Saturday, September 19, 2020

"One Step Du Maraist Bouler" - Angelas Lejeune & Ernest Fruge

Cajun accordionist Angelas Lejeune and fiddler Ernest Fruge made their last recording session in 1930 alongside other artists such as Dennis McGee and Amede Ardoin.  The session was conducted by musician and artist scout Richard Voynow.   He had recently spent three months on the road recording artists in southern towns such ad Knoxville, Memphis and San Antonio.  He recalled that his entire session included the types of records known in the trade as the 'hillbilly, French-Cajan, race and popular.'1  Afterwards, Lejeune returned to his home community of Pointe Noire, located near the area of Marais Bouleur. 



Oh petite, chère,
Moi j'suis là, jolie,
Quoi faire tu m'fais ça?

Oh petite, chère,
Mais, toi t'es partie,
Tu m'laisses dans les misères.

Oh jolie,
Mam'zelle, j'aime pas
Tu m'parles comme tu m'parles.

Oh, j'connais pas quoi,
Petite, j'pourrais dire c'que j'suis aujourd'hui,
Oh j'suis condamné,
Pour tout(e) ma vie, à la misère.

Oh petite, chère,
Rappelle-toi quand j'ai parti pour m'en aller
Tu t'as mise à pleurer,
C'est là eyoù j'ai pris la parole,
Que j't'ai demandé, chère, fais donc pas ça.

Pour en revenir, (petite*),
Tu connais mon cœur est aussi gros qu'le tien,
Mais, donne moi une chose,
Que j'peux supporter et si vrai qu'le tien.

Add caption

"One Step Du Maraist Bouler" (#511) is a lively tune named after an area north of Scott, Louisiana where the low lying area retained water.  The name "Bouleur", however, has been a source of speculation.  According to reverend Donald Hebert, who was a pastor there, heard an old a story about how a horse named Bouleur liked to stay in a swampy area, the marais, where he could roll in the mud. According to the story, that’s how the place became Bouleur’s Marais and then Marais Bouleur. Hebert said he heard the same story from several people and it was the only consistent version of how the place got its name.2  Others had speculated that the name identified a bully of the swamp, as suggested by author Darrell Bourque in his "Plainsongs Of The Marais Bouleur" and Barry Jean Ancelet's "Rednecks, Roughnecs and the Bosco Stomp".  Aldus Roger's wife Bernice provides an alternative source of the name:
Marais Bouleur was just this side of Bosco.  When my grandmother, the Boullion generation, came from New Orleans, they settled there. A marais is like a swamp.  Wild ducks would come there.3  


Oh, little dearie,
I'm here, pretty one,
What are you doing to me?

Oh, little dearie,
Well, you left,
You left me in misery.

Oh, pretty one,
Mademoiselle, I don't like that,
You said what you said.

Oh, I don't know what,
Little one, I could say that I am today,
Oh, I am condemned,
For all my life, in misery.

Oh, little dearie,
Remember when I left to go,
You had started to cry,
This is where I had said the words,
That I asked you, dear, don't do that.

Coming back, little one,
You know my heart is as big as yours,
Well, give me one thing,
That I can carry and that it's truly yours. 

In 1967, Cajun accordionist Ambrose Thibodeaux, who was familiar with many of Angelas' tunes, re-recorded the song as the "Pointe Noir Two Step" as an ode to Lejeune's home town.




  1. A&R Pioneers by Huber
  2. https://archive.evangelinetoday.com/c%E2%80%99est-vrai-les-batailleurs-du-marais-bouleur
  3. Ye Yaille Chere by Raymond Francois
  4. Lyrics by Marc C and Stephane F


Release Info:
NO-6708 One Step Du Maraist Bouler | Brunswick 511
NO-6709 La Valse A Tidom Hanks | Brunswick 511

Find:
Let Me Play This For You: Rare Cajun Recordings (Tompkins, 2013)

Monday, September 14, 2020

"Old Cow Blues" - Buddy Duhon & Harry Choates

Arthur James "Buddy" Duhon was a southern Louisiana blues vocalist vocalist from Broussard, Louisiana, but made a career in the region of east Texas as an American western swing guitarist. He got his start in 1935 with Vocalion records working alongside Don McCord where he recorded six songs in Dallas, Texas.  He had a short stint with the Bar-X Cowboys in 1940 and by 1941, he was working with Lucky Moeller, Moon Mulligan and worked as a solo artist for Bluebird Records.3  Duhon joined the Texas Wanderers and eventually became Cliff Bruner's right-hand man, acting as a bus driver, mechanic, cover-charge collector, and the bandleader's personal assistant.1   

By 1948, Gold Star's manager Bill Quinn picked up on Buddy's success and had him team up with his most popular local recording Cajun artist, Harry Choates.   Harry drew inspiration from Bruner's band, particularly the work of Bob Dunn, the Texas Wanderer's steel guitar player.    According to author Ryan Andre Brasseaux:


Duhon's smooth, unassuming pop vocal delivery made him a favorite in the corridor.  The Cajun singer was a Jimmie Rodgers devotee who ability to influence between styles and genres--such as pop compositions, blues country swing, and Cajun--boosted his stock as a professional musician in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana.1  



Buddy Duhon
Together, they recorded two English tunes, including a blues song in which Harry filled the song with responses from Buddy's verses entitled "Old Cow Blues" (#1345).   It was a cover of a famous tune first recorded by Kokomo Arnold as "Milk Cow Blues", with themes found in songs by Sarah Martin, Son House and many others throughout the 1930s.   In the song, you can hear Harry call out steel guitarist Amos Hebert and piano accordionist Milton "Pee Wee" Calhoun.   Hebert, a Kaplan native, had only played with Harry for about nine months and claimed Harry was even more talented on the guitar.4  He recalled:
I only stayed nine months because I couldn’t stand to see Harry’s self destruction with alcohol. I considered him to be a such a good friend that I couldn’t take it.  I knew if I told Harry I was leaving because of his alcoholism, he would beg me to stay. He was such a good friend, I just couldn’t tell the man no. Instead, I never went back.7  

Pee Wee remembers joining the group in Lake Charles around the spring of 1948 and recalled that he simply telephoned Choates and asked for a job.
I went to work for Harry as an accordion player.  Popeye Broussard was the piano player.  One day, I sat down at the piano and played some things.  Old Popeye went and told Harry, "I thought he couldn't play piano".  So he quit, and I was back to piano playing.6    




(Aw, Mr. Calhoun)



Well, I woke up this morning, (What'd you do, boy?), look outdoors,
I can tell my old cow, I can tell by the way she loads,
If you see my old cow, whee, drive her on home, (Where's her home at, boy?)
Oh, all I had no milk and butter, whoo, since my cow's been gone (I hadn't had a decent meal either).

Well, you got to treat me right, day by day,
Get out your little prayer book, get out on your knees and pray,
Because you gunna need, you're gunna need my help some day, (Yeah, always.)
Yeah, you're going to be sorry, whoo, you treat me this a-way.

(Aw, Mr. Amos on that old steel guitar, yeah)

(Pee Wee on that accordion, now.)

Everything I get a hold of goes away like snow in June,
If I ever get a chance babe, I'm gunna sail up to the moon,
Well, my baby, I'm a ready for a change, now, (Whatcha talkin' about, boy, talkin' about?)
You got me feeling so low, baby, whooo Lord, underground, looking up and down. 




Taylor Daily Press
Mar 29, 1949

Quinn had Sue Romero on bass and Johnny Holland back up Buddy's vocals.  But just as Buddy's postwar success began, his life was taken in an accident.  Shortly after the recording session, the fledgling crooner died the following year in a fishing accident.  After a heavy rain storm, he and Beaumont-native M.F. Sterling were fishing in Jap Bayou near Fannett, TX when their trap lines got entangled on sections of their boat.  The strong current caused the light boat to capsize and Sterling saw Duhon fall into the raging waters and disappear.  After three days, his body was found by a fisherman, lodged in branches of a willow tree near HWY 124.5  He was only 36 years old and while there was never any lengthy investigation, some family claimed the drowning was no accident.  According to his son Jim Clifton Duhon, "Buddy was about to leave Cliff Brunner's Band and sign with Bob Wills."2  






  1. "Cajun Breakdown: The Emergence of an American-Made Music" by Ryan Andre Brasseaux
  2. http://mclemoregenealogy.org/getperson.php?personID=I1052&tree=McLemore
  3. The Encyclopedia of Country Music The Ultimate Guide to the Music
  4. https://www.panews.com/2017/01/20/port-arthur-musician-had-big-impact-on-cajun-music/
  5. Tyler Morning Telegraph (Tyler, Texas) 01 Apr 1949
  6. Devil In The Bayou by Andrew Brown.  Liner notes.
  7. https://archive.evangelinetoday.com/amos-hebert-and-his-steel-guitar-playing-days


Release Info:

1345A/ST-2303 Old Cow Blues | Gold Star 1345-A
1346B/ST-2304 Nobody Cares For Me | Gold Star 1345-B

Find:

Harry Choates: Five-Time Loser 1940-1951 (Krazy Kat, 1990)
Devil In The Bayou - The Gold Star Recordings (Bear Family, 2002)
Cajun Capers: Cajun Music 1928-1954 (Proper, 2005)

Monday, September 7, 2020

"Roseland Two Step" - Floyd Leblanc

Born to a music-loving family, Cajun fiddler Floyd Leblanc's father, Lessin, played the French accordion and fiddle.  His mother, Merellia, played rhythm guitar and sang.  In the early 1930s the family moved to Cypress Point, Louisiana where Floyd and his brother, Steve, made homemade instruments and learned to play.  They began playing dances and became very popular local favorites.1  



Aujourd'hui, jolie fille, pourquoi-donc, malheureuse,
Mais, tu fais ça, jolie fille, mais, moi j'connais, ça sera trop tard.

Le lendemain, jolie fille, rappelles-toi, jolie cœur, 
Tout ça t'as fait, il y a pas longtemps, mais, moi j'connais tu fera pitié.

Viens-donc voir, jolie cœur, tout ça t'as dit, malheureuse,
Il y a pas longtemps, jolie fille, mais, moi j'connais, tu m'fais pitié. 

Joli fille, rappelles-toi, tout ça ça dit-z-à ton nèg,
Mais p(l)us jamais, jolie cœur, mais, moi j'connais, tu fais pitié.
Floyd Leblanc

During World War II, Floyd, Steve, and another brother, Sandres, joined the military.  While stationed in San Antonio, Floyd met Virgil Bozman.  Together they started a band called the “Oklahoma Tornados” and played both French and country music. After the war, the LeBlanc and Bozman met Iry LeJeune and became friends. After playing together in Houston and in local clubs, the “Oklahoma Tornado” band helped LeJeune record the “Love Bridge Waltz” and “The Evangeline Special”.1  

Recorded in 1947, the "Roseland Two Step" (#110) was Floyd's version of Varise Conner's "Lake Arthur Stomp".  Originally recorded by J.B. Fuselier back in 1937, Floyd had Virgil Bozman on guitar and B.D. Williams on bass.  Roseland is a small community west of Sulphur, Louisiana, not far from where Floyd was raised.


Today, pretty girl, so why, naughty woman,
Well, you did that, pretty girl, well, I know, it will be too late.

The next day, pretty girl, remember, pretty sweetheart,
All that you've done, there it won't be long, well, I know you will be pitiful.

Come see, pretty sweetheart, all that you've said, naughty woman,
It won't be long, pretty girl, well, I know you made me pitiful.

Pretty girl, remember, all that was told to your man,
Well, never again, pretty sweetheart, well, I know you'll be pitiful. 

LeBlanc and Bozeman later moved briefly to Nashville and played with several bands, including Ernest Tubb’s band. MGM offered to sign LeBlanc to a contract and a chance to play on the Grand Old Opry using the name “Arkansas Cotton Pickers.”  LeBlanc turned them down and soon after left Nashville to return home.1   He eventually re-recorded the song for J.D. Miller's Cajun Classics in 1967.  




  1. http://library.mcneese.edu/depts/archive/SWLAMusicians/encyclokr.htm
  2. Lyrics by Stephane F
Release Info:
637 (110-A) Roseland Two-Step | Opera 110-A
637 (110-B) Brow Bridge Waltz | Opera 110-B

Friday, August 28, 2020

"Jolie Jou Rose" - Austin Pitre

"My Pretty, Rosy Cheeks".  Cajun musician Austin Pitre was surrounded by house parties and the emerging dancehall scene growing up.  All of the area's musicians had a profound influence on Austin's sound.  Austin's fiddle-playing father gave him an accordion in hopes that his six-year-old son would learn to accompany him at the local house dances.  In his spare time he made himself a fiddle from a cigar box and at the age of ten, he won a real child size fiddle by selling flower and vegetable seeds from a catalog.1   



Malheureuse, chère joue rose, 
Fais pas ça, malheureuse, tu me fais du mal.

Chère joue rose, ça t'as fait (a)vec moi, malheureuse, 
Tu m'as pris de la maison, comme un pauvre orphelin,
...

Malheureuse, ça fait d'la peine de pour toi.
Parce que toi, ouais, changé, malheureuse, un grand vaurien.
...

Austin Pitre

During WWII, when the accordion popularity slacked off, he formed a string band to please the out-of-state soldiers who floodied the area's bars and dancehalls on the "leave" nights from Fort Polk.  By 1948, it is believed that Crowley record producer, J.D. Miller setup Austin with the a recording session.  That taped session may have been sent to Bill McCall in Los Angelas producing the record containing "Jolie Jou Rose" (#1341).    According to his wife Dorothy, his fiddle mentor, besides his father, was the brilliant Leo Soiileau of Ville Platte.  Austin kept a box of well-used 78RPM records of Amede Ardoin, Douglas Bellard, and Leo Soileau.1  Given his love for Leo's songs, it's no surprise that "Jolie Jou Rose" (referred to as "Chere Joues Rose") was just an adaptation of Leo's "Quand Je Suis Bleu".


Miserable woman, dear rosy cheeks,
Don't do that, miserable woman, you're hurting me.

Dear rosy cheeks, what you've done to me, miserable woman,
You took me away from home like a poor orphan,
...

Miserable woman, it's painful for you,
Because you, yeah, changed, miserable woman, into a big scoundrel. 
...

By the early 1950s,  Austin was forming a new band and asked a young insurance salesman and his brothers to come play with him.  That young man was Dewey Balfa.  According to Dorothy, Austin showed Dewey his style and Dewey learned "Chere Joues Rose" from Austin.1  It wouldn't be long before Dewey changed the lyrical theme based on Dennis McGee's "Les Blues Du Texas" and re-titled the melody as "La Valse Du Bambocheur".  in 1971, Austin re-recorded the song as "Cheres Joues Rose" with Alan Ardoin, Preston Manuel and James Pitre at Pitre's Garage. 







  1. Austin Pitre CD liner notes.  https://folkways-media.si.edu/liner_notes/arhoolie/ARH00452.pdf
  2. Lyrics by Stephane F

Release Info:

3196 Jolie Jou Rose | 4-Star 1341
3197 Gueydan Two Step | 4-Star 1341

Saturday, August 22, 2020

"Tell Me If You Love Me" - Virgil Bozman

Part-time guitarist and part-time comedian, showman John Hardin "Virgil" Bozman eventually found his way into the Lake Charles area after finishing up his military leave in San Antonio.  There, he teamed up with Floyd Leblanc when he joined the Oklahoma Tornadoes.  Carefully watching the lead member Bennie Hess produce independent records, (and with the financial backing of Lake Charles record store owner George Khoury), Virgil kicked off his label with his own recordings—one a reworked version of Amede Ardoin's 1929 "Eunice Two Step", called "Tell Me If You Love Me” (#101). 


Tu m'as quitté, malheureuse,
Pour t'en aller avec un autre,
'Gardez-donc, chère jolie, mais,
Quoi t'as fais?

Quoi t'as fais, malheureuse,
Avec ton nègre, il y a pas longtemps,
'Gardez-donc, chère jolie, 
Te va pleurer.

Plus trop tard, pour ça t'as fais,
Z-avec ton nègre, 'gardez-donc,
'Gardez-donc, malheureuse, mais, jolie cœur.

'Gardez-donc, ça t'as fais,
Jolie fille, il y a pas longtemps,
(Il y a) pas longtemps, malheureuse, avec ton nègre.

'Gardez-donc, malheureuse, 
Ça t'as fais, il y a pas longtemps,
Tu m'a quitté, jolie cœur, mais, c'est trop tard.

C'est trop tard, pour t'en aller,
Z-avec ton nègre, malheureuse,
'Gardez-donc, ça t'as fais j'mérite (pas), 'tite monde.

Daily Advertiser
Sep 16, 1947

The 1949 rare Oklahoma Tornadoes record is shrouded in mystery that reflects his initial indecision. The two songs were first recorded in English by Bozman but were cancelled and instead released with un-credited French vocals. The singer’s identity is still subject to much speculation.2  According to fiddler Wilson Granger, he recalled the song:
It’s my song.  I’m the one that introduced Virgil to that song, but when we made that at KPLC, he sang that. And on that record, I don’t know who that it is singing. They’re singing in French. That’s not Virgil singing.1
I tell you what, [Bozman] started playing some music with some boys from Sulphur, Earl Reed. It might be him, I’m not sure. I don’t know what happened there. He liked that tune, and he made them words for it, but I don’t know what made him change his mind and have somebody sing on it (in French).1  


You're leaving me, miserable woman,
To go away with another,
So look, dear pretty one, well,
What have you done?

What have you done, miserable woman,
With your man, it won't be long,
So look, dear pretty one,
You're going to cry.

Way too late, because what you've done,
With your man, so look,
So look, miserable woman, well, pretty sweetheart.

So look, what you've done,
Pretty girl, it won't be long,
It won't be long, miserable woman, with your man.

So look, miserable woman,
What you've done, it won't be long,
You're leaving, pretty sweetheart, well, it's too late.

It's too late, you're going away,
With your man, miserable woman,
So look, what you've done, I don't deserve this, my little everything. 

After his recordings, Virgil suddenly needed a new car to go to the dances.  According to fiddler Wilson Granger:
So he bought him a hearse. He got it cheap. He was coming home from Opelousas one night and he stopped in Eunice. And when he'd get sleepy on the way back (from a dance), he'd pull over and go to sleep.

I wasn't playing with him that night. He pulled over and stopped in front of a Catholic church on a Saturday night. And all them boys (the band) were sleeping in the back of that hearse. The next morning, people started coming into church, look in there... Boy, they had some funny things about old Virgil.




  1. Wilsong Granger interview.  Andrew Brown. 2005.
  2. http://www.bopping.org/blues-for-oklahoma-virgel-bozman-o-t-and-hot-rod-records-1949-1952/
Release Notes:
The Cameron Waltz | O.T. 101
Tell Me If You Love Me | O.T. 101

Find:
Cajun Honky Tonk: The Khoury Recordings Vol. 2 (Arhoolie, 2013)

Friday, August 14, 2020

"Hackberry Hop" - Harry Choates

Perhaps the name most linked with the Cajun swing sound was Harry Choates.  He was an outstanding fiddle player, equally at home with traditional Cajun material or western swing.  He was also a wild and eccentric character, a heavy drinker who would appear on stage in a formerly white cowboy hat, which, in the words of a band member, "looked like a hundred horses had stomped on it when it had been stuck in a grease barrel".   

As well as being a great fiddler, he also played guitar, accordion, and steel guitar, yet probably never owned an instrument, preferring to borrow whatever he needed.3    Not to interfere with his Gold Star contract, he quietly traveled to Paris, TX in 1947 and recorded an old Leo Soileau tune called "Hackberry Hop" (#1007) for Jimmy Mercer's label.  


Hé le Hip et Taïau, ouais, 

Qu’a volé mon traineau, chérie,

Quand ç’a vu j’étais chaud, ouais, 

Il a ramené mon traîneau.

C'est le Pitre et Bosco, ouais,
Qu'a volé mon gilet, chérie,
Quand il a vu j'suis d'venu chaud, ouais,
T'as ramené mon gilet.

Hé le Hip et Taïau, ouais, 
Qu’a volé mon chariot, chérie,
Quand il a vu j’étais devenu chaud, ouais,
Il a ramené mon chariot.

C'est le Pitre et Bosco, ouais,
Qu'a volé mon gilet, chérie,
Quand il a vu j'suis d'venu chaud, ouais,
T'as ramené mon gilet.



Amos Comeaux, Harry Choates, Wally Bryant
Courtesy Andrew Brown4

Since Harry had played with Leo, covering his version of "Hackberry Hop" for quite some time in the 1930s and 40s, it's probably where he got the title for this tune.   Sung by his banjo player Joe Manuel, it was a cover of the well-known Cleoma Breaux song "Ils La Volet Mon Trancas", better known as "Hippy Ti Yo".  Manuel and Choates was backed by Ronald Ray "Pee Wee" Lyons on steel guitar, Eddie Pursley on guitar, B.D. Williams on bass, Johnnie Ruth Manuel, and Curzy "Pork Chop" Roy on drums.  


It's Hip and Taïaut, yeah,

That stole my sled, dearie,

When they saw I had become hot, yeah,

They brought my sled back.

This is Pitre and Bosco, yeah,
That stole my vest, dearie,
When they saw I had become hot, yeah,
They brought my jacket back.

It's Hip and Taïaut, yeah,
That stole my cart, dearie,
When they saw I had become hot, yeah,
They brought my cart back.

This is Pitre and Bosco, yeah,
That stole my vest, dearie,
When they saw I had become hot, yeah,
They brought my jacket back.


Daily Advertiser
Sep 10, 1948

Although some speculate this session was done at a radio station in Lake Charles, it's quite possible, the recordings for this session were done at Mercer's studio located in his store called Melody Lane Record Shop.  According to collector Jared Mariconi:
I've looked into the Cajun Classics and Jimmy Mercer and it seems like he was pressing them in a small pressing facility that he built himself in Paris, Tx in 1947. He had a record store called Melody Lane, which he shut down at the end of '46 to open the factory. They said that he recorded [musicians] in the music shop.2
By 1950, Mercer had moved the location of the plant to Main St. and changed the name to Southern Plastics1.  Joe Manuel would eventually reform a new band in 1949 and re-record the tune as "Creole Hop" on Deluxe Records. 







  1. The Paris News, Sunday Nov 24th. 1946
  2. http://wired-for-sound.blogspot.com/2010_12_17_archive.html
  3. The Fiddle Handbook By Chris Haigh
  4. Devil In The Bayou by Andrew Brown.  Liner notes.
Release Info:
1005 Hackberry Hop | Series 1007 Cajun Classics
1009 Jole Brun | Series 1009 Cajun Classics

1005 Hackberry Hop | Cajun Classics CC1007
1010 Yes I Love You | Cajun Classics CC1010

Find:
Harry Choates ‎– The Fiddle King Of Cajun Swing (Arhoolie, 1982, 1993)
Cajun Fiddle King (AIM, 1999)

Monday, August 10, 2020

"Aux Bal Se Te Maurice" - Happy Fats

Leroy "Happy Fats" Leblanc and the Rayne-Bo Ramblers, the hottest Cajun string band and western swing group on the radio before the war. When he and his band cut their first record in 1935 for the Bluebird label, which was an affiliate of RCA records, they were paid $25 for the whole band, and, Fats said, "all the drinking whiskey we needed."1  That was it. The records helped bands get dance club gigs, at places such as the Te Maurice, located between Bristol and Bosco, and that was important.2  



Allons au bal, la-bas chez ‘tit Maurice,

La-bas chez ‘tit Maurice, la-bas chez ‘tit Maurice,

Allons au bal, la-bas chez ‘tit Maurice,

Pour voir les petites, boire d’la biere, et attendre la belle musique.



J'ai juste vingt cinq sous dedans ma vielle poche,
Dedans ma vielle poche, dedans ma vielle poche
J'ai juste vingt cinq sous dedans ma vielle poche,
Pour une bouteille, pour bien m’souler et tourner tout la nuit.

Demain matin un gros mal de tête,
Un gros mal de tête, un gros mal de tête,
Demain matin un gros mal de tête,
Je va commencer et bien m'soinger, 
Pour les bals dans les nuits qui viennent.

Demain matin un gros mal de tête,
Un gros mal de tête, un gros mal de tête,
Demain matin un gros mal de tête,
Je va commencer et bien m'soinger, 
Pour le bal l'samedi qui vient.

Daily Advertiser
Mar 25, 1939

By 1938, Happy's band had fully embraced the western swing sound emanating from Texas dance-halls.  At the St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans where they recorded the song "Aux Bal Se Te Maurice" (#2074), Happy Fats' band included Ray Guidry on banjo, Willie Vincent on steel guitar, Nathan Guidry on bass, and Doc Guidry on fiddle.  Happy recalled,


The club I played longest at was the old O.S.T. club here in Rayne.  There was also the Club Rendezvous in Ville Platte and the Colonial Club in Mermentau, but I'd say Te Maurice was the club that had the biggest attendance of any for eight or ten years during the thirties.  One of the Rayne-Bo Ramblers records is called "Aux Bal Se Te Maurice".  I also had "La Valse De Te Maurice".1  

Originally built by Duplex Duplechin, his son-in-law Maurice "Te Maurice" Richard took ownership of the business in the 1930s, which later was run by his son Ellis Richard.  Happy recalled,
This old one, the dance floor was about 100 feet by 100 feet, so it was a pretty big dance floor. The bandstand was at one end with the bar at the other end.  They had chicken wire on the windows so they wouldn't come in, in some places they had chicken wire in front of the band.1  



Let's go to the ball, over there at Te Maurice's,

Over there at Te Maurice's, over there at Te Maurice's,

Let's go to the ball, over there at Te Maurice's,

To see the girls, drink the beer, and to wait for the beautiful music.



I only have twenty five cents in my old pocket,
In my old pocket, in my old pocket,
I only have twenty five cents in my old pocket,
For a bottle, to get me drunk and spin around all night long. 

Tomorrow morning, a big headache,
A big headache, a big headache,
Tomorrow morning, a big headache,
I'll get started, so treat me well,
For the dances in the nights to come.

Tomorrow morning, a big headache,
A big headache, a big headache,
Tomorrow morning, a big headache,
I'll get started, so, treat me well,
For the Saturday night dance that's coming up.








  1. South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous By John Broven
  2. Jim Bradshaw. "Happy Fats Heard Nationwide".  The  Abbeville Meridional, published in Abbeville, Louisiana on Sunday, January 29th, 2012
  3. Lyrics by Smith S and Stephane F and Jesse L


Release Info:

BS-028501-1 La Vieux Two Step Francais | Bluebird B-2074-A
BS-028504-1 Aux Bal Se Te Maurice | Bluebird B-2074-B

Find:

Cajun Country, Vol. 2, More Hits from the Swamp (JSP, 2005)
Happy Fats & His Rayne-Bo Ramblers (BACM, 2009)