I loaned Mayuse one of my suits. We went first class. Stayed at one of the biggest hotels in Atlanta. I had told those people we didn't want to be put up at no joint. And we went on the train and had sleepers.2
In face, record producer Ralph Peer had the groundbreaking Cajun pair and Rodgers holed up in the same place.1 According to Soileau:
We stayed at the same hotel as the great Jimmie Rodgers, the old Blue Yodeler and it was really a thrill for us to meet him. He was there for a recording session, too.1,2
Oh toi, ‘tit monde, ton papa m’a jeté dehors,
Il m’a jeté dehors de ma maison, de ma maison, moi-même chérie.
Vieille mom! Je suis malheureux, il savait pas, là, il fait erreur,Ton papa, il a fait erreur quand il m’avait jeté dehors.Oh, ye yaille, comment ça se fait il a fait ça?Je connais pas, je méritais pas tout ça il a fait avec moi.C’est malheureux, il s’aperçoit il a fait erreur, mais, il est trop tard,C’est pas la peine qu’il se lamente, c’est pas la peine, il va pleurer.
With his wife abandoning him and fleeing back her parents home, "Your Father Put Me Out (Ton Pere A Mit d'Eor)" (#21770) spoke direcly to LaFleur's marital problems. His problems affected the recording session. The record executives concluded that the duo needed to remedy their edginess and secured a pint of 190 proof "prescription liquor" at a nearby pharmacy.2 Alcohol seemed easy to get. Maybe lost in rumors, Soileau also mentioned:
Jimmie knew where to secure a supply of moonshine of such high quality and refinement, ...[we] chatted and drank the night away.1,2
|Ville Platte Gazette|
Dec 22, 1928
However, Dietlein recalled the story differently.
When we arrived at the recording place, Leo told me that Mayuse could not sing. For his muse to awaken he needed a drink. When I told the Victor representative Ralph Peer of this predicament, he handed me a twenty dollar bill and asked me to get a taxi cab and try to find a drink Mayuse. I soon was back with a bottle of white lightning. Mayuse took a healthy swing of the white liquid. I can see Mayuse now. After a drink or two, his foot began moving and tapping the floor in rhythm. Pretty soon, I heard him tell Leo, "Laisser aller!" They started playing and the extemporaneous words came from Mayuse. His first song was about his girlfriend's father who had kicked him from his house. "Ton Papa Ma Jete Dehors".3Even "Cat" Doucet claims to have been involved in obtaining the liquor.
That was when I took them two boys to Atlanta. They gave us each $100. And our expenses. Those boys wouldn't go without me. You know them Cajuns wouldn't go to no big city like Atlanta by their selves. I loaned Mayuse one of my suits. The man from RCA--I believe it was RCA--that record company that had the sign with the little dog listening to the big horn--he came and talked to me, and we arranged that I would go over there with Mayuse and Leo.4
We had a problem with the boys. They were used to having a drink or too before they would play, some of that good bootleg stuff people around here used to make. Well, they didn't have nothing like that in Georgia. It was a dry state. Those boys just couldn't get going. Leo played the violin and Mayuse played the accordion and he would sing. They couldn't get started. So I went to a drug store and go some alcohol, 190 proof, and I made them put something in it--strawberry syrup or something like that. After two-three pops of that, they cranked off!4
Jimmie would eventually have a deep influence on Leo's music, inspiring Leo to cover tunes such as Jimmie's "Frankie and Johnny". The melody stayed with Leo, using it for his "Il Ta Prie De Moi" in 1936. By 1948, hillbilly artists Abe and Joe Manuel covered the tune as "Your Papa Threw Me Out" and later in 1950, Lawrence Walker recorded it as his "Ton Papa Ta Mama Ma Sta Da All". Harry Choates recorded the same tune as "Tondelay".
Oh, you, my little everything, your daddy threw me out,
He threw me out of my house, from my house, by myself, dearie.
Old mom! I'm unhappy, he did not know, over there, he made a mistake,Your dad, he made a mistake when he threw me out.Oh, ye yaille, how come he did that?I do not know, I did not deserve all that he did to me.It's unfortunate, he realizes he's wrong, but, it's too late,It' not worth lamenting about it, it's not worth it, he's going to cry.
When Mayuse arrived back home, nine days later, he was found dead from a gunshot wound from a bar fight. As far as Mayuse's father-in-law, the protagonist of the song, he grew angry at Mayuse's bitter blame For years after his death, he broke any Mayuse LaFleur record he encountered in the community...regardless of who owned it!2
- Meeting Jimmie Rodgers: How America's Original Roots Music Hero Changed the ... By Barry Mazor
- Cajun Breakdown: The Emergence of an American-Made Music By Ryan Andre Brasseaux
- Daily World (Opelousas, Louisiana) 07 May 1974, Tue Page 4
- Daily World (Opelousas, Louisiana) 02 Feb 1971, Tue Page 2
- Lyrics by Stephane F and Jordy A
BVE-47203-2 The Criminal Waltz | RCA Victor 21770-A
BVE-47204-1 Your Father Put Me Out (Ton Pere A Mit d'Eor) | RCA Victor 21770-B
Cajun Capers: Cajun Music 1928-1954 (Proper, 2005)
The Early Recordings of Leo Soileau (Yazoo, 2006)
The Beginner's Guide to Cajun Music (Primo, 2008)
The Best Of Cajun & Zydeco (Not Now, 2010)
The Very Best of Cajun: La Stomp Creole, Vol. 1 (Viper, 2016)