Wednesday, June 20, 2018

"Fille De La Ville" - Vin Bruce

Ervin "Vin" Bruce was a South Louisiana treasure of unparalleled significance. His signing to Columbia Records in the early fifties was positively historical in more ways than one. The first Cajun artist to be marketed to the widespread record buying public by a major record company, his first 1952 single, "Dans La Louisianne", backed with, "Fille De La Ville", was sung purely in French, but, like Harry Choates' "Jole Blon" before it, that didn't keep it from becoming a country music sensation.1 
Après chercher pour cette fille, cette fille de village,
Après chercher pour cette fille qu'aurais pas du s'en aller,
Après chercher pour cette fille, cette fille de village.

Quand tu m'vois après pleurer chere,
Après pleurer pour cette fille qui s'en a été hier,
Elle est la plus belle femme dans l'village,
Mais, j'connais j'va la r'voir une journée.
Vin Bruce
by Jack Vartoogian

Hailing from Bayou Lafourche, below New Orleans, Vin and his peers Leroy Martin, Gene Rodrigue and Dudley Bernard developed their own stripe of Cajun music; an accordion-less string band style that was as much hillbilly as it was French. Vin, along with Tommy Jackson on fiddle, Owen Bradley on piano, Bob Foster on steel guitar, Grady Martin on mandolin, and possibly Ernie Newton on bass, recorded "Fille De La Ville"(#20923) in Nashville in 1952.  Vin's Columbia sides brought that sound to the jukeboxes, airwaves and the Grand Ole Opry. Hank Williams was so endeared to Bruce's music that he invited him to play his public wedding ceremony at New Orleans' Municipal Auditorium.1  

Searching for this girl, this girl of the village,
Searching for this girl, that shouldn't have left,
Searching for this girl, this girl of the village.

When you see me crying dear,
Crying for this girl who was here yesterday,
She is the most beautiful woman in the village,
Well, I know I'll see her again one day.

Vin would continue to record with labels such as Swallow and perform throughout Louisiana. 

  1. Vin Bruce - Dans La Louisianne BCD 16895 AH.  Liner notes.

Release Info:
CO 47686 Fille de la ville | Columbia 20923

CO 47687 Dans la Louisianne | Columbia 20923

Vin Bruce: King of Cajun Music: Dans la Louisianne (Bear Family, 2011)
Vin Bruce: Vintage Cajun Classics of the 1950's (Vintage Masters, 2012)

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