Thursday, April 13, 2017

"Orphan Waltz" - Floyd Leblanc

Floyd Leblanc was a western swing Cajun fiddle player that played during the 1940s with bands across southeast Texas and Louisiana.   His biggest break came from teaming up with Bennie Hess and his Oklahoma Tornados.   The group traveled around the area playing their mixture of country music and by 1948, Hess created a recording label called Opera records.   Watching closely was their fill in guitarist named Virgel Bozmen.  Virgel eventually left the group and took upon the idea of creating his own recording label called O.T. records named after the band.   By 1949, after the band's fiddler Floyd Leblanc had recorded a slew of songs on Bennie's label, Virgel convinced Leblanc to bring his talents to the local radio station in Lake Charles where he recorded "Orphan Waltz" (#104).  

Tu m’as quitté, chérie, pour t’en aller,
T’en aller, jolie, jolie fille.

Aujourd’hui, chérie, tu vas r’venir,
Pour me voir, jolie malheureuse.

Moi j’connais, chère, tu vas pleurer.
Quo t’as fait, malheureuse, y a pas longtemps

Aujourd’hui, chère, tu vas r’venir,
Pour connaître, jolie fille, qu’il sera trop tard.

possibly Ernest Benoit, Floyd Leblanc,
Lee Drew LeBlanc

The song carried the typical theme popularized by contemporary fiddle player Harry Choates.  It spoke of a love interest that left a poor lover.  In this case, the love interest returns but it's too late.

By the early 1950s, drinking took a toll on Floyd and the nightlife wasn't the type of thing he wanted his family to be involved in.   He could see what drinking and music was doing to him and made sure his children had no part in this.  He quit playing for awhile and focused on his family. It wouldn't be until the mid 1960s when he'd start occasionally picking up music events locally and play periodically around the house.1

You left me, dear, to go away,

You went away, pretty, pretty girl,

Today, dear, you have returned,
To see me, pretty, oh my.

I know, dear, you have cried,
What you've done, oh my, it hasn't been long.

Today, dear, you have returned,
Know this, pretty girl, it's too late.

  1. Discussions with Jeanne
  2. Lyrics by Marc 
Cajun Honky Tonk: Khoury Recordings (Arhoolie, 1995)
The Best Of Cajun & Zydeco (Not Now, 2010)


  1. This is pleasing news. I admire Mr. LeBlanc for making his huge decision to put his children and family first. I grew up not realizing his deep love of music and his talent!

  2. Love this one. One of my favorites for years. Thanks for putting it up and giving some background. . . .


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