Friday, September 25, 2020

"Lacassine Waltz" - Anatole Credure

Anatole Credeur played around the Black Bayou area south of Lake Charles and in Lake Charles as the Black Bayou Band. Members included his wife Ada on triangle and father Levi on jug, Theo Young on guitar, and Sidney Granger on fiddle.   Anatole and his band played along side the Broussard family of Lake Arthur, a family that most notably included famed Cajun fiddler Doug Kershaw. 

Eh, toi, la belle,
Chère, fais pas ça-z- avec moi aujourd'hui.

Eh, toi, la belle!
Chère, fais do-do, 'tit bébé, dans la Louisiane.

Eh, toi, la Belle!
Chère viens m' rejoindre donc, cela était avant longtemps.

Sidney Granger, Anatole Credeur,
Tieho Young, Ada Gauxtreaux Credure,
Levy Credure

In late October 1929, Anatole, Sidney, and Theo traveled to Dallas, Texas, and recorded four songs for the Brunswick label including the song "Lacassine Waltz" (#).  Lacassine is a small bayou near Lake Arthur with the mouth of the river in the town with the same name.  Legend has it that the community was visited regularly by different tribes of the area, including the Atakapa and Choctaw people. Game was abundant here, and the Indians called it their "hunting ground", or, in the Choctaw language, La Cassine.  According to Monsignor Jules Daigle, it was named for a small house built by an Indian chief in that location.2  Similar to Columbus Fruge's "Pleur Plus", and Angelas Lejeuene's "Valse De La Lousianne", it was a tune that inspired Iry Lejeune's 1954 "La Valse de Cajun".  

Hey you, babe,
Dear, don't do that to me today.

Hey you, babe,
Dear, go to sleep, little baby, (here) in Louisiana.

Hey you, babe,
Dear, so come back to me, it'll be (this way) before long. 

Bayou LaCassine, 1948
Courtesy of LSU Libraries Special Collections

Much of Anatole's history was lost to time and he never maintained a recording career.  Author and musician Ron Yule eventually tracked down the family in 2008 and gave them the opportunity to hear his music for the first time.   According to Anatole's granddaughter Jeanne Elliott,
When I heard the first song, I just started sobbing.  I know him now.  I’m just sorry my mom’s not alive to see it.  It was a lifelong dream to be able to find this.1  

  3. Cajun Dancehall Heyday by Ron Yule
  4. Lyrics by Stephane F

Release Info:
003 DAL-559 Lacassine Waltz | Brunswick 383
004 DAL-560 Black Bayou One Step | Brunswick 383

CAJUN-Rare & Authentic (JSP, 2008)

Saturday, September 19, 2020

"One Step Du Maraist Bouler" - Angelas Lejeune & Ernest Fruge

Cajun accordionist Angelas Lejeune and fiddler Ernest Fruge made their last recording session in 1930 alongside other artists such as Dennis McGee and Amede Ardoin.  The session was conducted by musician and artist scout Richard Voynow.   He had recently spent three months on the road recording artists in southern towns such ad Knoxville, Memphis and San Antonio.  He recalled that his entire session included the types of records known in the trade as the 'hillbilly, French-Cajan, race and popular.'1  Afterwards, Lejeune returned to his home community of Pointe Noire, located near the area of Marais Bouleur. 

Oh petite, chère,
Moi j'suis là, jolie,
Quoi faire tu m'fais ça?

Oh petite, chère,
Mais, toi t'es partie,
Tu m'laisses dans les misères.

Oh jolie,
Mam'zelle, j'aime pas
Tu m'parles comme tu m'parles.

Oh, j'connais pas quoi,
Petite, j'pourrais dire c'que j'suis aujourd'hui,
Oh j'suis condamné,
Pour tout(e) ma vie, à la misère.

Oh petite, chère,
Rappelle-toi quand j'ai parti pour m'en aller
Tu t'as mise à pleurer,
C'est là eyoù j'ai pris la parole,
Que j't'ai demandé, chère, fais donc pas ça.

Pour en revenir, (petite*),
Tu connais mon cœur est aussi gros qu'le tien,
Mais, donne moi une chose,
Que j'peux supporter et si vrai qu'le tien.

Add caption

"One Step Du Maraist Bouler" (#511) is a lively tune named after an area north of Scott, Louisiana where the low lying area retained water.  The name "Bouleur", however, has been a source of speculation.  According to reverend Donald Hebert, who was a pastor there, heard an old a story about how a horse named Bouleur liked to stay in a swampy area, the marais, where he could roll in the mud. According to the story, that’s how the place became Bouleur’s Marais and then Marais Bouleur. Hebert said he heard the same story from several people and it was the only consistent version of how the place got its name.2  Others had speculated that the name identified a bully of the swamp, as suggested by author Darrell Bourque in his "Plainsongs Of The Marais Bouleur" and Barry Jean Ancelet's "Rednecks, Roughnecs and the Bosco Stomp".  Aldus Roger's wife Bernice provides an alternative source of the name:
Marais Bouleur was just this side of Bosco.  When my grandmother, the Boullion generation, came from New Orleans, they settled there. A marais is like a swamp.  Wild ducks would come there.3  

Oh, little dearie,
I'm here, pretty one,
What are you doing to me?

Oh, little dearie,
Well, you left,
You left me in misery.

Oh, pretty one,
Mademoiselle, I don't like that,
You said what you said.

Oh, I don't know what,
Little one, I could say that I am today,
Oh, I am condemned,
For all my life, in misery.

Oh, little dearie,
Remember when I left to go,
You had started to cry,
This is where I had said the words,
That I asked you, dear, don't do that.

Coming back, little one,
You know my heart is as big as yours,
Well, give me one thing,
That I can carry and that it's truly yours. 

In 1967, Cajun accordionist Ambrose Thibodeaux, who was familiar with many of Angelas' tunes, re-recorded the song as the "Pointe Noir Two Step" as an ode to Lejeune's home town.

  1. A&R Pioneers by Huber
  3. Ye Yaille Chere by Raymond Francois
  4. Lyrics by Marc C and Stephane F

Release Info:
NO-6708 One Step Du Maraist Bouler | Brunswick 511
NO-6709 La Valse A Tidom Hanks | Brunswick 511

Let Me Play This For You: Rare Cajun Recordings (Tompkins, 2013)

Monday, September 14, 2020

"Old Cow Blues" - Buddy Duhon & Harry Choates

Arthur James "Buddy" Duhon was a southern Louisiana blues vocalist vocalist from Broussard, Louisiana, but made a career in the region of east Texas as an American western swing guitarist. He got his start in 1935 with Vocalion records working alongside Don McCord where he recorded six songs in Dallas, Texas.  He had a short stint with the Bar-X Cowboys in 1940 and by 1941, he was working with Lucky Moeller, Moon Mulligan and worked as a solo artist for Bluebird Records.3  Duhon joined the Texas Wanderers and eventually became Cliff Bruner's right-hand man, acting as a bus driver, mechanic, cover-charge collector, and the bandleader's personal assistant.1   

By 1948, Gold Star's manager Bill Quinn picked up on Buddy's success and had him team up with his most popular local recording Cajun artist, Harry Choates.   Harry drew inspiration from Bruner's band, particularly the work of Bob Dunn, the Texas Wanderer's steel guitar player.    According to author Ryan Andre Brasseaux:

Duhon's smooth, unassuming pop vocal delivery made him a favorite in the corridor.  The Cajun singer was a Jimmie Rodgers devotee who ability to influence between styles and genres--such as pop compositions, blues country swing, and Cajun--boosted his stock as a professional musician in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana.1  

Buddy Duhon
Together, they recorded two English tunes, including a blues song in which Harry filled the song with responses from Buddy's verses entitled "Old Cow Blues" (#1345).   It was a cover of a famous tune first recorded by Kokomo Arnold as "Milk Cow Blues", with themes found in songs by Sarah Martin, Son House and many others throughout the 1930s.   In the song, you can hear Harry call out steel guitarist Amos Hebert and piano accordionist Milton "Pee Wee" Calhoun.   Hebert, a Kaplan native, had only played with Harry for about nine months and claimed Harry was even more talented on the guitar.4  He recalled:
I only stayed nine months because I couldn’t stand to see Harry’s self destruction with alcohol. I considered him to be a such a good friend that I couldn’t take it.  I knew if I told Harry I was leaving because of his alcoholism, he would beg me to stay. He was such a good friend, I just couldn’t tell the man no. Instead, I never went back.7  

Pee Wee remembers joining the group in Lake Charles around the spring of 1948 and recalled that he simply telephoned Choates and asked for a job.
I went to work for Harry as an accordion player.  Popeye Broussard was the piano player.  One day, I sat down at the piano and played some things.  Old Popeye went and told Harry, "I thought he couldn't play piano".  So he quit, and I was back to piano playing.6    

(Aw, Mr. Calhoun)

Well, I woke up this morning, (What'd you do, boy?), look outdoors,
I can tell my old cow, I can tell by the way she loads,
If you see my old cow, whee, drive her on home, (Where's her home at, boy?)
Oh, all I had no milk and butter, whoo, since my cow's been gone (I hadn't had a decent meal either).

Well, you got to treat me right, day by day,
Get out your little prayer book, get out on your knees and pray,
Because you gunna need, you're gunna need my help some day, (Yeah, always.)
Yeah, you're going to be sorry, whoo, you treat me this a-way.

(Aw, Mr. Amos on that old steel guitar, yeah)

(Pee Wee on that accordion, now.)

Everything I get a hold of goes away like snow in June,
If I ever get a chance babe, I'm gunna sail up to the moon,
Well, my baby, I'm a ready for a change, now, (Whatcha talkin' about, boy, talkin' about?)
You got me feeling so low, baby, whooo Lord, underground, looking up and down. 

Taylor Daily Press
Mar 29, 1949

Quinn had Sue Romero on bass and Johnny Holland back up Buddy's vocals.  But just as Buddy's postwar success began, his life was taken in an accident.  Shortly after the recording session, the fledgling crooner died the following year in a fishing accident.  After a heavy rain storm, he and Beaumont-native M.F. Sterling were fishing in Jap Bayou near Fannett, TX when their trap lines got entangled on sections of their boat.  The strong current caused the light boat to capsize and Sterling saw Duhon fall into the raging waters and disappear.  After three days, his body was found by a fisherman, lodged in branches of a willow tree near HWY 124.5  He was only 36 years old and while there was never any lengthy investigation, some family claimed the drowning was no accident.  According to his son Jim Clifton Duhon, "Buddy was about to leave Cliff Brunner's Band and sign with Bob Wills."2  

  1. "Cajun Breakdown: The Emergence of an American-Made Music" by Ryan Andre Brasseaux
  3. The Encyclopedia of Country Music The Ultimate Guide to the Music
  5. Tyler Morning Telegraph (Tyler, Texas) 01 Apr 1949
  6. Devil In The Bayou by Andrew Brown.  Liner notes.

Release Info:

1345A/ST-2303 Old Cow Blues | Gold Star 1345-A
1346B/ST-2304 Nobody Cares For Me | Gold Star 1345-B


Harry Choates: Five-Time Loser 1940-1951 (Krazy Kat, 1990)
Devil In The Bayou - The Gold Star Recordings (Bear Family, 2002)
Cajun Capers: Cajun Music 1928-1954 (Proper, 2005)

Monday, September 7, 2020

"Roseland Two Step" - Floyd Leblanc

Born to a music-loving family, Cajun fiddler Floyd Leblanc's father, Lessin, played the French accordion and fiddle.  His mother, Merellia, played rhythm guitar and sang.  In the early 1930s the family moved to Cypress Point, Louisiana where Floyd and his brother, Steve, made homemade instruments and learned to play.  They began playing dances and became very popular local favorites.1  

Aujourd'hui, jolie fille, pourquoi-donc, malheureuse,
Mais, tu fais ça, jolie fille, mais, moi j'connais, ça sera trop tard.

Le lendemain, jolie fille, rappelles-toi, jolie cœur, 
Tout ça t'as fait, il y a pas longtemps, mais, moi j'connais tu fera pitié.

Viens-donc voir, jolie cœur, tout ça t'as dit, malheureuse,
Il y a pas longtemps, jolie fille, mais, moi j'connais, tu m'fais pitié. 

Joli fille, rappelles-toi, tout ça ça dit-z-à ton nèg,
Mais p(l)us jamais, jolie cœur, mais, moi j'connais, tu fais pitié.
Floyd Leblanc

During World War II, Floyd, Steve, and another brother, Sandres, joined the military.  While stationed in San Antonio, Floyd met Virgil Bozman.  Together they started a band called the “Oklahoma Tornados” and played both French and country music. After the war, the LeBlanc and Bozman met Iry LeJeune and became friends. After playing together in Houston and in local clubs, the “Oklahoma Tornado” band helped LeJeune record the “Love Bridge Waltz” and “The Evangeline Special”.1  

Recorded in 1947, the "Roseland Two Step" (#110) was Floyd's version of Varise Conner's "Lake Arthur Stomp".  Originally recorded by J.B. Fuselier back in 1937, Floyd had Virgil Bozman on guitar and B.D. Williams on bass.  Roseland is a small community west of Sulphur, Louisiana, not far from where Floyd was raised.

Today, pretty girl, so why, naughty woman,
Well, you did that, pretty girl, well, I know, it will be too late.

The next day, pretty girl, remember, pretty sweetheart,
All that you've done, there it won't be long, well, I know you will be pitiful.

Come see, pretty sweetheart, all that you've said, naughty woman,
It won't be long, pretty girl, well, I know you made me pitiful.

Pretty girl, remember, all that was told to your man,
Well, never again, pretty sweetheart, well, I know you'll be pitiful. 

LeBlanc and Bozeman later moved briefly to Nashville and played with several bands, including Ernest Tubb’s band. MGM offered to sign LeBlanc to a contract and a chance to play on the Grand Old Opry using the name “Arkansas Cotton Pickers.”  LeBlanc turned them down and soon after left Nashville to return home.1   He eventually re-recorded the song for J.D. Miller's Cajun Classics in 1967.  

  2. Lyrics by Stephane F
Release Info:
637 (110-A) Roseland Two-Step | Opera 110-A
637 (110-B) Brow Bridge Waltz | Opera 110-B