Devillier was born and raised on a farm in L'anse Meg, a rural area between Mamou and Eunice, La. His father died when he was a young boy and times were hard for his mother, Theresa and her children. Amar was forced to mature at a very early age to help support the family. It was a rugged life for the Devilliers, especially early on. The family had no electricity, running water or tractor until the 1950's.3,4
Oh, tit fille, ton aller, tit monde,
Ton aller la bas à Choupique,
Oh, ye yaille, si j’peut voir m’a chere tit fille.
Eh! Oh, tit fille! Eh, hah!
Eh tit fille comment ces tu comme ça?
Toi jolie, tit, tit fille,
À la train souffrir, assez noir.
Oh! Tit monde, hey, ma j’connais pas la pein,Te dit ça, jolie tit fille.
|Khoury's Record Store|
Amar began playing in dance halls in the 1930's and 1940's and therefore was able to greatly supplement his income during the Great Depression. A prominent fiddler from Eunice picked up Amar in a car and would drive to a club outside of Cameron for $5. He played more frequently in the 1950's just about every weekend and sometimes during the week. He formed several bands that featured musicians such as Dennis McGee, Isom Fontenot, Eston Bellow, Joseph "Cabri" Menier, Ed and Bee Deshotels, Preston Manuel, and Harry Lafleur at times.3,4
The choupique (pronounced "shoe pick") is a trash fish, known outside Louisiana as the bowfin, which isn't eaten much but can be found plentiful around Evangeline Parish, Louisiana. Choupique is also the name of a rural community north of Eunice, Louisiana, not far from a small stream called "La Coulée Choupique", in which the song refers. According to Cyprien Landreneau, this waltz is over a hundered years old. It was probably composed by a musician living on Bayou Choupique. The song features Devillier's harmonica accompaniment which wasn't all that common at the time. Wallas Lafleur, who would later play drums for Shirley and Alphee Bergeron, sings and plays guitar.
Nathan Abshire would use the name in a different tune recorded for Khoury around the same time called the "Choupique Two Step". Although George's recording activities went into limbo with the advent of rock n roll, he was to make a strong comeback at the end of the decade, not with Cajun music, but with a new South Louisiana sound: swamp-pop.
Oh, little girl, go away, my everything,
Go over there to the Choupique,
Oh, my, to see my dear little girl.
Aye! Oh, little girl! Eh, hah!
Eh, little girl, how come you act like that,
You pretty little, little, girl,
I'm suffering, it's quite sombre.
Oh, my little everything, I know that it's no use,To tell you this, my pretty little girl.
- South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous By John Broven
- Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Cajun Home Music. FW02620_101 liner notes
- Discussions with Neal G
- Lyrics by Jerry M