Tuesday, July 31, 2018

"Jole Brun" - Clopha "Shuk" Richard & Marie Falcon

"Jole Blon" made it's national debut in 1946 with the honky-tonk recording by Harry Choates for Gold Star records.   He used the slow Amedie Breaux recording but sped it up with a full band sound and changed the key.   For the next several years, musicians began covering the tune, even re-titling the tune and changing the lyrics to appeal to an ever increasing Cajun music audience.  George Khoury's attempt at recording the tune in 1952 as "Jole Brun" (#621) with Marie Solange Falcon and Shuk Richard's band didn't make a lasting impression.

Mais, Jolie brun, 'gardez-donc, quoi t'as fait,

T’as abandonné ton pauvre vieux nègre, pour t'en aller, 
Pour t'en aller, chérie, aussi loin de moi,
Comment tu crois, moi, je vas faire, moi, tout seul?

Mais, jolie brune, tu croyais qu’il y avait juste toi,
Il y avait juste toi dedans le pays pour moi à aimer,
Il y a pas juste toi dans le pays pour aimer,
Mais, il y a juste toi mon cœur peut désirer.
Louisiana Aces, KLOU, 1947
Eddie Duhon, Jay Dartez,

Clopha "Shugg" Richard on accordion,
Marie Solange Falcon on guitar,
Jack Brock (MC)

Marie Solange Falcon, a vocalist and guitarist, was living with her husband and two children near the Richards in Lake Charles in the early 1940s. It was at this time they met, and it is believed he formed the Louisiana Aces with various local musicians. In 1947 the group included Shuk, Marie, Louis Arceneaux on fiddle, and Earl Demary on guitar, and by 1948, Eddie Duhon was added on fiddle and Jay Dartez on steel guitar. They were known to play on Lake Charles radio station KLOU.  After Crawford Vincent and Will Kegley joined the group, they recorded  "Jole Brun" (pretty brunette) in 1952.  The Jolly Boys of Lafayette featuring the Fabacher brothers were the first to use this alternate title in 1937 with their version called "Jolie (Brunette)".  Even Harry Choates himself  tried to capitalize on the popular melody by also releasing his own song entitled "Jole Brun" that same year.  

Well, pretty brunette, so look at what you've done,

You have abandoned your poor old man, you went away,
You went away, dearie, so far from me,
How do you think I will do this all by myself?

Well, pretty brunette, you thought there was just you,
That there was just you in the country for me to love,
There isn't just you in the country to love,
Well, there is just you that my heart desires.

  1. Cajun Dancehall Heyday by Ron Yule
  2. Lyrics by Jordy A
Release Info:
A Le Cote Farouche De La Vic | Khoury's KH-621-A
B Jole Brun | Khoury's KH-621-B

Cajun Honky Tonk: The Khoury Recordings, Volume 1 (Arhoolie, 1995)
Cajun Capers: Cajun Music 1928-1954 (Proper, 2005)

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