Saturday, January 28, 2017

"Tippy Tee Tippy En" - Crawford Vincent

Crawford Vincent was a talented Cajun from Louisiana that found himself playing drums and guitar, and singing in several groups during the 40s and 50s. In Crawford's early years, he was the main sideman for both the Hackberry Ramblers and Leo Soileau.  In 1940, he recalls being sent to Hackberry, Louisiana with the Civilian Conservation Corps:
My Superintendent was Bob Human, later a postmaster in Sulphur, who played the fiddle. Several other guys in our barracks had guitars and fiddles, and after work we’d sit around and play.1

T’es petite et t’es mignonne,

Et jalousie, mais, j’t’amie quand meme,

Oh, la belle, se pas lavé,

Oh, mais oui, la belle, cherie, te peux aller t’laver.

T’es petite et t’es mignonne,
Trop galeuse, cherie, pour faire ma femme,
Oh, la belle, se pas lavé,
Oh, mais oui, la belle, cherie, te peux aller t’laver.

Petite et t’es mignonne,
Trop galeuse, cherie, pour faire ma femme,
Oh, la belle, se pas lavé,
Oh, mais oui, la belle, cherie, te peux aller t’laver,
Oh, la belle, se pas lavé,
Oh, mais oui, la belle, cherie, te peux aller t’laver.

T’es petite et t’es mignonne,
Et jalousie, j’t’amie quand meme,
T’es petite et t’es mignonne,
Trop galeuse, pour faire ma femme.
Crawford Vincent

On the recordings, it seemed he went by a reversed stage name, Vincent Crawford. It wouldn't be long before he joined the Hackberry Ramblers band.
One day in Hackberry, I met Luderin Darbone, and I soon began playing with the Hackberry Ramblers.  They already had two guitars, so I ordered a set of drums from Sears - Roebuck for $50.  At that time, I received a salary of $30 per month from the CCC.  I was one of the first drummers in a string band. We played a lot at Buddy Little’s Dance Hall in Hackberry, and also at homes in Grand Chenier and Cameron.1
By the 1950s, he was continuously playing around the Lake Charles area with several groups, but mainly with Leo Soileau. Eventually he recorded 2 records with George Khoury and his local label.  One one song, he and musicians from the area he called the Joy Boys gathered together and recorded a tune called "Tippy Tee Tippy En".  It was a misspelled version of the old Creole song "T'es Petite et T'es Mignonne" first recorded by the Fawvor Brothers in 1929.  

You're small and you're a sweetheart,

And jealous, but, I like you anyways,

Oh, girl, you're not clean,

Oh, well yes, girl, dear, you should go wash up.

You're small and you're a sweetheart,
Too shabby, dear, to be my wife,
Oh, girl, you're not clean,
Oh, well yes, girl, dear, you should go wash up.

Small and you're a sweetheart,
Too shabby, dear, to be my wife,
Oh, girl, you're not clean,
Oh, well yes, girl, dear, you should go wash up,
Oh, girl, you're not clean,
Oh, well yes, girl, dear, you should go wash up.

You're small and you're a sweetheart,
And jealous, I like you anyways,
You're small and you're a sweetheart,
Too shabby to be my wife.



Throughout the 1950s, the dancehalls were places Vincent could be found playing music.  They were places full of locals ready to have a great time but only if they followed the rules.  Vincent recalls:
Those old dance halls were great big, drafty buildings.  They had board benches all around the walls, and the ladies sat there between dances. The men had to stay outside, or behind the ‘bull pen’ near the band, until the music started. They’d go in and ask the ladies to dance.  There was a little room on one side with baby beds, so the babies could sleep while the mamas danced.  No liquor was served in the dance halls because of the ladies and children.   If there was a bar, it was an entirely different room or building. 1



  


  1. http://ereserves.mcneese.edu/depts/archive/FTBooks/hackberry.htm

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