajun music and his performance was full of Cajun soul.1 

Allons à Lafayette, c'est pour changer ton nom, 

On va s'appeler madame, madame canaille, comme moi,

'Tite fille, t'es trop mignonne pour faire ta criminelle, 

Comment ça se fait, bébé, tu m'fais ton neg comme ça.

Le monde parle mal de toi, Tu danses mais trop collée, 

Comment tu crois je peux faire, bébé, pour ton venir, 

Petite, t'es trop mignonne, t'es trop canaille pour moi,

(Tit fille, mais) chere tit monde (pour quoi t'me fait tout ça).

Oh , tu connais ça, ça me fait du mal!

Le monde parle mal de toi. Tu danses mais trop vilain, 
Comment t'y crois je veux faire, pour te courtiser. Yay.
Rayne Acadian Tribune
Dec 2, 1954

Along with Harry Choates and Aldus Roger, the old Joe Falcon tune "Allons A Lafayette" would get reworked into "Lafayette Two Step" (#617) in late 1951 or early 1952. The O.S.T. Nite Club and dance hall was a favorite for musicians and locals around Rayne, Louisiana including both Lawrence and Aldus.  It was located on the Old Spanish Trail, the road coming through Rayne as a principal "highway" in those years.2  It easily would have been the highway in which musicians in southwest Louisiana, such as Joe Falcon and Lawrence Walker, would have traveled in order to "go to Lafayette". 
O.S.T. Nite Club in Rayne3

Let's go to Lafayette, to change your name,

We'll call you Mrs, Mrs. Naughty, just like me,

Little girl, you're too cute to be this bad,

How is it, baby, you do that to your old man like that?

Everyone in the world speaks bad about you, you dance, well, too stuck-up,

How do you think feel, baby, for you in the future?

You're small, you're too cute, you're too vulgar for me,

Little girl, well, dear little everything, why do you do this to me?

Oh, you know this, it makes me sad!

Everyone in the world speaks bad about you, you dance, well, too nasty,
How I think I want you, baby, to woo you.  Yeh.
O.S.T. Nite Club in Rayne3

He was a leader in the accordion revival. By spotlighting the most identifiable instrumental sound in Cajun music, he helped to halt the lemming-like rush of local musicians into the arms of country music.  During the lean fifties, he and Aldus Roger were the most popular accordionists in Acadiana.1

  1. South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous By John Broven
  2. Rayne By Cheryl McCarty, Tony Olinger
  3. Pictures by Tony Olinger, Charles Stutes and Lafayette Clerk of Court
  4. Lyrics by Jerry M
Cajun Capers: Cajun Music 1928-1954 (Proper, 2005)
The Beginner's Guide to Cajun Music (Proper/Primo, 2008)

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