The original version of the band cut this elusive record, containing "Chere Ami Waltz" (#609), a take on the old Cajun melody "Chere Tout Tout", in late 1950 or very early 1951. That year, the group consisted of Ellias Thibodeaux on accordion, Eddie Duhon on vocals and fiddle, Cleadis Mott on electric guitar, Charles Delaney on rhythm guitar, Eldridge ‘Coon’ Guidry on bass, and Clifton Newman on drums. According to Dave Sax,
|Eldridge "Coon" Guidry|
Eddie Shuler handled the recording in a makeshift studio in Lake Charles and brought the reliable bassist Eldridge "Coon" Guidry along to augment the band. The bass lends an unusual flavor here as it weaves with the accordion and Mott's wonderfully supple guitar work and reinforces the brisk tempo that basically takes "Chere Ami Waltz" out of the waltz category altogether.1
Eh, criminelle, 'tit monde,Voir j'va pas, moi j'va faire avec mamanTe m'a quitter, pour t'en aller, chere,T'en aller dans l'pays, si loin de moi,Hey, te ma dire, 'tit monde,Il y a pas longtemps, te peux revenir pour même,Aujourd'hui mon j'peux voir, 'tit monde,Mon j'peux voir t'apres partir, pour moi aller.
|Musical Four Plus One|
Cliff Newman, Eddie Duhon,
Cleadis Mott, Charles Delaney
Courtesy of Lyle Ferbrache
At the beginning they secured a residency at the Blue Moon Club in Lake Charles, which initially sponsored Saturday afternoon appearances for them on KWSL. With a band name chosen to mimic Nathan Abshire's Musical Five, their versatility and comedy skits helped to endear them to the audience. Although the label was sold under Khoury's Lyric catalog, on this session, we actually hear Shuler 'producing' here. Sax explains,
Cleadis began to close the song and Eddie waved his hands above his head for them to continue playing because the record was not long enough. As a result Cleadis' guitar began to end the piece and then picked it up again!1
|Lake Charles American Press|
Jan 19, 1955
Hey, it's terrible, my little everything,See, I won't, I won't do that to my mom,You're leaving me, to go away, dear,You're going into the countryside, so far away from me,Hey, you told me, my little everything,Over there, not long ago, you'll return the same,Today, I can see, my little everything,I can see you're leaving, for I'm going now.
|William Charles Delaney|
They later enjoyed a nine year stint at the Clover Club, becoming a string band when Sidney Brown left. Other places they played were the Club 90 in Iowa, the Reno Club in Kaplan, Buddy Little's in Carlyss, and the B.O. Sparkle in Bridge City, TX.2 Cleadis Matt later played for twenty years with the Tune Toppers, recording for both Jin and J.D. Miller's Ringo label.1 Families recalled,
When they played at Lavergne's in Poche Town, they would play one week and a young George Jones would play the next. The bar was about 100 ft from the hall with a window to allow people to get drinks from the outside. There were only benches in the hall with an elevated bandstand. It also had a bullpen that was enclosed with chicken wire for the dancers. You could stand and watch from outside the pen but if you wanted to dance, you had to buy a ticket.2
- Cajun Honky Tonk: The Khoury Recordings, Volume 1. David Sax. Liner notes.
- "Musical Four Plus One: Tran La Ezy" by Lyle Ferbrache.
- Lyrics by Herman M, Stephane F, Jesse L
Chere Ami Waltz (Dear Friend Waltz) | Khoury’s/Lyric KH-609-A
Tran La Ezy (Drag it easy) | Khoury’s/Lyric KH-609-B
Cajun Honky Tonk: The Khoury Recordings Vol. 2 (Arhoolie, 2013)