Friday, March 31, 2017

"Texas Waltz" - Nathan Abshire

In 1954, with new vigor, Nathan Abshire refreshed his band's lineup and waxed several more tunes for George Khoury in Lake Charles.  "Texas Waltz" (#645) on Khoury's label was a later recording, re-working the melody of his earlier "Kaplan Waltz".   However, it never really took off.  The melody comes from the Angelus Lejeune's 1929 recording of "La Valse de Pointe Noire",  Dudley and James Fawvor as "La Valse De Creole" in 1928 and Amede Ardoin's "Valse De Ballard".   

Hé tu m'as quitté pour t'en aller dans grand Texas,
Chère 'tit monde, ne fais pas ça,
Moi je connais te vas voir ton erreur.

Hé, chère 'tite fille tu vas r'venir dans la Louisiane,
Ça sera trop tard, mais, peut me te voir,
D’écouter les conseils de tous les autres.

Ambrose Thibodeaux, Merlon Fontenot,
Nathan Abshire
First Festival Acadians, 1974
by Turner Browne
American Folklife Center Collection

Inspired by Harry Choates' "Jole Blon", Nathan used the same lyrical theme, even later covering the tune as "The New Jole Blon".  His new members are difficult to determine, but from what has been listed, it seems to be possibly Jake Mire on steel guitar, possibly Ernest Thibodeaux on rhythm guitar, possibly Jim Baker on bass guitar, possibly Shelton Manuel on drums, and either Dewey Balfa or Cleveland "Cat" Deshotel on fiddle.

Hey, you left me, went away to big Texas,
Dear little everything, do not do that,
I know you'll see your mistake. 

Hey, dear little girl, you'll return to Louisiana,
It will be too late, well, to see you,
Listen to the advice of all of us.

A similar attempt using the Kaplan melody would be done by Abe Manuel and Jelly Elliot known as "Ville Platte Waltz". 

  1. Lyrics by Jerry M and Stephane F
Nathan Abshire & the Pine Grove Boys - French Blues (Arhoolie, 1993)

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