Sometimes when I'd bring those fellows home with me, momma would fuss a little, but she always took care of things for me.2
I worked 12 hours a night, but I had plenty of time to practice. And once, while I was there, I met Gene Autry, who was passing through Rayne on his way to New Orleans.2
Oh, chère, j’ai prié, ouais, pour t'avoir,J'ai pas pu, oui, comment, moi j’vas faire.Oh, chère, quelle espoir, moi j’peux t'nir,Pour t’avoir, jolie ‘tite fille, malheureuse.Oh, chère, viens donc ‘oir la grosse erreur,T’vas ‘oir, jolie ‘tit cœur, ça t’as fait.
In 1935, he scored his very first recording contract with RCA. He rounded up band members Norris Savoy on fiddle and Warnes "Tee Neg" Schexnayder on guitar and recorded a familiar melody as "La Valse De L'Amour" (#2172). It had similarities with Joe Falcon's 1929 "Poche Town", and almost identical in melody to Lawrence Walker's 1929 "La Vie Malheureuse", the Hackberry Ramblers' 1935 "Crowley Waltz", and Cleoma Falcon's 1936 "Ma Favori" RCA's Bluebird A&R executive, Eli Oberstein was in charge of the session. He had previously worked alongside Amede Ardoin and Joe and Cleoma Falcon in San Antonio the previous year. Happy recalled the first recording session:
Eli Oberstein was in charge, he was a very jolly man, I'd call him a jolly giant. I'd say he was a man about six feet, five inches tall, a Jewish man. He could be a stormy type of fellow, though, if you didn't get things done right he'd get awful mad for a few seconds. Then he'd come back and say, "let's cut a good one!"1The following year, Cleoma Falcon would record the song as "Ma Valse Favori", slowed down and shifted in key.
Oh, dear, I prayed, yeah, to have you,I couldn't, yes, how will I handle this?Oh, dear, what hope can I hold onto?To have you, pretty little girl, oh terrible woman.Oh, dear, so come see your big mistake,You'll see, pretty little sweetheart, what you've done.
I taught myself and if I'd see a hobo or something with a guitar, I'd go pick him up and bring him home, give him dinner, maybe learn a few chords with him. Then there was a colored boy here in town that I learned a lot from, a fellow by the name of Clarence Locksey, he's still living. He knew some chords, he'd play this black blues stuff.1
- South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous By John Broven
- Interview with John Uhler. 1954. CDS
- The Rayne Acadian-Tribune (Rayne, Louisiana) 08 Nov 1979
- Lyrics by Smith S and Stephane F