Monday, July 9, 2018

"La Valse De Meche" - Eddie Shuler

Goldband Records founder Eddie Shuler made immeasurable contributions to Louisiana music before his death.  Behind his folksy, down-to-earth demeanor, Shuler was a shrewd businessman and the driving force behind Goldband Records. Without him, Louisiana's musical heritage wouldn't be what it is today.  Shuler was born in Texas and grew up on a farm. By the mid 1940s, he had moved to Lake Charles and opened up business.  According to Shuler
My first store was in a trailer house. I started about June of 1944. I didn't have too much of a business because I didn't have too much stock.  I had no pianos and no sheet music.  Yeh, I sold records in the store too, the pop music.  And we were fixing radios, too, on the side.   That's back in the radio days.1 
I went to work as an insurance company salesman, and, of course, I was already a musician by that time, because I had been playing with the Hackberry Ramblers before all this stuff come about.  Then I decided I wanted to make records, so I found an ad in Billboard magazine, a place in New York, because I had written to all the record companies and nobody even answered my letter.  I said "Well, that's not going to work; I'm going to to it anyway [myself]".1 

Ooh, chérie, mais, moi, j'm'en vas, mignonne, 
Mais, c’est pour voir ma jolie petite fille

Ooh, chérie, mais, quel espoir, mignonne, 
Que, moi, je peux avoir, c’est de te voir t’en aller 

Ooh, chérie, mais tu m’as dit, mignonne, 
Que tu m'aimais, mais aujourd'hui, t’après m'quitter 

Ooh, chérie, mais quel espoir, mignonne, 
C'est de te voir t'en aller avec un autre
Sears in Lake Charles
Johnny Babb, Ronald Ray "Pee Wee" Lyons, 

Johnny Reems,
Ronald Ardoin, possibly Johnny Porter,
unknown, Eddie Shuler

Eddie took his band and using his own methods cut the song "La Valse De Meche" (#1015) in 1946 (although some sources say 1947), playing the guitar, while Norris Savoy accompanied on fiddle and vocals.  It's possible that Ronald Ray "Pee Wee" Lyons filled in on steel guitar and Johnny Babb backed them up on bass.
The first Cajun record was "La Valse De Meche" by Eddie Shuler and his Reveliers with Norris Savoy doing the vocal in French, and we cut that in KLOE radio down on Clarence St in the middle of the studio.1  

Oh, dearie, well, I'm going, cutie,
Well, it's to see you, my pretty little girl.

Oh, dearie, well, what hope (is there), cutie,
That I can have, seeing you go away.

Oh, dearie, well, you said, cutie,
That you loved me, well, today, then you left me.

Oh, dearie, well, what hope (is there), cutie
Seeing you, you went away with another. 

His first pressing in the 40s lacked the name of his band, and above all, Eddie's name.  He fixed this by having all the issues stamped with "Eddie Shuler" in gold and silver lettering.  Later, in 1955, he would open up a new studio in a white frame building along Church Street in Lake Charles, which was once home to an Assembly of God church before Shuler purchased it.  It's at this time, he re-released the tune on the flipside of Hackberry Rambler's "The Misery Of A Broken Heart", keeping the same catalog number #1015.   Over the years, others would record the song including Sidney Brown, Nathan Abshire, the Balfa Brothers, Maurice Barzas, Nolan Cormier, Rufus Thibodeaux and Octa Clark.

  1. Record Makers and Breakers: Voices of the Independent Rock 'n' Roll Pioneers By John Broven
  3. Lyrics by Jordy A

Eddie Shuler & His All Star Reveliers: Grande Mamou (BACM, 2016)

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