Thursday, January 31, 2019

"Your Father Put Me Out (Ton Pere A Mit d'Eor)" - Leo Soileau and Mayuse Lafleur

Cajun music began to be recorded in order to target one more ethnic group and Ralph Peer, predictably, was in the middle of it all.  The very first Cajun music on record was a pair of accordion sides by Joseph Falcon on Columbia.  Victor rushed to respond with a session in Atlanta when Mayuse Lafleur and Leo Soileau traveled there.  This recording took place during precisely the same week of Atlanta recording sessions in which Jimmie Rodgers was laying down songs. In 1929, St. Landry Parish Sherriff "Cat" Doucet escorted the team to the big city.
I loaned Mayuse one of my suits. We went first class. Stayed at one of the biggest hotels in Atlanta.  I had told those people we didn't want to be put up at no joint. And we went on the train and had sleepers.2  
Jimmie Rodgers

In face, record producer Ralph Peer had the groundbreaking Cajun pair and Rodgers holed up in the same place.1 According to Soileau:
We stayed at the same hotel as the great Jimmie Rodgers, the old Blue Yodeler and it was really a thrill for us to meet him.  He was there for a recording session, too.1,2  

Oh toi, ‘tit monde, ton papa m’a jeté dehors,
Il m’a jeté dehors de ma maison, de ma maison, moi-même chérie.

Vieille mom! Je suis malheureux, il savait pas, là, il fait erreur,
Ton papa, il a fait erreur quand il m’avait jeté dehors.

Oh, ye yaille, comment ça se fait il a fait ça?
Je connais pas, je méritais pas tout ça il a fait avec moi.

C’est malheureux, il s’aperçoit il a fait erreur, mais, il est trop tard,
C’est pas la peine qu’il se lamente, c’est pas la peine, il va pleurer.

Mayuse Lafleur

With his wife abandoning him and fleeing back her parents home, "Your Father Put Me Out (Ton Pere A Mit d'Eor)" (#21770) spoke direcly to LaFleur's marital problems.   His problems affected the recording session.  The record executives concluded that the duo needed to remedy their edginess and secured a pint of 190 proof "prescription liquor" at a nearby pharmacy.2   Alcohol seemed easy to get.  Maybe lost in rumors, Soileau also mentioned:
Jimmie knew where to secure a supply of moonshine of such high quality and refinement, ...[we] chatted and drank the night away.1,2
Ville Platte Gazette
Dec 22, 1928

Jimmie would eventually have a deep influence on Leo's music, inspiring Leo to cover tunes such as Jimmie's "Frankie and Johnny".   The melody stayed with Leo, using it for his "Il Ta Prie De Moi" in 1936.  By 1948, hillbilly artists Abe and Joe Manuel covered the tune as "Your Papa Threw Me Out" and later in 1950, Lawrence Walker recorded it as his "Ton Papa Ta Mama Ma Sta Da All". Harry Choates recorded the same tune as "Tondelay".

Oh, you, my little everything, your daddy threw me out,
He threw me out of my house, from my house, by myself, dearie.

Old mom! I'm unhappy, he did not know, over there, he made a mistake,
Your dad, he made a mistake when he threw me out.

Oh, ye yaille, how come he did that?
I do not know, I did not deserve all that he did to me.

It's unfortunate, he realizes he's wrong, but, it's too late,
It' not worth lamenting about it, it's not worth it, he's going to cry.

When Mayuse arrived back home, nine days later, he was found dead from a gunshot wound from a bar fight.    As far as Mayuse's father-in-law, the protagonist of the song, he grew angry at Mayuse's bitter blame  For years after his death, he broke any Mayuse LaFleur record he encountered in the community...regardless of who owned it!2  

  1. Meeting Jimmie Rodgers: How America's Original Roots Music Hero Changed the ... By Barry Mazor
  2. Cajun Breakdown: The Emergence of an American-Made Music By Ryan Andre Brasseaux
  3. Lyrics by Stephane F and Jordy A
Release Info:
BVE-47203-2 The Criminal Waltz | RCA Victor 21770-A
BVE-47204-1 Your Father Put Me Out (Ton Pere A Mit d'Eor) | RCA Victor 21770-B


Cajun Capers: Cajun Music 1928-1954 (Proper, 2005)
The Early Recordings of Leo Soileau (Yazoo, 2006)
The Beginner's Guide to Cajun Music (Primo, 2008)
The Best Of Cajun & Zydeco (Not Now, 2010)
The Very Best of Cajun: La Stomp Creole, Vol. 1 (Viper, 2016)

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