Wednesday, December 19, 2018

"Jus Pasque" - Leroy "Happy Fats" Leblanc

Cajun swing was perhaps the most dynamic musical expression in the history of Cajun music.  Fiddlers, guitarists, steel guitarists, drummers, piano accordionists, and banjo and mandolin pickers all drew inspiration from the eclectic array of commercial musical styles available at local record stores, emitting from household battery-operated radios, and via the rouging groups and jazz orchestras that provided entertainment at local clubs and honky-tonks.1 Leroy "Happy Fats" Leblanc seems to have embraced it all throughout his recording years. 



C'est juste que tu crois que t'étais jolie,
C'est juste que tu crois t'es si douce,
C'est juste que tu crois que tu as quelque chose,
Moi j'ne sais pas.

J'ai donné tout mon argent,
(Je) croyais t'avez tout sur le col,
Oui, mais, sapristir, j'ai fini-z avec toi,
C'est juste parce que.

C'est juste que tu crois que t'es jolie,
C'est juste que tu crois t'es si douce,
C'est juste que tu crois que t'as quelque chose,
Mais, moi je ne sais pas.

J'ai dépensé tout mon argent,
Tu croyais j'étais vieux Santa Claus,
Bébé, sapristir, mais, j'ai fini avec toi,
C'est juste parce que.



Alex Broussard, , Happy Fats
www.wendyrodrigue.com
"Just Because" was a prolific tune, earlier recorded by Nelston's Hawaiians, covered by many groups of the day including Cleoma Falcon as "Jeusté Parcqué".  The French word "sapristi", meaning "Oh heavens!", is still used in France but in a comical way because it's colorful and old-fashioned, so people have tenderness for this word. "Sapristi" is not vulgar, however, its a way to swear without being dirty or offending God. It's an expression of surprise, impatience, or hopelessness and may come across as sarcastic out of frustration. 

Oran "Doc" Guidry had been jazz fiddler for some time before Happy Fats replaced Louis Arceneaux with Doc in 1938.  According to Guidry, when they first met two years prior in 1936 at one of their first dance-hall shows, Happy asked him if he was interested in finishing school. 
He asked me, "You intend to get through school?"  I said "Yeah."  He asked, "What do you want to pick up?"  I said, "I want to pick up medicine."  He said, "You want to be a doctor?"  I said, "Yeah".  He introduced me that night..."Doc" Guidry!3  
It turns out that Happy had borrowed the nickname from Light Crust Doughboy's fiddle player Clifford "Doc" Gross and from that point on, Oran was known to everyone as "Doc" Guidry.   Many people throughout his life never knew his real name.3  


Doc Guidry



Just because you think you are pretty,
Just because you think you are sweet,
Just because you think you have something,
I don't know.

I gave you all my money,
Beleiving you had everything "on the collar",
Yeh, well, good heavens, I'm finished with you,
Just because.

Just because you think you are pretty,
Just because you think you are sweet,
Just because you think you have something,
Well, I don't know.

I spent all my money, 
You thought I was old Santa Claus,
Baby, good heavens, well, I'm finished with you,
Just because. 


Happy rounded out his group with Ray Guidry on banjo, Roy Romero on steel guitar, Nathan Guidry on bass, and Robert Thibodeaux on piano. The release became popular enough with RCA that they released it on their "staff" label and on their "Dog 2" label.  After the war, Happy and Doc reunited as Happy, Doc And The Boys until 1953.  Happy Fats went on to become a major south Louisiana television personality in the 1950s after the first TV station opened in Lafayette.








  1. Cajun Breakdown: The Emergence of an American-Made Music By Ryan Andre Brasseaux
  2. http://www.wendyrodrigue.com/2010/04/its-spring-in-louisiana-and-that-means.html
  3. Interview with Oran "Doc" Guidry.  Shane Bernard.  11-2-1991.
  4. Lyrics by Stephane F

Release Info:
BS-022038-1 Jus Pasque | Bluebird B-2037
BS-022041-1 Te Jolie Te Petite | Bluebird B-2037

BS-022038-1 Jus Pasque | Bluebird B-2091
BS-022032-1 Les Escrivis Dan Platin | Bluebird B-2091

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