Saturday, October 29, 2016

"Bayou Ponpon Special" - Iry Lejeune

Iry Lejeune's musical mentor was his uncle Angelas Lejeune, one of the most popular muscians at fais-do-dos and house dances in Acadiana during the twenties.  Because Iry's parents had no money to buy an accordion, he used to visit Angelas' house almost every day to practice on his uncle's accordion while Angelas worked in the fields. By the early 50s, Iry Lejeune had worked quite a bit with Eddie Shuler and was gaining popularity locally with his recordings.  Shuler brought him into the studio around 1953 and they recorded "Bayou Ponpon Special" and released it on Bob Tanner's TNT label (#105).   It was a rendition of his cousin Angelus Lejeune's recording of the "Bayou Pom Pom One Step" in 1929 for Brunswick and even recorded earlier by Joe Falcon called "Osson". 
Oh, c'est malheureux chère

c'est malheureux te voir, autant dans les douleurs.

Oh, c'est tout le temps dur à ton pop,

ta mom t'a donnée là, je vas jamais oublier ça.

Oh, rapelle-toi, donc, de la fois

J'étais t'amener sur le pont,

Sur le pont du Bayou Pon Pon

"Oh toi t'es la seule, maman,"

Ça dit à toi, catin

Ça me fait du mal à moi.

Oh, c'est misérable aujourd'hui

Si t'es à la traîne comme ça,

Dans les chemins, toi, toute seule,

Oh, savoir qui c'est l'auteur

Oh, si t'es comme ça aujourd'hui,

C'est pas la peine tu me blàmes.
"Red River" Dave Mcenery,
Bob Tanner (holding a record),
Ray Campi, Ray Liberto

Bayou Pon Pon (spelled either "Pon Pon" or "Pom Pom") is a mythical town, somewhere in Lafourche Parish, in which comedian Walter Coquille would use as the basis for his 1929 satirical recordings. In Iry's 1953 version of the song, he spoke of the sorrow of a loved one he remembers at the Bayou Pon Pon bridge.   Other men want her stating, "Oh toi t'es la seule, maman", but he's convinced she'll be alone if he can't have her.  According to Ron Yule's interview with Milton and Odile Vanicor, the song revolves around Adeline Blanchard's visits with Iry, sitting a bridge, in which she asked him to write a song about a bridge. 
Iry Lejeune

Iry had his crack band called the Lacassine Playboys that featured fiddle player Milton Vanicor.  For this session though, Eddie brought his tape recorder to Iry's home, grabbed his guitar, and the trio recorded into the night.  For some reason, Ed didn't release this on the Goldband or Folk-Star label.  Eddie Shuler recalls working with Bob Tanner, owner and founder of the TNT label:
Well, I went to San Antonio because Bob Tanner had a pressing plant. So, I drove over there, and took a couple of my acetates with me. And I told him I’d like to make a deal for him to press my records. So, he decided he’d press ‘em himself and put ‘em on his label. And I said, "Well, okay, let’s try that." I hadn’t tried that.

Oh, it's sad, dear,

It is sad to see you in pain,

Oh, its always so hard for your pop.  

Your mom gave you away there, 

I'll never forget that.

Oh, reminds me of that time,

I took you to the bridge,

Oh, the Bayou Pon Pon bridge.

"Oh you're the only one, little mama,"

That's what they said, my doll,

It hurt me.

Oh, today is miserable,

If you're running down,

Along the road, all alone,
Oh, to know who is at fault,
Oh, if you're still like that today,
It's no use to blame me.

Although Bob's primary goal was to record and press more Tex-Mex music eventually including rockabilly, country, blues, jazz, and polka, he had pressed only three Cajun records and didn't seem to have had any sort of guiding vision like Pappy Daily or other independent labels in Texas. It was short lived.

  1. Iry Lejeune: Wailin the Blues Cajun Style by Ron Yule
  2. South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous By John Broven
  5. SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 15.  2015 Regular Session.  Notes to commend Milton Vanicor for his passion, devotion, and his nearly eighty-year commitment to Cajun music.

Louisiana Cajun Music Volume 4: From The 30s To The 50s (Old Timey, 1972)
The Legendary Iry LeJeune (Goldband, 1991)
Cajun's Greatest: The Definitive Collection (Ace, 2004)

Monday, October 24, 2016

"T'est Petite Et T'est Mignonne" - Leo Soileau

After his short stint recording traditional Cajun music with Mayeus Lafleur and then Moise Robin, Leo Soileau had run a few sessions with Bluebird before he agreed to record for Decca.   Never wholly committed to the old French repertoire, he was happy to mix it with hillbilly and popular songs, with their more varied tunes and chord progressions, and around 1934, he put together a band to play them.  In Chicago the following year, they recorded "You Are Little and You Are Cute" known as "T'est Petite Et T'est Mignonne" (#17008).  It was first recorded by the Fawvors entitled "T'Est Petite a Ete T'Est Meon".  Even earlier, Eddie Segura and Didier Hebert used the title in their melody called "You're Small And Sweet". 

The Four Aces, with guitarists Floyd Shreve and Dewey Landry and possibly drummer Tony Gonzales (but could be O.P. Shreve or Johnny Roberts), represented the new sound of Cajun club music, and not everybody was ready for it. 

T’es petite et t’es mignone,

Et t'es galeuse mais j’t’amie quand meme,

T’es petite et t’es galeuse,

C'est trop galeuse pour faire ma femme.

Oh la belle, t’es pas lavé,

Oh, oui, la belle, tu peux aller t’laver.

T’es petite et t’es mignone,

Et t'es galeuse mais j’t’amie quand meme,

T’es petite et t’es mignone,
T'es galeuse pour faire ma femme,
Oh la belle, t’es galeuse,
De trop galeuse mais j’t’amie quand meme.

Leo Soileau (fiddle), Tony Gonzales (drums)3
Tony Gonzales was a native of Crowley, Louisiana and good friends with Leo.   His brother, Roy, was an accordion player who earlier copied Jimmie Rodgers tunes and recorded them in Cajun french for Paramount records.2  Tony, who worked with jazz musicians, dramatically altered the sound of Leo's group by providing a firm and brash dance cadence on his rudimentary drum kit to complement the fluid interplay between voices.3

At their first session for Decca in Chicago in 1935, the engineer objected that the drums were blasting the cutting needle out of its groove.  The problem was solved by stacking pillows round the kit to absorb some of the reverberation.3  
"Well," said the engineer, "I'm learning something."1
Author Ryan Brasseaux makes the case that Tony Gonzales could have very well been the first drummer in country music, and by far, the first drummer in Cajun music.3  

You're small and you're cute,

And you're shabby, but, I like you anyways,

You're small and you're shabby,

(You're) too shabby to be my wife,

Oh, girl, you're not clean,

Oh, yeh, girl, you need to wash up.

You're small and you're cute,

And you're shabby, but, I like you anyways,

You're small and you're cute,
You're too shabbyto be my wfie,
Oh, girl, you're too jealous,
Too shabby, but, I like you anyways.

The word "galeuse" is an Cajun word to signify looking dirty or shabby.  Versions of the song would be recorded later by Harry Choates, Crawford Vincent and then even later by the Balfa Brothers. 

  1. Country Music Originals : The Legends and the Lost: The Legends and the Lost By Tony Russell
  2. Meeting Jimmie Rodgers : How America's Original Roots Music Hero Changed the ... By Journalist Barry Mazor
  3. Cajun Breakdown: The Emergence of an American-Made Music By Ryan Andre Brasseaux

Thursday, October 20, 2016

"One Step De L'Amour" - Hackberry Ramblers

The Hackberry Ramblers were one of RCA's best selling French and English western swing group in the 1930s.  It all started with Luderin Darbonne and Edwin Duhon. Luderin recalls learning to play music:

Most of the fiddling that I learned, I actually first learned to play the hillbilly style.  We lived in Texas.  That's where I learned numbers like Wednesday Night Waltz, Beaumont Rag, stuff like that.  Then we moved to Hackberry.  After I moved there, that's when I met Edwin Duhon.  He played the accordion at that time.  We joined together.  I'd play the fiddle and he'd play the accordion, before he switched over to the guitar.1

Darbone and Duhon's musical progress has reflected both the ebb and flow of Cajun music, and its melding with all kinds of musical forms: country, the jazz-tinged form known as western swing, and a palpable black influence.2  
When I lived in Hackberry, they'd have a dance there every Saturday night, and the owner of the place'd get an orchestra. They were all black. And in the dance-hall, there were no blacks dancing, all whites. There was no mixture. When they'd get to the intermission, the musicians would sit in their cars. They didn't associate with the whites at all. But I'd learn a lot of my tunes from listening to them.2
Moi j'avais une chère tite fille, une tite fille qui m'aimait,
Quoi faire te brailles, (Quoi faire te brailles),
Quoi faire te brailles, (Quoi faire te brailles),
Quoi faire te brailles, chérie, si te connais j'aime un tas.

Tu m'as fait m'en aller, m'en aller avec un autre,
Quoi faire te brailles, (Quoi faire te brailles),
Quoi faire te brailles, (Quoi faire te brailles),
Quoi faire te brailles, chérie, si te connais j'aime un tas.

Tu m'as dit (que) te m'aimais, mais moi je connais (que) c'est pas vrai.
Quoi faire te brailles, (Quoi faire te brailles),
Quoi faire te brailles, (Quoi faire te brailles),
Quoi fairee te brailles, chérie, si te connais j'aime un tas.
Floyd Shreve, Luderin Darbone,
Danny Shreve, Claude "Pete" Duhon

The Ramblers' 1938 recording, "One Step De L'Amour" (#2056), has a similar swing feel as their recording of "J'ai Pres Parley".  The session had Danny Shreve on guitar, Floyd Shreve on guitar, Claude "Pete" Duhon on bass, and Luderin Darbonne on fiddle and vocals.   
I had a dear little girl, a little girl who loved me,
Why do you cry, (Why do you cry),
Why do you cry, (Why do you cry),
Why do you cry, dear, if you knew I like it alot.

You made me go away, went away with another,
Why do you cry, (Why do you cry),
Why do you cry, (Why do you cry),
Why do you crydear, if you knew I like it alot.

You told me that you loved me, but I know it's not true,
Why do you cry, (Why do you cry),
Why do you cry, (Why do you cry),
Why do you crydear, if you knew I like it alot.

This session would be their last before the war and end their 3 years with RCA.  The group wouldn't record until a small label called DeLuxe from New Jersey would find the group still playing music and entice many of the original members to record again in 1947.

  3. Lyrics by Stephanie D and Herman M
Louisiana Cajun Music Volume 8: The Hackberry Ramblers - Early Recordings 1935-1948 (Old Timey, 1988)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

"Mayor of Bayou Pom Pom" - Walter Coquille

An article about one of the earliest Cajun humor recordings. Although it's not music, it's important to note it's existence among the other pre-war recordings of the culture.

(NOTE: Material borrowed from Pierre Partout)

Walter Coquille was the originator of the beloved fictional character Telesfore Boudreaux who was Mayor of the fictional south Louisiana settlement of Bayou Pom-Pom.  Coquille thrilled thousands for 30 years with his stories of life in rural south Louisiana.

He was born in 1886 in the small rural community of Smoke Bend, Louisiana which sits along the Mississippi River in Ascension Parish.  He was the youngest of seven children born to Robert Coquille and Alice Roberson.  His grandfather immigrated from France and settled in St. James Parish.  His family moved to New Orleans when he was young and Walter attended St. Alyosius.  After his father's death in 1900, his mother ran a boarding house.  According to the 1910 census, the extended family lived under the same roof along with several boarders.  He married Jeannette Phelps in 1910 and started his career as a bank clerk, but later joined the Royal Typewriter Company rising to position of manager in the 1930s. 
Fernand Remanjon, Walter Coquille,
Mrs. Edna Bourg Coquille,
Mrs. Noelie Coquille Coerver

His travels as a salesman took him throughout Louisiana's bayou country, where he fell in love with the people of his youth and became fascinated with the Cajun dialect.  More than likely Coquille's avocation was influenced by his brother-in-law, Fernand Remanjon, whom he lived with in New Orleans.  Remanjon, a native of France, married Walter's sister, Nellie.  Remanjon worked as a travelling salesman for a drug store in New Orleans, work which took him through the countryside of south Louisiana.  Remanjon saw the uniqueness of the Cajun people and shared his stories with Walter.

Walter's mother, Alice, passed away in 1927, a couple of years before publishing his first book, "The Mayor of Bayou Pom-Pom.  He gained popularity from his columns, books, and the song, "Eh La Bas". He published his first book, "The Mayor of Bayou Pom-Pom," in 1929.   His first recordings of his "Creole monologue" were with Brunswick  (#319).  In March, he recorded a two-part series of humor using the same book title.   By September, he headed back to New Orleans and recorded part 3 through part 6, however, Brunswick only released 3 and 4, one about traffic and the other about hunting (#359). 
Abbeville Meridional
Mar 15, 1930

Telesfore Boudreaux, Bayou Pom Pom's mayor, kept Coquille quite busy with speaking engagements.  The Thibodaux Daily Comet reprinted a letter from beloved Mayor Boudreaux accepting an invite to speak at the Houma chamber of commerce.  The letter is signed by "le maire" with a mark "X" but witnessed by Coquille.  By the end of 1930, he recorded two more records, continuing his series about the mayor, one record entitled "The Re-Election Of The Mayor Of Bayou Pom Pom" (#494) and "The Surprise Party Of The Mayor Of The Bayou Pom Pom" (#591).  

In 1938, he followed it up with "The Mayor of Bayou Pom-Pom Speak's," which was reprinted 1954.  His song writing is limited to a translation of "Eh La Bas," but it furthered his authenticity. Many versions of "Eh La Bas" have been recorded over the years.  Originally sung in with Creole lyrics, it was later translated to French and English.  Danny Barker sings a version of the song.

Coquille died November 22, 1957 after a long illness.  Announcement of his death was carried in newspapers throughout the country.  His friends remarked that he told more free stories than he was ever paid for.

His columns can be found in the Loyola University Maroon. 

Walter Coquille


Louisiana Cajun Music Vol. 5: The Early Years (1928-1938) (Old Timey, 1973)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

"Osson" - Joe Falcon

Joe Falcon would take this much older melody and create the song known as "Osson" for Columbia in April of 1929 in Atlanta.  It was one year after his recording of "Lafayette".   He and his wife Cleoma accompanied her brothers for their first studio session where they recorded a couple of their own tunes. Sometimes listed as "Osson One Step", the fast pace tune carries a somber story of a man feeling unloved. 

Oh, mais pauvre Osson,

Mais les belles filles si canailles,

C’’est pitié quand je les vois,

Oh méfie-toi mais les ‘tites brunes est si canailles,

Et les ‘tites blondes, ya pas moyen, sont flères.

Oh, mais pauvre Osson,

Il me fait pitié quand pour moi,

J’vas jongler à ce qu’il m’a fait,

Mais c’est de voir mais hier au soir cette belle tite fille,

Quand elle m’a dit joli cœur,

Moi j’veux plus, plus t’aimer.

Oh, tu m’as quitté moi tout seul,
Comme un pauvre misérable, plus d'espoir de la revoir. 
Hier j’m’ai trainé, bien jonglé,
Mais y avoir l’air pour elle-même,
J’mérite pas non tout ça,
Comme elle a fait hier au soir.
Ossun is a community north of Lafayette.  It borrowed some similarities from an old fiddle melody called "Rubber Dolly".  The tune must have been floating around the countryside since later that year, Angelas LeJeunne would record the tune as the more well-known "Bayou Pom Pom One Step" and Adam Trahan did the same with his "The Waltz of Our Little Town".  By 1934, Amede Ardoin traveled to NYC and recorded the song for Decca with many similarities, giving it the title "Tortope d'Osrun".   After the war, Austin Pitre sped up the tempo and created his "High Point Two Step".  Falcon's vocals were always emotional, while his accordion remained unyieldingly dominant and Cleoma's guitar maintained a consistent strumming rhythm.1  Her brother Ophy joined in on fiddle.

Oh, poor Osson,

Well, the beautiful girls are just scum,

It's a pity when I see them,

Oh, but beware, the little brunettes are scoundrels,

And the little blondes, no way, they're snobby.

Oh, poor Osson,

It makes me pitiful,

I'm reminiscing about what she did,

But, seeing, last night, this beautiful little girl,

When she told me that, pretty girl,

I wanted to love you more.

Oh, you left me all alone,
Like a poor wretch, a love story,
Yesterday, I laid low, although reminiscing,
But, there she appeared,
I don't deserve all of that,
As of what she did last night.
Iry Lejeune, however, would borrow the melody from his uncle Angelas for his "Bayou Pom Pom Special".  Like the old Cajun and blues singers, he wrote his own lyrics but was often unaware of the origins of the tunes. Joe stated:
The number was there but I had to make up the words.  Like "Osson", it was the name of a little town, but you just have to find a name to put on the record.  It's an old two-step.2

  1. South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous By John Broven
  3. Lyrics by Stéphanie D
Pioneers of the Cajun Accordion (Arhoolie, 1989)
Roots 'N' Blues/The Retrospective 1925-1950 (Legacy/Columbia, 1992)
Old-Time Southern Dance Music: The String Bands, Vols. 1 & 2 (Arhoolie, 1997)
Les Cajuns Best Of 2002 Les Triomphes De La Country Volume 12 (Habana, 2002)
Bayou Two-Step - Cajun Hits From Louisiana 1929-1962 (Jasmine, 2015)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

"Harry Choates Special" - Harry Choates

In one of many instrumentals Harry Choates recorded in his life, he put together a smooth bluesy number for his group to perform which he later entitled "Harry Choates Special" (#1330).  Recorded in Houston, Texas by Bill Quinn at his recording studio in 1947, it featured several of his seasoned band members such as Esmond Pursley on guitar, Joe Manuel on banjo, Pee Wee Lyons on steel, B.D.Williams on bass, Curzy Roy on drums and, Johnnie Manuel on piano.  Gold Star sessions continued throughout 1947 and early 1948.  Either right before or just after the breakup of the original Rhythm Boys, Harry had recorded one of his showstoppers.5  According to author Tim Knight:
His "Harry Choates Special" in B-flat was an amazing performance.  The influence of Cliff Brunner was obvious.4
Johnnie Ruth Manuel,
Harry Choates
Choates is really at the peak of his powers on this amazing performance as he madly saws away at sixteenth notes, chaotic but controlled.  Central Texas fiddle great Bill Dessens, says that: 
Harry Choates Special is a far, far cry from Jole Blon--just real fine fiddle work. His Cliff Bruner influence was only too obvious...which showed in some of his plunking of strings and running fast scales from low to very high, as well as other bow action.5 

The piano solo is one of the few recorded by their pianist and wife of Joe Manuel, Johnnie Ruth Manuel.  Sometimes listed as "Johnnie Mae", she was born Johnnie Ruth Smyrl in 1927 to a family around Rankin, Texas and moved to San Angelo, Texas as a child.   By 1940, she was playing the piano which she learned from her grandmother who played in church.   After her father, a tenant farmer, moved to Lake Charles in search of work, she met Joe Manuel and they got married.2,3  

Clarion News
Aug 14, 1947

The recording was issued out by "special arrangement" with the Bihari's Modern Records out of Hollywood, California.  Joe knew Harry and his talent from playing together in Leo Soileau's group in the 30s and by 1946, they teamed up for his famous "Jole Blon" recording.  The following recording session, Joe convinced Harry to have Johnnie play piano in the group. According to researcher Andrew Brown,
Harry Choates's third release for Gold Star, which hit the jukeboxes in the summer of 1947, finally gave an accurate representation of how he and his band sounded in night clubs.  "Harry Choates Special" broke from the "Jole Blon" mold entirely to deliver an excellent western swing dance/jam tune.1   

Ronald Ray "Pee Wee" Lyons
Occasionally, Harry calls out Ronald Ray "Pee Wee" Lyons on steel guitar for a solo. He probably already know of the Manuels since they too were from Lake Charles.   The song features a fantastic chance for listeners to hear his abilities with the group.  After Harry's band broke up, he continued playing with Eddie Shuler's Reveliers in Lake Charles.  He even sang with Eddie on his recording "Help Us Oh Lord" in 1952. 

According to Shuler:
He was a real good musician. He’d let his fingernails grow, and they was just like the steel picks you used to pick the strings with on the steel guitar. It didn’t seem to bother him.1

  2. Johnnie Ruth Smyrl 1940 US Census
  3. Upton County, Texas Births
  4. Poor Hobo: The Tragic Life of Harry Choates, a Cajun Legend by Tim Knight
  5. Devil In The Bayou - The Gold Star Recordings.  Liner notes by Andrew Brown.
Harry Choates ‎– The Fiddle King Of Cajun Swing (Arhoolie, 1982, 1993)

Thursday, October 6, 2016

"Valse De La Pointe D'Eglise (Church Point Waltz)" - Amede Ardoin

After recording for Columbia records, Decca gained interest in recording Amede Ardoin's Creole tunes.  By 1934, Ardoin was headed to NYC solo where a slew of songs would be waxed.  It would be his last recording session ever.  During this last session, he recorded the tune "Valse De La Pointe D'Eglise (Church Point Waltz)" for Decca (#17023). It was about a small town in south Louisiana known as Church Point. 

While it is discussed here, it's important to know, his death is mysterious and controversial.  While plenty has been written about his death, some say the popular stories are lies and the truth is buried in the midst of time.   

Oh, moi, je m'en vas à la maison,

Moi, donc, je m'en vas, jolie, je m'en vas,

O, catin, ye yaille, moi je voulais pour te rejoindre, jolie.

Oh, c'est à Church Pointe, eux-autres s'en aller,

Oh, c'est la-bas, c'etait l'heure je m'en vas,
C'etait l'heure aller à Church Pointe.

Oh, allons, allons à Church Pointe pour voir,
Oh, pour la voir, oh, c'est la-bas chez Bellard.

Oh, maman, ayou moi je vas aller pour passer,
Ah, oui, quand j'ai arrive, oh, j'arrive à la porte,
Ils sont toujours la pour me recevoir à la porte,
Quand moi j'arrive et ça veut pas moi je rentre,
Parceque ça trouve moi, j'suis saoul à mourir.
Amede Ardoin

The widely accepted account of his death begins on a night when Amédé was playing at a white dance hall. At one point, he asked Celestin Marcantel, a white farmer who let Amédé live in his barn, for a rag to wipe off his sweat; one of the farmer’s daughters handed him a handkerchief.  Several white men saw the exchange. They waited for Amédé afterward, then beat him savagely; some say they ran over him with a Ford Model A, crushing his vocal cords. Amédé did not die immediately, but the beating left him, as one man described, “stone crazy.”2 

Not everyone agrees with this story.  According to Boozoo Chavis:
In that time, them colored people wouldn't do things like that, they'd kill you.  What they done, they poisoned him in his drink.  Because them white women used to go there by the bandstand and ask him to play a number.  They like his music. They wouldn't shoot him, because he had a white partner with him, so they poisoned him.1
Dennis McGee believes he was poisoned by a jealous black fiddler:
There was a black man who played the fiddle and he wanted to play with Amede.  Amede told him "I'm not going to play with you.  if you and I play together, two blacks, the whites are going to kill us".1
The last time I saw Amede he was in Eunice, plated between two railroad tracks.  I said "What's wrong with you Amede?" He was right there and he was lost, lost, lost.  The black man had given him a dose of poison in the whiskey.1
Milton Ardoin and others believe the handkerchief was a polite metaphor for the obvious truth: that Amede had relations with white women, and that's what killed him.

Oh, I'm going to the house,

Me, therefore, I'm going, my pretty, I'm going,

Oh, doll, ye yaille, I wanted to join you, my pretty.

Oh, it's at Church Point, they are all going,

Oh, it's over there, it's time I get going,
It's time to go to Church Point.

Oh, going, going to Church Point to see,
Oh, to see her, oh, it's over there at Bellard's home.

Oh, mom, where am I going to go to lay down,
Ah, yes, when I arrive, oh, I arrive at the door,
They are still always there to welcome me at the door,
When I arrive and they don't want me to come in,
Because they found that I'm drinking to death.

Central Louisiana State Hospital Cemetery

By some accounts, he wound up in a mental institution in Pineville, Louisiana. The only concrete evidence of this, however, is a death certificate issued May 30, 1941 from Pineville for a person named "Amelie Ardoin." And the certificate lists Ardoin as being 20 years older than he actually was at the time. Others say Ardoin eventually left Pineville and headed home.4  Recently discovered, a death card with case no. 13387 reads:
Name: Amede Ardoin. Age: 43. Civil Condition: M. Race: C. Admitted: 9-26- 42. Parish: St. Landry. Residence: Eunice, La. Birthplace: La. Discharged: (blank). Previous Att’ks: None. Heredity History: None. Religion: Catholic. Correspondent: None given. Died: 11- 3-42. Disposition of Body: Buried here.5

“Here” is the common grave at Central Louisiana State Hospital, the mental health facility in Pineville.  Many historians have tried and failed to located his grave marker.5  Years of attempts to recover the body of Amédé, as he is widely known, have come to nothing.   Amédé’s is known only by its general vicinity: the area where the blacks were buried.2  

  1. The Kingdom of Zydeco By Michael Tisserand
Amadé Ardoin – Louisiana Cajun Music Vol. 6 : Amadé Ardoin – The First Black Zydeco Recording Artist (1928–1938) (Old Timey)
I'm Never Comin Back: Roots of Zydeco (Arhoolie, 1995)

Mama I'll Be Long Gone: The Complete Recordings of Amede Ardoin (Tompkins Square, 2011)