Abraham "Abe" Manuel was a hillbilly fiddle player that dabbled in both country music and Cajun music, covering popular tunes of the region. In the early 1940s, he played with Leo Soileau at the Avalon Club in Basile. No strangers in the music business, Abe Manuel Sr. toured and appeared at the Louisiana Hayride and the Grand Ole Opry with Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell. For a time, he was one of Bob Wills' Texas Playboys. He ended up playing with Chuck Guillory, Carrol Broussard, and even possibly Harry Choates with his brother Joe. Broussard, who played steel guitar with Harry, recalls that Abe filled in on fiddle for Harry when he "went off to get cured".1
|Lake Charles American Press|
Mar 3, 1954
C'est le Hip et Taïaut, ouais,
Mais, qu'a volé mon traîneau, ouais,
Quand il a vu j’étais devenu chaud, cherie,
Il a ramené mon traîneau.
C'est les filles de Bosco, ouais,
Qu'a volé mon gilet,Quand il a vu j'suis d'venu chaud , chérie,T'as ramené mon gilet.C'est le Hip et Taïaut, ouais,Mais, qu'a volé mon traîneau, ouais,Quand il a vu j’étais devenu chaud, cherie,Il a ramené mon traîneau.C'est les filles de Bosco, ouais,Qu'a volé mon gilet,Quand il a vu j'suis d'venu chaud , chérie,T'as ramené mon gilet.
|Abe Manuel Sr.|
Recorded in 1954 at J.D. Miller's studio in Crowley, Louisiana, Abe's Louisiana Hillbillies consisted of Abe Manuel on fiddle, Bradley Stutes on steel guitar, Dorothy "Dottie" Vincent on rhythm guitar, Amos Comeaux on drums, and either Wiley Barkdull or Cecil Farrell "Benny" Fruge on piano. In the song, it's quite possible "Pitre et Bosco" is actually "filles de Bosco", similar to the lyrics in Leo Soileau's "Hackberry Hop". Either way, the song is clearly taken from the well-known "Ils La Volet Mon Trancas" sung by Cleoma Breaux in 1934.
It's Hip and Taïaut, yeah,
That stole my sled, yeah,
When they saw I had become hot, cherie,
They brought my sled back.
This the girls of Bosco, yeah,That stole my vest,When they saw I had become hot, cherie,They brought my jacket back.
By 1965, Abe was living in Lake Charles and became vice-president of the Southern Association of Country and Western Music. Years afterwards, Abe and his wife Dottie were owners of Manuel's Cajun Store in Milton, Tennessee for years. That store became a restaurant, and Abe Manuel Sr. found his calling. On summertime Friday nights at dusk, most of the town bring lawn chairs over to the restaurant, sit down in the road, and eat friend alligator and crawfish étouffée while watching the Manuels and their friends play Cajun country music on the porch.
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- May 21, 1965 Lake Charles American-Press from Lake Charles, Louisiana · Page 5
Acadian All Star Special - The Pioneering Cajun Recordings Of J.D. Miller (Bear, 2011)