Sunday, October 1, 2017

"Elton Two Step" - J.B. Fuselier

Jean Baptiste "J.B." Fuselier was a popular and innovative musician, recording a number of popular Cajun hits in the 1930s and 1940s, adding drums and steel guitar to his traditional Cajun ensemble.1  Fuselier was generally overshadowed by the less traditional Leo Soileau and Luderin Darbone – both of whom had their brands of Cajun string band music.1,2  In 1937, himself along with Preston Manuel and Beethoven Miller left for New Orleans to record "Elton Two Step" (#2016) for Bluebird records.

Eh, cherie

Moi, je m'en vas toujours, mais, moi tout seul,

Tu m'as quitte personne mais pour m'aimer,

Comment tu crois que moi je peux faire, jolie,
Toujours tout seul a ma maison.

He, petite mom, quoi moi je vas faire,
M'en aller si loin de toi, jolie,
Mais tu cois plus ces beaux yeux noirs, catin,
Comment t'aime ca, tu sais que moi j'aime tant.
J.B. Fuselier

The same melody appears even earlier in Amede Ardoin's 1929 recording "Two Step de Mama", not to be confused with Ardoin's "Two Step De Elton".    Eventually, in 1948, Iry Lejeune would make this into his well known "Lacassine Special".   Both Elton and Lacassine are small towns in the southwestern part of the state.

I'm going forver, well, all alone,

You left me, noone to love me,

How do you think that I will handle this, cutie,

Always alone at my home.

Hey, little moma, what will I do,
Went away so far from you, cutie,
But you want to see these pretty black eyes again, doll,
How do you like that, you know that I love you so.

In the late 1950s, Lawrence "Blackie" Fruge re-titled the Chester Pee Wee Broussard's "Creole Stomp" on Khoury's recordings as "Elton Two Step".  After WWII, Fuselier joined with Iry LeJeune and the Calcasieu Playboys and the two ruled the dance hall circuit until 1955 when LeJeune was killed and Fuselier severely injured when hit by a car while changing a tire at night on a dangerous South Louisiana highway. Despite his injuries, Fuselier never stopped playing and recorded a number of sides for Goldband in the 1960s.1


Louisiana Cajun Music, Vol. 3: The String Bands of the 1930's (Old Timey, 1971)
Cajun String Bands 1930's: Cajun Breakdown (Arhoolie, 1997)

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