But the one instrument that had "intrigued" young soda-jerk and shoeshine boy, Happy Fats, was this guitar, which McBride always "strummed" at her every visit to the store. Happy would build up his courage one day to ask if "Miss Eva" might teach him " a chord or two" on the guitar. After he paid for the guitar with a sack of rough rice given to him by his mother, who worked a the local mill, it began Happy Fats' musical career.1
|Eric Arceneaux, Louis Arceneaux, Happy Fats|
1936 Blue Goose Dancehall2
By 1935, he formed his group and kicked off his string-band recording career with "Rayne Breakdown" in New Orleans for Bluebird Records. It was an old traditional melody made famous by Angelas Lejuene known as "Perrodin Two Step". His group had Warnes Schexnayder on guitar and Norris Savoy on fiddle. Happy played his guitar on street corners up and down Adams Avenue, formed his Rayne-Bo Ramblers, performed at the Louisiana Hayride and the Grand Ole Opry. He published music in both English and French and associated with the likes of Tex Ritter, Hank Williams, and Louisiana's Jimmie Davis.1
- Plan Of Rayne by Sidney Stutes. Rayne Tribune. 2014.
- Rayne's People and Places By Tony Olinger