Thursday, August 31, 2017

"Basile Waltz" - Leo Soileau and Mayuse Lafleur

One of most popular Cajun waltzes of all time, it still has a place in modern day recordings and live dance halls.   Created by Leo Soileau and Mayuse Lafleur, other musicians would take the tune and change it's name and it's lyrics; recording it for years to come.  The "Basile Waltz" (#21769) comes in at the top of the list for one of the most covered and recorded tunes throughout Cajun music history. It's the common Cajun lament about asking a lover to leave and go away with him, this time, to the small south Louisiana town of Basile.

The original was done in Atlanta, GA as the flip side to Soileau and Lafleur's famous "Mama Where You At?" recording in October 1928 for Victor.   Before the war, others recorded the melody as well.  Joe and Cleoma borrowed from the melody for their song "Aimer Et Perdre (To Love and Lose)".  After the Depression in 1934, Decca invited Joe and Cleoma Falcon to record in New Orleans in which she used the melody in her song "Ma Valse Preferé".  Even Leo would re-use the melody in his later recording of "La Bonne Valse".   Their sponsor, Frank Dietlein recalled the session:
[Mayuse] sang a song about his mother, "Mama, Where You At" and it was at this recording session when eh sang his version of "Grand Basile".  I soon found out that the Cajun songs were extemporaneous and invariably fitted the mood the singer was in.7  

Oh, allons s'en aller dans grand Basile,

Oui, jolie petite fille.

Hé, toi malheureuse qu'est t'as fais,

Oh, moi je t'ai jamais fais rien pour toi faire ça 

Toi tite fille, t'auras du regret avant longtemps ça t'as fait.

Toi, jolie petit monde ça t'as fait,

Moi je connais tu vas pleurer, malheureuse, ye yaille,
Toi tite fille tu connais j'mérite pas ça toi t'as fait.

Oh, jolie fille, malheureuse, 
Si t'aurais voulu m’écouter chérie, 
Tu serais dans le grand Basile avec aujourd'hui, chère.

Oh, toi 'tite fille chérie,
Moi je connais c'est ça, j'm'en vas dans grand Basile,
Mais toi 'tite fille, tu peux pas venir me rejoindre, 
Et même si tu veux, malheureuse, je veux pas te voir.
Abbeville Meridional
Dec 15, 1928

Lafleur was an excellent singer and an expressive accordionist. The two men quickly reached simpatico in their playing.  It took five hours for the engineers to perfect the vocal levels for the session however, Lafleur's playing was brighter and more enthusiastic than Falcon's more traditional style.  The Victor session became infamous after the death of Mayuse nine days later.    By 1935, Soileau teamed up with Floyd Shreve, Bill Landry, and Tony Gonzales as the Three Aces.  Together, they traveled to New Orleans and re-recorded the tune in a string-band style as "Le Grand Mamou" on both the Bluebird label (#2194) and the Montgomery Ward label (#4880).   According to Arheon Vidrine who was interviewed in 1953,
"La Valse de Grand Mamou" was very popular 45 years ago when Edwin Landreneau played it on his fiddle at fais do-dos and sang it with much pathos and feeling. An old Frenchman taught him the song so we tend to believe that it goes further back still.  The late Mayuse Lafleur gave it new life in the late twenties.6  

Mayuse Lafleur
It wouldn't be until 1948 when Harry Choates used "Basile" as "Gra Mamou" (#124) for the Macy's label in Houston, even following up with "Answer to Gra Mamou" which was never released.  At some point, he recorded an alternate take pressed at the Humming Bird studio called "Big Mamou" (#1012) in 1951.  During Nathan Abshire's first session recording with Will Kegley and Atlas Fruge in 1950, they laid down the song "Grand Mamou" for Virgel Bozman's O.T. label (#106) however, due to a poor recording sound, his version never sold well and was almost lost to history.  Even record producer Eddie Shuler found favor in recording the song with his own group entitled "Grande Mamou".  However, it would be Link Davis' English version of "Big Mamou" in 1952 which solidified it's national popularity.
Oh, go, let's go to big Basile,
Yes, pretty little girl.

Hey, you're so unhappy, how you feel,
Oh, I never did anything for you to do that,
You little girl, you'll regret this before too long, all you've done.

You, pretty little world of mine, what you've done,
I know you're going to cry, oh my, ye yaille,
You little girl, you know I don't deserve what you've done.

Oh pretty girl, oh my,
If you wanted to listen to me, dear,
You'd be in big Basile with me today, dear.

Oh, you little girl, dear,
I know that's it, I'm going to big Basile,
Well, you little girl, you can not come with me,
And even if you want to, oh my, I don't want to see you.
Cajun music mural
Basile, LA

Since then, many musicians have taken this melody and have put their own spin providing countless recordings since the 50s such as Harry Choates, Ambrose Thibodeaux, Link Davis, Eddie Shuler, Pete Hanley, Ella Mae Morse, Dolores Gray, Jimmy Newman, Everly Brothers, Waylon Jennings, Rod Bernard, and Clifton Chenier.  

Over time the song would be interchangeably known as both "Basile" and "Grand Mamou" in the Cajun music circles.   Today, however, most of the world knows the tune as "Big Mamou".

  1. Cajun Breakdown: The Emergence of an American-Made Music By Ryan Andre Brasseaux
  2. Louisiana Fiddlers By Ron Yule
  4. Label scan by University of Louisiana at Lafayette Cajun and Creole Music Collection - Special Collections
  5. Louisiana Music: A Journey From R&b To Zydeco, Jazz To Country, Blues To Gospel, Cajun Music To Swamp Pop To Carnival Music And Beyond by Rick Koster
  6. VPG. Apr 23, 1953
  7. Daily World (Opelousas, Louisiana) 07 May 1974, Tue Page 4
  8. Lyrics by Stephane F
Le Gran Mamou: A Cajun Music Anthology -- The Historic Victor-Bluebird Sessions, 1928-1941 (Country Music Foundation, 1990)
The Early Recordings of Leo Soileau (Yazoo, 1999)
Cajun Origins (Catfish, 2001)
The Early Recordings of Leo Soileau (Yazoo, 2006)
The Return Of The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of (Yazoo, 2012)
The Missing Country & Blues Album (Magic Gold, 2014)
Down Home Blues (Goldenlane, 2014)

Saturday, August 26, 2017

"La Valse De La Prison" - Hackberry Ramblers

The Hackberry Ramblers were the first band in southern Louisiana to bring electronic amplification to area dancehalls. Many of these venues still did not have electricity, and the Ramblers powered their primitive Sears-Roebuck “P. A. system” from the battery of Darbone’s idling Model-T Ford. The advent of amplification profoundly changed the local music scene. Until then only the accordion could cut through the noise of a crowd. Stringed instruments such as fiddle and guitar were barely audible and thus relegated to simple accompanying roles playing rhythm parts. Once they could be heard clearly, however, musicians who played these instruments were inspired to take solos and generally improve their technique, thus elevating the prevailing standards of musicianship.1

Dans la prison, chérie, assis sur mon lit,
Comment, donc, je vas faire, chérie, sans ma ‘tite fille?
Sans ma ‘tite fille, chérie, avec les yeux bleus,
Comment, donc, je vas faire, chérie, depuis tu m’aime p’us?
Depuis tu m’aime p’us, chérie, je vas m’en aller,
Je vas m’en aller, chérie, dans le paradis.
Crowley Daily Signal
Dec 30, 1940

The 1938 session that produced "La Valse De La Prison" (#2066) would be the band's last Cajun recording stint before the war.  Floyd and Danny Shreve backed Luderin up on guitar, with Floyd belting out the French vocals.  Claude Duhon filled in on bass.  In 1939, they disbanded briefly when Luderin quit playing after the death of his father in an oil-field accident. Luderin formed a new group in the 1940s, teaming with Crawford Vincent and Jack Theriot. The new band kept the old name — Hackberry Ramblers.  However, the Ramblers broke up again when some musicians were drafted for World War II. Darbone reorganized, bringing back Edwin Duhon and adding Eddie Shuler.2

In prison, dear, sitting on my bed,
How, then, will I go on, dear, without my daughter?
Without my daughter, dear, with blue yes,
How, then, will I go on, dear, since you love me?
Since you love me, darling, I'm gonna go,
I'm gonna go, dear, to paradise.

  2. "Hackberry Ramblers Making music since 1933". DON KINGERY. American Press, Friday, September 24, 2004
Gran Prairie: Cajun Music Anthology, Vol. 3: The Historic Victor Bluebird Sessions (Country Music, 1994)
Cajun Louisiane 1928-1939 (Fremeaux, 2003)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

"A Cowboy Rider" - Joe Falcon

In 1929, the Cajun musician duo, Joe Falcon and Cleoma Breaux, followed up their debut session with a second appearance for Columbia.  The couple recorded several other arrangements, including another anglicized tune titled "A Cowboy Rider" (#40502), a song that spoke to south Louisiana's deeply rooted ranching traditions.1

Cattle ranching was one of the earliest economic industries during the early 19th century.   Spanish cattle drivers would routinely cross over the Old Spanish Trail, moving their livestock between San Antonio and New Orleans, through towns like Opelousas, Crowley and Lake Charles.  The trail began near Liberty, Texas, and followed Indian paths to various parts of Louisiana, including the towns of Opelousas, Alexandria, Natchitoches, and New Orleans.  From New Orleans, the cattle could be shipped to northern markets by boat.3  Historian W. T. Block, however, describes the Opelousas Trail as following the Old Spanish Trail, or La Bahia Road, from New Orleans through Opelousas, crossing the Sabine River near Beaumont, to San Antonio, essentially following the present Interstate Highway 10.2  According to 19th century historian William Darby:
Lake Charles American Press
Sep 2, 1947

The prairie Mamou is devoted by the present inhabitants to the rearing of cattle, some of the largest herds in Opelousas are within its precincts. Three rich stockholders have, as if by consent, settled their vacheries in three distinct prairies. Mr. Wikoff, in the Calcasieu prairie, west of the Nezpique, Mr. Fontenot in prairie Mamou; and Mr. Andrus in Opelousas prairie. Those three gentlemen must have collectively fifteen or twenty thousand head of near cattle, with several hundred horses and mules. It may be presumed that Mr. Wikoff is at this time the greatest pastoral farmer in the United States.

During the 1950s, the instrumental would be resurrected as "Wandering Aces Special" by Lawrence Walker.

  1. "Cajun Breakdown: The Emergence of an American-Made Music" by Ryan Andre Brasseaux


Cajun: Rare & Authentic (JSP, 2008)
Cajun Music, The Pretty Girls Don't Want Me (Firefly, 2012)
Cajun Swamp Stomp, Vol 1 (Lumi, 2012)

Thursday, August 17, 2017

"Gra Mamou" - Harry Choates

Harry Choates was the total and complete musician and entertainer. All of this life he ate, drank and slept music. It is sometimes very difficult to unravel the facts and myths surrounding the life and times of the man who wrote what has been called the Cajun national anthem, “Jolie Blon.” What Jimmy Rogers was to country music, Harry Choates was to French music.2

Originally recorded in 1928 by Leo Soileau and Mayuse Lafleur, the Victor recording "Basile Waltz" is a staple of Cajun music, with a variety of names given to the melody.  Leo had renamed the tune "Le Gran Mamou" in the 1930s, re-recording it as a string band song and played the tune for years across the Louisiana dancehalls.   Harry, an avid fan of Leo's music had joined his band in the early 40s, covering all their tunes.  Harry used this opportunity to cover Leo's signature song. 

Hé ha ha, hé hé hé

Oh mais ça t’as fait ton bon vieux chien.

S’en aller dans Grand Mamou, mais jolie fille,

C’est pour voir ma jolie mignonne, petite fille, joli petit cœur,

Hé petite fille, hé ha ha, oh mais quoi t’as fait à ton papan.

Oh toi, quoi, tit monde, chérie,
Quoi t’as fait à ton pauvre vieux nègre,
Ça me fait de la peine, je ne mérite pas ça,
Hé petite, villaines manières,
Oh mais moi, je connais ça sera pas longtemps.

Hé villaines manières, quoi t’as fait ton pauvre vieux nègre,
Ça sera pas longtemps, ha ha.

Helen and Harry Choates

Between 1946 and 1949, Harry had a successful career pushing his swinging style of Cajun music with his group called the Melody Boys.  But after internal issues broke the band apart, Choates continued searching for any recording opportunities he could find.  He found an upstart recording label run by Charles and Macy Henry in Houston, Texas.

By 1950, Harry entered the ACA Studios of Bill Holford with a new set of musicians and re-record the tune as "Gra Mamou" (#124) on the Macy's label.  Copying the same tactic Leo Soileau and Bluebird Records did by changing the name to "Le Grand Mamou", it's possible he could avoid any conflicts with song copyrights on a separate recording label.  The song featured Frank Juricek or Earl Rebert on steel guitar and possibly Louis Oltremari on piano, but by this time, most of Harry's second band were unknown.  It's most likely these were studio musicians that Henry used to back Harry up on the session.

Hey, ha ha, hey heh hey,

Oh well, what you did to your old dog.

Going to Grand Mamou, well, pretty girl,

It's to see my pretty cutie, little girl, pretty sweetheart,

Hey little girl, hey ha ha, oh well, what you've done to your dad.

Oh why, my little everything, dear?
What have you done to your poor old man?
It hurts me, I don't deserve that,
Hey little one, your naughty ways,
Oh well, I know it will not be long.

Hey, your naughty ways, what did you do to your poor old man,
It will not be long, ha ha.

It must have sold well since Harry was back in the studio later that year recording "Answer to Gran Mamou" however, for unknown reasons, the follow-up was never released.  Either done previously at Goldstar and later sold to Hummingbird or done at a Houston studio in 1951 for Hummingbird, Harry re-recorded the tune as "Big Mamou" (#1012).   
Oh mais, moi, je connais, mais malheureuse,
Quoi t’as fait mais avec moi, je mérite pas ça, chérie,
Hé petite, mais, joli cœur,
Oh mais, moi, je connais ça sera pas longtemps.

Oh, mais chère petite,
Moi, je connais mais ça t’as fait il y a pas longtemps, malheureuse,
Hé ha ha, hé hé hé, oh pour ça t’as fait ton pauvre vieux chien.

Oh yeah.

Tenor banjoist and Port Arthur resident Ivy Gaspard, who toured with Choates, recalled the Cajun music of southeast Texas:
This area was a hotbed of good musicians. You had as many good musicians here as you had anywhere. Some of the dancers who would come to our dances were amazed; they’d never heard French music played the way I played it on tenor guitar but (really) I was playing western swing. I didn’t care to play French, ’cause the musicians weren’t that good. They’ve got some good French musicians now but Harry’s the one who put the idea in their heads how to play that kind of music. Before that, French music, I hated to play it ’cause it was just the same thing over and over and over. But I didn’t mind playing French music with Harry ‘cause he had that beat.1

Oh well, I know, oh my,
What you've done, well, with me, I don't deserve that, dear,
Hey, little one, well, pretty sweetheart,
Oh well, I know it won't be long.

Oh, well, dear little one,
I know , well, that was done not long ago, oh my,
Hey ha hah, hey heh hey, oh, that you've done to your poor old dog.

Oh yeah.

Gra Mamou - 1950 - Macy's

Big Mamou - 1951 - Hummingbird

  3. Lyrics by Jordy A and Carol B
Harry Choates: Five-Time Loser 1940-1951 (Krazy Kat, 1990)
Cajun Fiddle King (AIM, 1999)
Cajun Capers: Cajun Music 1928-1954 (Proper, 2005)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

"Pin Solitaire" - Cleoma Breaux

Singer and guitarist Cleoma Breaux Falcon is remembered today for two major contributions to Cajun music. First, she and future spouse Joe Falcon were responsible for the first recording ever made of Cajun music. In New Orleans in 1928, the couple recorded the song "Allons à Lafayette" for Columbia. Second, she was one of very few women of her day to perform Cajun music on-stage. The setting of a dancehall was considered improper, and a strong chance existed that a woman who sang there would be seen as immoral. Breaux overcame the stigma, possibly due to the fact that she mounted the stage with a man -- her husband -- at her side.2 Now married to Joe Falcon, they traveled and sang one of many influential country & western tunes of the day called "Pin Solitaire" (#17024) for Decca in 1936.   

Moi, je m'en vas de la maison,

Moi, je vois p'us quoi je vas faire, p'tite fille,
Tu connais, mais, pour toi-meme, 
Ça me fait pitié comme un pauvre orphelin,
Comme un pauvre orphelin, 
Ni père, ni mère, p'us personne pour m'aimer,

Moi, je m’en vas pour toi, p’tite fille,
Ouais, pour toi, ma petite, ça t’après me faire,
Moi, je connais que je mérite pas donc, 
Tout ça t’après m’faire, malheureuse
Dit "bye bye" à ton papa et ta maman, 
Malheureuse, p’tite fille,
Moi, j’après mais m’en aller,
Pour t’amener avec moi, malheureuse.

Oh malheureuse, (ma) p’tite, ouais. 

With Moise Morgan on fiddle, the trio covers a traditional country and western tune called "Lonesome Pine".   It would be similar to the same melody used by her brothers a year earlier on the song "La Valse Du Bayou Plaquemine".

I'm going away from home,

I see what Im going to do, little girl,
You know, well, yourself,
It makes me pitiful like a poor orphan,
Like a poor orphan, 
No father, no mother, no one to love me.

I'm leaving you, little girl,
Yeah, for you, my little one, that you've done,
I know that I do not deserve this,
All that's been done, oh my,
Say "bye bye" to your dad and your mom,
Oh my, little girl,
I have, oh my, left,
To bring you with me, oh my.

Oh my, little girl, yeh.

If the melody seems oddly familiar, have no doubt it is.  The first recording of this melody as a Cajun tune was by the Guidry Brothers called "Le Garcon Negligent" in 1929.  It's quite possible this old tune is the foundation for Jolly Boys' song "Abbeville" and Louisiana Rounder's "Allons Kooche Kooche" which later became Papa Cairo's "Big Texas" and Hank Williams' "Jambalaya". 

  1. Cajun Breakdown: The Emergence of an American-Made Music By Ryan Andre Brasseaux
  2. Linda Seida, Rovi.
  3. Lyrics by Jordy A
  4. Image by Malcolm V

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

"Two Step De Mama" - Amede Ardoin

"Two Step De Mama" (#40514), recorded for Columbia records, was amongst the first recordings in the career of musician Amede Ardoin.   During his very first session, he laid down six tunes in New Orleans.   It isn't clear, however, just how Amede came to make a record.   Dennis McGee recalls that it was after he had won an accordion contest.  In September of 1929, three months before the pair went to New Orleans, there was indeed a contest in the town of Opelousas.  The sheriff and local doctor, both Cajuns, built a platform in the center of town and the weekend-long event attracted an estimated crowd of two thousand, including representatives from at least four record companies.3  

Eunice News
Dec 13, 1929

The subject matter of many of his songs revolve around his "sweet Joline", a woman he longed to court but who's mother always seemed to send him away from their home.  Much of his music dealt with lost of this loved one or his own mortality. In the song, Ardoin seems to be acknowledging the reality of his own death. In translation, one representative passage goes: "I'm going away from you, Joline, so far away / I did say, oh yes, I'm so lonesome for you / There is so much sadness in me — How will I go on, little heart? / I don't know if I'll ever find you again."1  
Pardonne-moi, donc chère, ma Joline,
J’vas m’en aller, ouais, à la maison,
Mais, comment ça se fait, oh ouais ils vont me retourner,
Mais, ça m’fait trop d’la peine, mais ouais, te r’voir,
Oh ouais, revoir quand toi tu m’as mal fait, 
J’connais ça me fait du mal pour moi pleurer.

Ma Joline, bonsoir jolie Joline,
Bonsoir catin, bonsoir, mais ouais, je m’en vas,
Tu connais (y a) personne jamais qui va me rejoindre,
Jamais encore après ça que tu m’as fait,
Ça me fait si dur de quitter de ta maman,
Je veux pas de voir des autrements que toi.

Comment je vas faire, bye bye, oh ouais, catin,
Donc c’est mignonne, c’est toi, ouais ‘tite tête noire,
**Mais garde-donc toi**? je te voulais, jolie mignonne,
Mais ouais pas de te r’voir, ta chère maman m’a fait,
La cause à toi, catin, je pourrais pleurer,
Ouais, donc ouais, pleurer, je crois pas ça me fait du bien.
Amede Ardoin

As for what occurred in Opelousas, it's a bit of a mystery.  The reported winner of the grand prize was a Cajun accordionist named Angelas Lejeune, with McGee accompanying, yet the local papers also noted that fifteen winners were chosen in all.  It is likely that Ardoin attracted some attention that weekend.3

So, forgive me, dear, my Joline,

I'm going to leave, yeh, to the house,

Well, that's how it feels, oh yeh, to return,

Well, it hurts me too much, well yeh, to see you again.

Oh yeh, seeing you again when you've done me wrong,
I know it hurts for me to cry.

My Joline, good night sweet Joline,
Goodnight pretty doll, goodnight, well yeh, I'm going,
You know there's nobody who will join me ever,
Never again after what you've done,
It's so hard to leave your mom's place,
I do not want to see anything other than you.

How will I handle this? Bye, bye, oh yeh, little doll,
So, it's my cutie, it's you, yeh, little dark headed girl,
Well, look at you, I wanted you, pretty cutie,
Well yeh, I'm not able to see you again, your dear mother did this to me,
All because of you, little doll, I could cry,
Yeh, so yeh, this crying, I do not think this is doing any good.

Thankfully, his sessions proved powerful enough to have him record for Bluebird, Brunswick and Decca records between 1930 and 1934. His recording was placed in an advertisement in the Phonograph Monthly Review in March of 1930. Without this his career in Cajun music, we wouldn't have a slew of songs inspired by his artistic creations.  According to musician Mike Doucet:

Without him we would not have the dozen or so songs Iry Lejeune interpreted and recorded in the 1950s that helped to bring about a resurgence of Cajun French pride. We would not have Austin Pitre’s soulful interpretation of “Opelousas 2-Step” nor his version of Amédé’s emotional “Le blues de la prison.” How can we dismiss Dewey Balfa’s version of “Je suis orphelin” or his brother Will’s haunting “Les blues du cadien”?2
And with Ardoin's "Mama", Iry Lejeune took this song and made it into his "Lacassine Special" in the late 1940s.

  3. The Kingdom of Zydeco By Michael Tisserand
  4. Lyrics by Marc C, Stephane F and Jordy A
  5. Photo by Jeremy S
Amadé Ardoin – Louisiana Cajun Music Vol. 6 : Amadé Ardoin – The First Black Zydeco Recording Artist (1928–1938) (Old Timey)
Cajun Dance Party: Fais Do-Do (Legacy/Columbia, 1994)
Aimer Et Perdre: To Love & To Lose Songs, 1917-1934 (Tompkins Square, 2012)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

"Bayou Pom Pom One Step" - Angelas Lejeune

A mostly obscure artist, many of modern Cajun tunes can be traced back to some of the earliest recordings of musician named Angelas Lejeune.  Angelas Lejeune was a fantastic, skilled accordion player that played for friends and family.   Here, he sings about a mythical place called Bayou Pom Pom, made popular by the comedian Walter Coquille in the 1920s and 30s.   Also spelled Pon Pon, he named the tune after this location "Bayou Pom Pom One Step" (#370).   The song has become one of the most popular recorded Cajun songs since the 1950s. 
Oh, c’est malheureux, chère,
C’est malheureux de t'voir,
Apres m'quitter.

Oh, rappelle-toi bien la fois,
J’étais avec toi su l'pont,
Du Bayou Pon Pon, chere.

Oh, c'est malheureux de m'voir,
Comment j'suis là, aujourd'hui,
Tout l'temps dans la misère.

Oh, tout partout ou je peux aller,
Mais, où ça s'rassemble il faudrait,
Que je t'voye avec ton neg.

Oh, moi j'connais ca tout a l'heure,
Tu vas regretter tes accroires,
T’es après faire avec moi.

In 1929, Angelas recorded during a Brunswick/Vocalian session that lasted from Septempber 30th to October 2nd in New Orleans.  It was sponsored by an Opelousas newspaper that chose the trio to wax a few records.  Angelas Lejeune, Dennis Mcgee and Ernest Fruge borrowed an old fiddle folk tune called "Rubber Dolly" and converted it to "Bayou Pom Pom".    According to folklorist Glen Pitre, the phrase "pom pom" is a humorous, child-like way of referring to one's buttocks, making the reference even more comical.2  Attending the session on that day was comedian Walter Coquille, where he was slated to record part 3 of his "Mayor of Bayou Pom Pom" monologues.  It's most likely here where Angelas met Walter and decided to name the song after his fictional character.  The session also featured Cajun musicians Douglas Bellard and Leo Soileau with Moise Robin.  Moise recalls seeing Angelas and Douglas during his recordings:

 When I went over there, the last time I made a record in New Orleans with Leo Soileau, Angelas Lejeune, he made Bayou Pon Pon and I was there when he made Bayou Pon Pon. And there was a black [man], he made a record, Les Flammes D'enfer.
Oh, it's sad, dear,
It's unfortunate to see you,
After you went away.

Oh, remember the good times,
I was with you by the bridge,
Of Bayou Pon Pon, dear.

Oh, it's sad to see me,
How am I even here today?
I'm miserable all the time.

Oh, wherever I go, 
Wherever I run into you, 
I must see you with your man.

Oh, I know at this moment,
You're going to regret your lies,
Now that you're done with me.
Bayou PomPom Grocery
New Orleans, 1937

While the location of Bayou Pom Pom is not known, some have speculated it's located somewhere in Lafourche parish.  Legend has it that it lies north of Thibodaux, Louisiana near a community called Choupique.  

Modified iterations of "Pon Pon" can be found in Joe Falcon's "Osson One Step" and Adam Trahan's "Waltz Of Our Little Town".  Amede Ardoin also used it for his "Tortope d'Osrun" in 1934.   Angelas had become a mentor for Iry Lejeune.  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.   And so in 1953, with his recording career in full swing, Iry re-recorded the tune as "Bayou Ponpon Special".  

In 1951, Jimmie Davis along with Hank Williams recorded an English version of the tune.  Later, Austin Pitre would use some of the melody for his "High Point Two Step" and his "Janot Special". 

  2. Discussions with Glen P
  3. Lyrics by Raymond Francois
Louisiana Cajun Music Vol. 5: The Early Years 1928-1938 (Old Timey, 1973)
Cajun Louisiane 1928-1939 (Fremeaux, 2003)
Cajun Country, Vol. 2, More Hits from the Swamp (JSP, 2005)
Let Me Play This For You: Rare Cajun Recordings (Tompkins, 2013)