Monday, June 11, 2018

"One Step A Cain" - Angelas Lejeune

Angelas LeJeune, who was great-uncle of Iry LeJeune from the Point Noire area near Church Point and known to the community as Nonc Jack, won an accordion contest in Opelousas in 1929. First prize was a trip to New Orleans to record with legendary fiddlers Denus McGee and Ernest Fruge.  While there, he recorded a fast-paced instrumental that would later become the well-known "Crowley Two Step" made popular by Aldus Roger.

The Brunswick/Vocalion session in New Orleans that fall was an iconic one, featuring some of the most influential of early Cajun artists such as Moise Robin, Ernest Fruge, Douglas Bellard, Leo Soileau and Dennis McGee.  Many of them would later play dances with each other.

Angelas Lejeune

Dennis joined Angelas and others after sharecropping for years:
When I stopped playing music, I stayed a long time without playing again.  I don't know why, I was just tired of all that.  I didn't enjoy playing any more.  I worked in the fields. I couldn't work hard in the fields all day and play all night.  Then, I decided that I was tired of that and I started playing the fiddle again.  That's when I started playing with Amede Ardoin and Angelas Lejeune and Ernest Fruge.1  

In 1934, Amede Breaux re-titled the song as "Le One Step A Martin", adding a handful of lyrics to the tune.  Angelas' song would live on, reinvented around 1962 by Aldus Roger.   Not to be confused with the Doc Guidry recording of the same title, the "Crowley Two Step" would become the staple of Aldus' TV performances on KLFY, often heard as the first song during the show's opening.

  1. Cajun and Creole Music Makers By Barry Jean Ancelet
Release Info:
NO-6715 One Step A Cain | Brunswick 530
NO-6716 La Valse Du Texas | Brunswick 530

Let Me Play This For You: Rare Cajun Recordings (Tompkins, 2013)

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