Friday, June 29, 2018

"'T' Mamou" - Lawrence Fruge

Ernest Fruge was one of the most iconic Cajun fiddle players of the 1920s.  He and his close neighbor, Angelas Lejeune, recorded popular regional favorites for Brunswick records in 1929 and 1930.  However, Ernest's brother Lawrence not only played the fiddle skillfully but became one of the areas most talented accordion players.1   

T’en aller aussi loin,

Joli ‘tit monde, à ‘tit Mamou,
Rappelles-toi les paroles, ‘tit monde, 
Mais, ça m'fait du mal.

Oui bébé, tu connais,
Pour toi-même, toutes les paroles,
Tu connais que ça tu fais*, 
Joli ‘tit monde, ça me fait du mal.

Moi, je connais, joli ‘tit monde, 
Toutes les paroles je pouvais pas dire, 
Ça t’as fait, mais, à ton nègre, 
Joli ‘tit cœur, ça me fait du mal.

Lawrence Fruge
Courtesy of Cajun Dancehall Heyday

Around 1950 Lawrence formed the Tee Mamou Playboys, a band basically composed of his own family: Eula Mae Fruge on steel guitar, Luderin Fruge on drums, Joseph (J. U.) Fruge on guitar, and his son, Lawrence "Blackie" Jr., on fiddle. While playing as the Tee Mamou Playboys, they recorded "Country Boy Waltz" and "'T' Mamou" on the TNT label (#104). Although they were playing as the Tee Mamou Playboys the record label reads Lawrence Fruge & the Country Boys.1    Quite possibly a recording done at KPLC in Lake Charles by Eddie Shuler, he was known to outsource some of his recordings to Bob Tanner in San Antonio.  Better known as "Tit Mamou", it was a similar tune to Lee Sonnier's "Cankton Two Step". 

You have gone so far away,
Pretty little everything, to little Mamou,
Remember your words and what you have done,
Well, it hurts me so.

Yeh, baby, you know,
Yourself, all the words,
You know what you have done,
Pretty little everything, it hurts me so.

I know, pretty little everything,
All the words, I can't dare say,
What you've done, well, to your man,
Pretty little sweetheart, it hurts me so.

Lawrence taught four of his five children the instruments of Cajun music and they remained around the Jeff Davis Parish area, working and playing music throughout their life.1  

  1. "Cajun Dancehall Heyday" by Ron Yule
  2. Lyrics by Jordy A
  3. Photo by Ron Yule
Release Info:
TNT-104 Country Boy Waltz | TNT 104 (1)
TNT-104 Te Mamou | TNT 104 (2)

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