Billed as "Cajun Rock" or "Cajun Blues", his initial start was playing fiddle in Fort Worth in the 1930s. He moved to south-east Texas and worked with many groups. After serving in the Army, in 1944, he joined Cliff Bruner’s Texas Wanderers in Houston playing the tenor sax. By 1945, he moved to Port Arthur and married a Cajun girl and formed The Bluebonnet Playboys.
You played around with every gal in town,
You made me love you and then you let me down,
Now I sit and pine, you're always on my mind,
You broke my heart when you played around.I put all my trust in you,I loved you from the start,I believe you loved me,Then you up and broke my heart.I hope you're satisfied since our love has diedWhy did you have to go and play around?My darling how I cried when I found you lied,You broke my heart when you played around.I shed a million tears, the nights all seemed like years,You loved me dear for such a little while,Our love can never be, wish you were here with me,You broke my heart when you played around.I thought maybe you'd be true,And someday there would be,A cottage small just built for two,And someday maybe three.Now all my hopes are gone, it's hard to carry on,I guess you'll always be the one I love,I know there'll never be, another love for me,You broke my heart when you played around.
“Sure, I remember Link Davis very well. He was always hanging round looking for work. We used him on some of our sessions.”
By 1949, he moved to Oklahoma City when Harry Choates offered him a job. Link’s ex-wife, Doris Meadows, remembers:
“ Harry Choates sent him a telegram asking him to come back and play with him. He sent the telegram collect, and we were so poor I couldn’t afford to pay for it “.
|Step Inn Club, 1985|
Image courtesy of Johnnie Allan & the
Center for Louisiana Studies,
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
They continued to tour in a wide area – Port Arthur one night, Corpus Christi the next, and Pee Wee Calhoun remembered playing with Harry and Link as far away as Kilgore and Odessa, Texas. But most of their shows during this period occurred around Opelousas and Lawtell, where they had regular gigs at the Green Lantern, and the Step Inn Club.
“ Link and Harry would have some lively “ Battles of the fiddle “ with our singer/clarinetist Hub Sutter walking back and forth between them on stage at the Dessau Hall, building up to some pretty wild and frantic finales.”
Eventually, he started working for Huey Meaux during the 1960s and made many sessions in Houston and Pasadena, one of them with Louisiana accordion player, Marc Savoy. Over his career, Davis recorded for many different labels including "D", Al's, Venus, Kool, Paradise, All Boy, Crazy Cajun, Princess, Stoneway, Western, Odle, Goldstar, Starday, OKeh, Columbia, Nucraft, Sarg, and Allstar labels. His contemporaries were Harry Choates, Leo Soileau, Moon Mullican, J.B. Brinkley, Leon Selph and Bob Wills.
Bayou folded in 1953 and in the 1970s, Floyd Soileau would create a separate label called Bayou to begin recording zydeco accordionist Clifton Chenier. The label eventually fell away, which soon led to the creation of Maison de Soul Records, which is the first record label dedicated to the soulful, upbeat style of music termed "Zydeco."
Gumbo Ya Ya: Best of 1948-58 (Rev-Ola, 2008)