Friday, March 23, 2018

"Mamou Two Step" - Lawrence Walker

One of Lawrence Walker's most recognized tunes.   It originally started as a recording by Nathan Abshire during his years playing with Happy Fats and his Rayne-Bo Ramblers.  The basic origins of the tune come from a song called "One Step De Morse", recorded in 1935 for Bluebird.  Lawrence would re-work the tune, adding it's signature bridge section and naming it after a small town in Evangeline Parish. According to author Sara Le Menestrel:
The replacement of one title with another in order to make a personal contribution to an existing song is a time-honored practice.  
Recorded as "Mamou Two Step" (#601) it was one of George Khoury's earliest pressings with one of his most well known and best selling artist.   The 1950 recording included possibly Houston Fruge on guitar, Mitch David on fiddle, possibly Valmont "Junior" Benoit on steel guitar, and possibly Simon Shexneider on drums.  Shelton Manuel, who occasionally played drums with Lawrence recalled:
Crowley Daily Signal
Nov 18, 1949

Lawrence Walker was a very good musician.  He was precise in his music, especially on his tune-ups.  He made sure everything was tuned right, and we wore uniforms back then. We wore white shirts with ties.  We'd travel around in a station wagon. We had a local broadcast at KPLC.2 

After Khoury folded up his Cajun music venture, Lawrence recorded shortly with Swallow records before moving over to La Louisianne Records in 1961.   There, he modernized the tune, adding a bass guitar and twin fiddles to the song. Modern artists such as Wayne Toups gave the song new life by recording it in rock n roll style during the 1980s. 

Mamou Two Step - Khoury's - 1950

Mamou Two Step - La Louisianne - 1961

  1. Negotiating Difference in French Louisiana Music: Categories, Stereotypes ... By Sara Le Menestrel
  2. Accordions, fiddles, two step & swing: a Cajun music reader by Ryan A. Brasseaux, Kevin S. Fontenot
Release Info:
A Country Waltz 601-A Khoury's
B Mamou Two Step 601-B Khoury's

Louisiana Cajun Music Volume 4: From The 30s To The 50s (Old Timey, 1972)
Cajun Honky Tonk: The Khoury Recordings, Volume 1 (Arhoolie, 1995)
A Tribute to the Late, Great Lawrence Walker (La Louisianne, 1995, 2000)
Cajun Capers: Cajun Music 1928-1954 (Proper, 2005)
Essential Collection of Lawrence Walker (Swallow, 2010)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got info? Pics? Feel free to submit.