Demand for French music also called the accordionist away to play lucrative gigs as far away as Texas. After playing a dance in Lake Charles, Louisiana, McGee, Lejeune, and fiddler Ernest Fruge continued west to perform in Shiner, Texas. Dennis recalled:
And over there, they tapped their feet. They jumped up, they cried out...they danced, danced, sweated, sweated.2
|Oct 1, 1929|
Eh, chère, malheureuse, petite,
Criminelle, quoi faire tu fais ça avec ton nègre.
Oh, toi, quand j'ai parti pour aller,
Dans le Texas t'as parti, quoi mieux* 'tit monde, malheureuse.
Oh, éyou, (que) j'ai eu tout ma misère,
C'est quand j'ai parti pour en revenir dans la Louisiane, qui est misérée.Oh chère, si t'aurai voulu m’écouter,Tu serais pas dans les chemins aujourd'hui, mais, comme t'es,Tu connais, chère, tu vas voir ton erreur,Tout ça là, pour tout ça tu m'as fait, malheureuse.
The receptive Texas audience paid the three musicians $80 for their appearance. After winning an accordion contest back home, he and Ernest Fruge, along with many other Cajun musicians from the area descended on New Orleans in 1929 for a massive Vocalion/Brunswick recording session. He would be called up the following year with Fruge and the duo would wax the tune "La Valse Du Texas" (#530). In 1934, Ardoin took the melody and stepped it up from a waltz to a two step, creating the "Le Midland Two Step". McGee recalls playing with all of them:
I played with both accordion players. Angelas and Ernest and I played together as a trio. When I played with Amede, we played just the two of us.1
|Angelas Lejeune (accordion)|
Angelas never continued his recording career and the song lost it's popularity until after World War II, when accordion player Belton Richard converted the tune into his more well-known 1967 "Cherokee Waltz". Musician and native of Angelas' home town, J.C. Leger explains:Hey, dear, oh my, little one,You're terrible, why have you done that to your man?Oh, you, when I left to go,To Texas, you left me, for the best*, little everything, oh my.Oh, where are you, I've been in complete misery,That's when I left to return to Louisiana, which has been miserable.Oh dear, if you had just wanted to listen to me,You would not be wandering today, well, like you are,You know, dear, you'll see your mistake,All that over there, for all that you've done, oh my.
I love Angelas' playing so much. I find that all those accordion players born between 1890 and 1910 had a similar attack on the accordion, playing a discernible melody on a hard rhythm with space in the phrasing. It transcended race or region. I like to believe their playing to be the embodiment of the spirit of their culture at the time. They learned without the influence of recorded Cajun music. It's pure and beautiful and alive.3
- Cajun and Creole Music Makers By Barry Jean Ancelet
- Cajun Breakdown: The Emergence of an American-Made Music By Ryan Andre Brasseaux
- Discussions with J.C. Leger
- Lyrics by Stephane F
NO-6715 One Step A Cain | Brunswick 530
NO-6716 La Valse Du Texas | Brunswick 530
Let Me Play This For You: Rare Cajun Recordings (Tompkins, 2013)