The Khoury’s label: a Cajun concern (1949-1956)

The Beginning

The story of Khoury’s Recordings starts in 1949 with a man named John Harvey « Virgel » Bozman. He was a rustic singer/guitarist and part-time comedian who sometimes billed himself, with tongue-in-cheek, as « The Arkansas Sinatra ».
eddieshuler-pic-1988 ernest-nathen-pic george-khoury-pic khourys-shop-pic oklahoma-tornadoes-pic shuler-khoury-phil-philips-pic virgel-bozman-picvirgel-bozman-picgeorge-khoury-pic virgel-bozman-picHe and his brother, Harmon Bozman, were auto mechanics and had apparently been a staple on the San Antonio country and western music scene for some time. By the end of 1945, he was in Houston recording for Bill Quinn.  While stationed at a San Antonio military base near the end of WWII, Cajun fiddler Floyd Leblanc befriended Bozman. Together, they had joined Bennie Hess’ Oklahoma Tornados country hillbilly band as a guitar player but Virgil also dabbled in his own material as well.  In mid 1947, Floyd had helped Iry Lejeune record a two tunes with the band on Hess’ label “Opera” and they had him touring with the group for quite some time in 1948. Cajun music was well on it’s way back and while selling cow horns in Lake Charles, Virgil ended up moving from Texas to Louisiana in order to record it.oklahoma-tornadoes-pic

The O.T. Years

Then came George Khoury, a Turkish-American businessman from Lake Charles and record store owner.  In 1947, as an owner of a record shop, he noticed a lack of Cajun music being recorded in south Louisiana and decided to open a business to compete with Ed Shuler’s Goldband Records and J. D. « Jay » Miller’s Fais-Do-Do and Feature labels. His base of operations was just around the corner from Ed’s on Railroad Ave in Lake Charles.



Khoury never had his own studio, however; he would rent out other studios and press the records in other places.  He had his record shop in Lake Charles and many agree he helped Virgil finance his new record label « O.T. Recordings », named after Hess’ band.  Together, Virgil would try to find new talent for producing records and Khoury would sell the records in his shop.   Even his “O.T.” logo resembled a cattle brand.  According to author John Broven:

Khoury was [Virgel’s] sponsor, so to speak, because he didn’t have that much money. He was a good salesman, he had a log of gab because being a cowhorn salesman he had to have a log of gab.2

Virgil kicked off his label with his own recordings, which were a hillbilly tune « Tell Me If You Love Me » and a Cajun tune « The Cameron Waltz » (#101), but he knew he needed other groups. It would be Eddie that would help Bozman get his first major outside recording artist.  Eddie Shuler, a record producer in Lake Charles, had been approached by Cajun accordion player Nathan Abshire to record on his label after seeing the success Iry Lejeune’s recordings.   Nathan had been playing at the Avalon Club when the owner Quincy Davis thought having Nathan record would be good for business.   Eddie Shuler, who worked for the KPLC radio station, was too busy with the promotion of Iry LeJeune and put Nathan’s band in touch with businessman Virgil Bozman.   Also, Vigil had been familiar with Nathan’s music since Floyd had played in Nathan’s band years before. Virgil had noticed how Eddie Shuler produced his records for Goldband.  According to Eddie Shuler:

He kept the pot boiling by selling cowhorns (the famous Longhorns) and it is how he landed in Lake Charles one day. He discovered fast how I managed to get artists recorded by a third person and he decided to follow my steps. He arrived at the station studio, gave a bottle of booze to the sound engineer, asked him to cut an acetate, left with it and got it pressed somewhere else.2

He sold cow horns.  In fact, I still have one of his cow horns over the entrance to my door there that he gave me back at that time. I let him sing on my radio show. Anyway, he went then and teamed up with George Khoury and then he went out and found Nathan Abshire.1



Pine Grove Blues Success and Aftermath

In May of 1949, Virgil gathered Nathan Abshire with Earl Demary ‘s backup band in the KPLC studio, located inside the Majestic Hotel in Lake Charles, to cut 8 tracks; the first of which was the legendary « Pine Grove Blues » for the O.T. label (#102).   The melody was his version of Amédée Breaux’s « Blues du ‘Tit Chien » recorded for Vocalion Records in 1934.   Nathan’s 1935 recording « One Step de Lacassine » clearly anticipates the melody. There are some similarities with Bob Wills‘ « Milk Cow Blues » recorded in 1946 and even a loose similarity with « In The Pines« , which some have credited as Nathan’s source. His Pine Grove Boys band included Roy Broussard and Ernest Thibodeaux on vocals, Earl Demary or Ernest Thibodeaux on guitar, Atlas Frugé on lap steel, Jim Baker on bass guitar, Oziet Kegley on drums, and either Will Kegley or Wilson Granger on fiddle. The flipside contained a less-than-impressive “Kaplan Waltz” based on Angelas Lejeune’s 1929 recording of “Pointe Noir”.  Since most Cajun 78s usually reached a pressing figure of 500, it was a big hit, pressing around 3,200 copies of the single.  Virgil sold boxfuls of “Pine Grove Blues” from the back of a large hearse.2



« Pine grove blues »


« Pine grove boogie »



Earl Demary, Wilson Granger, Elridge Guidry, unk. dms, Nathan Abshire, Ernest Thibodeaux

However, Virgil kicked the label off with a string of tunes containing a discography of Cajun songs such as Nathan’s cover of Leo Soileau’s « Grand Mamou » (#106), « Lake Charles Two Step« (#106), “New Orleans Waltz” (# 110), “Hathaway Waltz”  (# 111), a re-recording of his pre-war “French Blues” (# 110), and an improved swingy version of his first hit called “Pine Grove Boogie” (#111). At one point that year, Virgil and Khoury convinced the hit artist of the area, Harry Choates, to wax a record, trying to capitalize on his fame giving it “Jole Blon’s Gone” (#107) and the obscure « Lake Charles Waltz » (#107). Neither Nathan nor Harry could recreate the success of the Pine Grove Blues O.T. recording.

Other musicians Virgil managed to get were Cleo Harves and Jerry Barlow on his listings. (# 103, # 105). The label would eventually move to San Antonio, run by James Bryant and Bennie Hess (former partners at Bill Qunn’s Gold Star records), however, by the end of 1949, O.T. suddenly dried up.

He released his last 4 recordings he was holding onto, outsourcing the pressings by mailing his masters to Stephen Shaw and George Weitlauf in Cincinatti, OH. The records contained Nathan performing covers of the Breaux tune “Step It Fast” (# 114) and a rendition of Harry Choate’s famous Jole Blon hit called « Jolie Petite Juliette » (# 114).  The other one  labeled as Sandy Austin was the stage name for Abe Manuel when he and his brother Joe played Corpus Christi in 1950. They recorded « Scrambled Eggs » and a Joe Falcon cover called  » Madame Saustain » (# 113).  The O.T. label only produced 14 records that are known to exist.

« Step it fast »


The Khoury/Lyrics Years

Meanwhile, realizing Bozman is out of the Cajun music market and with the help of Eddie Shuler, George Khoury decides to continue Virgil’s recordings by creating two labels simultaneously, Lyric and Khoury’s, in 1950.  The reason for both names is unknown, but he set aside the 600 series for Cajun music and 700 series for hillbilly.  It’s also possible he bought out all of Virgil’s material and signed Nathan Abshire exclusively.



NOTE: Keeping track of George’s numbering scheme is confusing and leads to plenty of misinformation when creating a complete discography.  His reasoning for jumping around issue numbers, repeating numbers and missing numbers completely can frustrate anyone researching the label.  Over time, he would have two sets of 700 series, using several different logo styles.  Some numbers are issued only with “Lyric” name and some only with “Khoury’s” with a few issued on both.  He followed up with R&B issues using the 800 and 900 series. However, this didn’t prevent him from using the number “1” once, issuing one “500” once on Khoury’s, issuing a “100” on Lyric, and later issuing a “1000” and “5000” both on the Lyric name.   As far as anyone can tell, there were no session sheets that remain to prove any particular session dates.   Most of the discography work is speculation based on historical recordings and personal interviews with musicians. Dates here are approximates at best.

There are a number of batches of records by artists which were probably assigned and then released at intervals.  The location of some of the larger gaps do suggest that the missing numbers could have been deliberately skipped.




Lawrence Walker

The Early 1950s

During the first year in 1950, he recorded Lawrence Walker, Horace Lebleau, Crawford Vincent with Will Kegley, and Jimmie Choates.  Walker was a Cajun accordion player who had a history of playing music with his brother Elton, Norris Mire and Aldus Broussard before the war.  He even hosted a group of musicians at the National Folk Festival for the Texas Centennial in 1936.  By 1950, he was back in the studio interested in recording again, this time with Khoury. Lawrence’s songs such as “Mamou Two Step” (# 601), khoury's 606a lawrence walker - wandering aces special (insy)khoury's 606b lawrence walker - la valse kim fe du malkhoury's 607a lawrence walker - tu le du por la mamkhoury's 607b lawrence walker - ton papa ta mama ma sta da all

“Country Waltz” (# 601), “Wandering Aces Special” which was Joe Falcon’s « A Cowboy Rider » (# 606), « La Valse Kim Fe Du Mal » (# 606),  » Tu Le Du Por La Mam » (#607) which was a Fawvor Brothers original and “Ton Papa Ta Mama Ma Sta Da All” (# 607)  first appeared here.

« Wandering aces special« [inst]


« La valse kim fe du mal »


« Tu le du por la mam »


« Ton papa ta mama ma sta da all »


All of these recordings appear on Khoury’s early 600 series as Cajun artists.  It’s possible the Texas Melody Boys with Pee Wee Pitre may have been recorded during this period which was given the only # 500 for “Ain’t No More”, a version of “Step It Fast”, and an old Creole melody they called “Old Time Waltz”.  Jimmy Choates band recorded “Lonesome For You” and “Belle Isle Waltz” and the band also appears on the country 700 series as #705.  Crawford Vincent, who played with Leo Soileau for years, teamed up with Will Kegley of the Pine Grove Boys for two tunes « Chere Petite Blun » (# 605) and the J.B. Fuselier classic « Lawtell Two Step » (# 605).  They were listed as Vincent & Kegley.  Horace « Ricky » Lebleu was a hillbilly musician from the Lake Charles area that teamed up with Nookie Martin of Eddie Shuler’s band for two songs « Korea Blues » and « Basile Girl »       (# 603).

« Chere petite blun« 


« Lawtell two-step »


Meanwhile, Virgil was back in San Antonio pressing songs by Cajun musicians he had previously recorded; most of them being Nathan Abshire’s band members. While in San Antonio, Bozman and Hess set up the Hot Rod label with local record man Bob Tanner of T.N.T. records. There, between 1950 and 1952, they recorded a few of Virgil’s artists such as Nathan’s lead singer, Ernest Thibodeaux on “Jennings Two Step” (# 105) and Nathan’s fiddler Wilson Granger on “Bayou Chico Waltz”. He released his last recordings of Nathan himself with « Hathaway Two step » (# 103) and « Chere Te Mon » (# 103).  The recording quality wasn’t particularly impressive and could have been the reason for their unpopularity.   During this timeframe, Bob had also launched his Allied label, releasing several recordings of Harry

« Chere te mon« 


He also pulled in little known Cliff Lemaire and the Kaplan Swingmasters for the song « Cow Island Special« .   Obscure artist Tan Benoit also recorded two songs, « Iowa Two Step » and « Gueydon Waltz ». Outside a few recordings by Virgil himself, the label did not last long.  Virgil’s attempt at the recording business was over.  Bob continued his TNT label well into 1953, pressing records for Eddie Shuler’s band as well as for Aldus Roger and Iry Lejeune.

Cliff Le Maire « Cow Island special« 


Tan Benoit « Iota two step« 


The following year, with Nathan no longer working for Virgil’s label, George contracted him to re-record « Pine Grove Blues » (# 611). It didn’t sell nearly as well as Virgil’s recording two years earlier, but it produced several titles popular with Nathan’s band such as “Belezere Waltz” (« La valse a Belezere« ) (# 610) based on the tune « A Precious Jewel » by Roy Acuff and “Choupique Two Step” (#610) based on Amede Ardoin‘s « Amede Two Step« . These were pressed on both the Lyric and Khoury label. Other songs were completed such as, “Valse de Hollybeach” (# 611), « Iota Two Step »  (# 612) and “Valse de Bayou Teche” (# 612), a tune originally recorded by the Segura Brothers in 1929. Nathan’s career with the Pine Grove Boys was taking off.

« Choupique two-step« 

« La waltz a Belezere« 



1951 would round off the year with Lawrence Walker again, this time recording “Johnny Can’t Dance” (# 615), the bluesy « Evangeline Waltz » (# 615), “Bosco Stomp”(# 616), « Waltz Of Sorrow » (# 616), « Creole Waltz » (# 617) and an upbeat version of Joe Falcon’s Lafayette as the “Lafayette Two Step” (#617).   It’s around this point when George began to switch labels from black to blue.

By 1952, George’s label is doing well enough for him to attract other obscure local bands. He invites Lawrence Walker back again for “Reno Waltz” (#623) and an old Joe Falcon song “Madam Sostan” (#624) but Lawrence feels the pressure to record some of his English country favorites including « Little Bitty Girl » (# 623) which was a 1946 comical jazz recording by Velma Nelson and « Keep Your Hands Off It » (# 624). Khoury tries his luck with recording two rather unknown groups, one being Shuk Richard with Marie Falcon. Marie was Joe Falcon’s niece and played music in some of the same venues in which Joe had played. She sang her version of “Jole Blon” called “Jole Brun” (#621) and did her Cajun version of “The Wild Side Of Life” (#621)(« Le cote farouche de la vic« ). The group cut « Madam Entelle Two Step » (# 622) and « Chere Vere Naig » (# 622) during the same session.  But it would be Elise Deshotel’s group which would feature a rather unknown singer and fiddler known as Dewey Balfa.   Possibly recorded in late 1951 or early 1952, they waxed some of the best known tunes with a young Dewey on vocals such as Leo Soileau‘s “Quand Je Suis Bleu” he called “La Valse de Bon Baurche”, Cleoma Breaux‘s “Crowley Waltz” he called “La Valse de Tepetate”, and “La Valse da Courage” which is very similar to Nathan’s “Bayou Teche”.   The flipsides were instrumentals such as « La Two Step De Villeplatte« , « Two Step De Avalon« , and « Two Step De Kindergarden » (# 618, 619, 620). However, Khoury failed to latch onto marketing the bluesy vocals and powerful fiddle solos which Dewey would make famous ten years later.


« Evangeline waltz« 


« Bosco stomp« khourys-621a-skuk-farouche


« Bosco stomp »

« Le cote farouche de la vie« 


khoury's 609b elise deshotel (dewey balfa) - la valse da courage

« La valse de Bon Baurche« 

« La valse da courage« 


The following year seemed to slow down for Khoury and his recordings.  Jimmy Newman would be George’s brand new artist but his recordings only sold moderately.  Nathan’s group was in turmoil due to band member changes and they were looking for more material to record.  Jimmy recorded his country tune “Darling” which somehow landed on the Cajun 600 series while the 700 hillbilly series seemed to fade away. Nathan recorded “Musical Five Special” (# 631), a cover of Joe Falcon‘s “Fe Fe Ponchaux” and “Avalon Waltz” (# 631) but also recorded some cover tunes, “The New Jole Blon” (# 636) and “Tee Per Coine” (# 636), a version of « Keep A Knocking But You Can’t Come In« . Crawford Vincent, who had played for years with Leo Soileau and other members, headed to the studio with Horace Lebleau and recorded “Tippy Tee Tippy En” (# 640), an old traditional Cajun ballad known as « T’es Petite et T’es Mignonne« .khoury's 636-B tee per coiné

« Tee per coiné« 



Eddie Shuler 1988

By 1954, things seemed to remain slow.  His 600 series seemed to employ more country music from Cliff Lemaire and Rick Johnson with one record by Nathan containing “Texas Waltz” (# 645), a slightly different version of his Kaplan Waltz and “ »Point De Lou” (# 645), a rendition of “Rabbit Stole The Pumpkin” in which Iry Lejeune had famously made into his “J’ai Ete Au Bal”. Strange enough, he would try to resurrect his Lyric label with Amar Devillier’s “Shoe Pick Waltz” and “Durald Two Step” using number #1 but never continued the series. He kicked off his second 700 series again, this time with Eddie Shuler covering “J’ai Passee Devant” (#700) and re-issuing Floyd Leblanc’s “Louisiana Stomp”(#700), a tune Virgil had recorded previously on O.T.

George reverted back to his original recording artists that he trusted and in 1955, released a string of tunes by Nathan Abshire and at least one by Lawrence Walker such as Nathan’s « Casa Blanca Waltz » and, « Lu khourys-647a-nathan-lu-lu-boogielu Boogie » (# 647), « Shamrock Waltz »  (# 652) and « Carolina Blues » (# 649). The unusual songs, « Boora Roomba » (# 649), Dewey and Nathan’s version of “La Cucaracha”, and « Mama Rosin » (#652), also known as “Ay Mama Inez”, were attempts to cash in on the briefly popular Cuban rhumba influence which entered mainstream country music that year. However, George was now pressing his records using different logos and label styles, some in California.  Lawrence followed up with « Waltz of Regret » (# 648) and the « Brunette Two Step« .One inventory listing by Nathan’s band shows them covering some Happy Fats tunes but it seems to never have been released. The 600 series seemed to be fading away as we

« Lu Lu boogie »


The Final Years

By the end of 1955, the writing was on the wall.   The influence of rock and roll was taking a toll on Cajun music sales.   R&B and country music was on an up hill swing and Cajun music sales weren’t the same as they were almost 10 years earlier.   He wouldn’t record any Cajun music until about 1956 with Nathan Abshire, both « Crying Pine Grove Blues » (# 701) and « L.S.U. French Waltz » (# 701), and in 1957 Cleveland Crochet with Shorty Leblanc, both on 45RPM and both on his new second 700 series. But by the time Cookie and the Cupcakes released their huge R&B hit “Mathilda”, George wasn’t interested in Cajun music anymore.  He would occasionally issue out a Cajun record to keep sales up.  He released one more Nathan Abshire on 45RPM in 1958 containing “Cannon Ball Special” (# 704) and “Red Rock Waltz” and a 45RPM of Pee Wee Broussard containing Angelas Lejeune’s “Perrodin Two Step” (# 709) and “Jolie Te Brun”.

Between 1956 and 1958, Cajun music recordings across Louisiana were on the decline.   Needing more exposure, Lawrence Walker heard a man named Floyd Soileau was starting up a recording label in Ville Platte.   Having already recorded Austin Pitre and Adam Hebert, the Khoury recording artist was eager to switch over to Floyd’s new Swallow label.   This ended the relationship between George Khoury and Lawrence Walker.   Nathan would eventually follow suit.


Eddie Shuler, George Khoury, Phil Phillips

The following year, Khoury would land an even bigger R&B hit with Phil Phillips’ “Sea of Love” and yet only released two Cajun records that year, Pee Wee Broussard’s “New Iberia Stomp”   (# 720) with “La Valse De Bons Amies” (# 702). The other one being “La Robe Barre” (# 725) and “Elton Two Step” (# 725) by Lawrence “Blackie”Fruge in 1959.

He would only re-release an earlier Cleveland Crochet “Sha Meon Waltz” in 1961 when he restarted his 1000 series as an R&B label which lasted until 1966.   Finally, in 1966, Wilfred Latour recorded “Bye Bye Cherie” and “Te Julie”, a couple of zydeco based tunes, believed to be George’s last French recordings.

  2. South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous By John Broven. P32.






Louisiana Lannis, rockabilly (« Tongue twister boogie »)

Lannis Trahan, born in 1923, hailed from Louisiana, hence his artist name « Louisiana Lannis », and was also a songwriter: he wrote his 6 sides. He had three singles in 1956 before disappearing. The one on Starday is pure hillbilly rock : « Muscadine eyes » is a fast ditty opus, with a furious fiddle, apparently cut at Goldstar in Houston, Texas while its flipside « Much too much » (Starday 268, actually A-side) has more than a Latin appeal with its hopping rhythm. « Muscadine eyes » is not a common track, only being revived moons ago on the U.K. Ace album « Stars of Texas honky tonk » # 703 (1987)

starday 268 muscadine

« Muscadine eyes« download

« Much too much« download

starday 268 much





Lannis will however be best remembered today for his second offering, this time on Snowcap 1215/1216 : « Tongue twister boogie » has a great wild steel guitar and is a really fast rockabilly rocker, not dissimilar to Jimmy Lee & Wayne Walker « Love me ». A demented piano player comes for a short solo. « Walking out » is no less good, and just a little less furious. Both sides prefixed « GS » surely were cut at Goldstar. As fiddle is the main instrument on the 4 previous sides, one can wonder if it’s Lannis playing ? The Snowcap issue fetches $ 700-800, and is only currently available on collectors’ reissues.

« Tongue twister boogie« download

« Walking out« download

snowcap 1125 tongue

snowcap 1126 walking





BB 16-2-56

Billboard Feb. 16, 1956, « a good country novelty »










Alas « Fido/Doomed to love » (Snowcap 101) are, according to Pascal Perrault, pop songs to escape (weepers), and of no interest at all. Strange that a man capable of such songs as « Tongue twister boogie » could do pop songs in the same period. Trahan, whose name is common among Cajun area (see Cornelius « Pee Wee Trahan« , who made a career also as Jericho Jones and Johnny Rebel), died in February 1983 (age 59, cause of death unknown), and was buried in the Marine’s veteran branch of the Houston National Cemetery. The Trahans had came from France, maybe Burgundy during the XVI° or XVII° century.
snowcap 101A fido
snowcap 101B doomedSources: various and Internet thing!

early August 2014 fortnight’s favorites: usual hillbillies and sad news

Hello, this is early August 2014 fortnight. Some new tunes, some already published a few years ago for newcomers, and finally sad news.


REDD STEWART was during long years the lead vocalist for PEE WEE KING. The latter (with the Golden West Cowboys) was allegedly under exclusive contract with RCA-Victor, but not Stewart: he was signed by King records and recorded several tunes in Cincinnati (February 1950), among them the very fine « Brother, drop dead (boogie) » King 843-AA). He is indeed backed by the Golden West Cowboys, disguised under the name of « His Kentucky Colonels » ! Great Hillbilly boogie, good steel and piano.


king 843AA Redd stewart brother drop dead boogie

Redd Stewart « Brother, drop dead (boogie) »

redd stewart (bebopcapitol)









Another well-known artist (he has his own entry in from Mississipi is JIMMY SWAN, or « Colonel Jim » as he presented himself on a Baton Rouge, La. TV-station in 1952. He was signed on the Lilian McMurray Trumpet label in 1952, and recorded for her at WFOR Radio station in Hattiesburg, MS. I retain particularly, among many fine sides, « Juke joint mama » (Trumpet 176), with nice steel (a la Don Helms, Hank Williams’ steel player) and fiddle, and «Lonesome daddy blues «  (Trumpet 198). « Juke joint mama » was first cut by the veteran Denver Darling for Decca in 1946 ; Darling, active in Denver, IN, is the co-writer of, among others, « Choo choo ch’boogie », a hit for Louis Jordan as well as Bill Haley, and more recently for Clifton Chenier. « Lonesome daddy blues » is not the same track as Bill Johnson‘s on a Starday custom – which I will discuss about in another article.



Jimmy Swan

denver darling

Denver Darling

Denver Darling « Juke joint mama »download

trumpet 176-78

Jimmy Swan « Juke joint mama »download
trumpet 198 450p

silon 201


Jimmy Swan « Lonesome daddy blues »download

Sonny Starns, « Baton Rouge, L.A. »download








Let’s stay down south. The unknown SONNY STARNS delivers a romping, piano-led « Baton Rouge, L.A. » on the small Hammond, La. Silon label (# 202). 


Jimmy C. Newman « Lache pas la patate »download


Sad news now. The death (on June 21rst) of a giant of Country and Cajun music, Mr. JIMMY C. NEWMAN. Born 1927, he began his career vocally fronting the band of Papa Cairo on Modern sides – I think he sings « Kooche kooche », to be found on an old U.K. Ace compilation (« Swingbillies »), in 1949-50. Then he was cutting for Jay D. Miller in Crowley, La. and his first label Feature : songs like « Wondering » – later covered by Webb Pierce on Decca. He had records on Khoury’s too, before entering in Randy Wood’s stable on Gallatin, TN Dot label. A huge hit in 1956, « A fallen star » : then he was an established star. However he never denied his Cajun ancestry and roots and, in 1973, recorded on La Louisiane label the much acclaimed « Lâche pas la patate » in French, also known as « The potato song » (written by Clifford Joseph Trahan, better known as Pee Wee Trahan, or Johnny Rebel…). The song went n°1 in Quebec on the Deram label, and had not since then disappeared from his repertoire, always in demand by Cajun speaking folks until recent times. Newman died of cancer. I will have a survey later of his entire career. Let’s get his music ! 

 Lâche pas la patate (lyrics in French)(« Don’t drop the potato »)


Hey! Lâche pas la patate mon neg. Hey! Lâche pas la patate? Une chose qu’est claire, j’fais mon affaire mais j’lâche pas la patate??-?J’vas au bal tous les samedis, pour escouer mes vieilles pattes? J’danse avec toutes les belles filles… Mais j’lâche pas la patate – ?J’fais tous les clubs que je peux faire ent’Lafayette et la Ville Plate? Oublie-moi pas des fois ça chauffe… Mais j’lâche pas la patate?? Refrain😕 Hey! Lâche pas la patate mon neg  Hey! Lâche pas la patate? Une chose qu’est claire, j’fais mon affaire mais j’lâche pas la patate??-?Chu pas marié, j’ai pas personne pour m’tenir le fond d’culotte? Quand j’veux partir chu « gone vieux j’ton » Mais j’lâche pas la patate ?J’vas là tout seul la moitié du temps mais quand l’idée me frappe? J’appelle Marie la chère p’tite fille mais j’lâche pas la patate?? Refrain😕 Hey! Lâche pas la patate mon neg Hey! Lâche pas la patate? Une chose qu’est claire, j’fais mon affaire Mais j’lâche pas la patate??-Un soir au bal un tout p’tit boguet et un gros a pris à s’battre ?J’voulais que le petit gagne et j’criais « Lâche pas la patate »? Le gros bougre m’a r’gardé et dit: Espère que j’te rattrape ?J’mé viré de bord… J’ai couru fort… J’ai lâché la patate??  Refrain😕 Hey! J’ai lâché la patate mon neg Hey! J’ai lâché la patate? Une chose qu’est claire, j’fais mon affaire J’ai lâché la patate??Hey! Lâche pas la patate mon neg Hey! Lâche pas la patate? Une chose qu’est claire, j’ faist mon affaire Mais j’lâche pas la patate…?  [translation in English on personal request]

jimmy C.Newman pic

HAPPY FATS (Leroy LeBlanc) & his Rayne-Bo Ramblers: (1935-1952) and Oran « Doc » Guidry, Louisiana extraordinaires

It has proved difficult to find something on Happy Fats Leroy LeBlanc, although he has been a very popular figure in Louisiana during an half-century. Below is a biography published on the net by All Music (Jason Ankeny).happy fats pic Little did Gilbert and Carrie LeBlanc know, when their baby boy was born on January 30, 1915, that their cheerfully named child would become one of Louisiana’s most recognized Cajun musicians. The music of Happy Fats remains instrumental in both of the preservation and celebration of his native Cajun culture, despite the damage inflicted by a series of race-baiting protest records cut at the peak of the civil rights movement. Born Leroy LeBlanc in Rayne, Acadia Parish, LA, on January 30, 1915, Fats was a self-taught musician who began his professional career at 17 when he began playing accordion in Cajun hillbilly bands led by Amédé Breaux and Joe Falcon. In 1935, he formed his own group, the Rayne-Bo Ramblers, which starred the talents of Eric Arceneaux among others. And regularly headlined the local OST Club. Fats signed to RCA Victor in doc guidry & happy fats1936. In 1937, he played alongside Doc Guidry, and Uncle Ambrose Thibodeaux. Other associates were Luderin Darbonne, Pee Wee Broussard, Doc Guidry, « Papa Cairo » Lamperez, Rex Champagne, and Crawford J. Vincent. He was invited and spoke on many radio stations including: KANE, KEUN, KUOH, KROF, and others. In 1940 he scored his first significant hit, « La Veuve de la Coulee » which featured then-unknown fiddler Harry Choates. The Rayne-Bo Ramblers also served as a springboard for Cajun accordion legend Nathan Abshire in 1935 (« La valse de Riceville« ). Other popular Fats recordings include the traditional « Allons dance Colinda, » « La Vieux de Accordion, » and « Mon Bon Vieux Mari. » Few of his efforts earned national attention, but within south Louisiana he was a superstar, and in the early ’50s even hosted a weekday morning radio show on Lafayette station KVOL. In 1966, however, Fats was the subject of national controversy when he signed to producer Jay D. Miller’s segregationist Reb Rebel label to record the underground smash « Dear Mr. President, » a spoken word condemnation of Lyndon Johnson’s civil rights policies that sold over 200,000 copies despite its appalling racism. « We didn’t have any problems with that, not at all, » Fats maintained in an interview. « There wasn’t anything violent about it — it was just a joke. I had a car of black people run me down on the highway one time coming in Lafayette, and they said, ‘Are you the fellow that made  » Dear Mr. President »?’ I said I was, and they said, ‘We’d like to buy some records.’ They bought about 15 records. There was a big van full of black people and they loved it . . . Either side at that time, they didn’t want integration very much. They wanted to go each their own way. » The commercial success of « Dear Mr. President » launched a series of similarly poisonous Fats efforts including « Birthday Thank You (Tommy from Viet Nam), » « A Victim of the Big Mess (Called the Great Society), » « The Story of the Po’ Folks and the New Dealers, » and « Vote Wallace » in ’72. » After a long battle with diabetes, Fats died on February 23, 1988.   (suite…)

Jack Dumery’s september 2012 chronicle

Nadine Landry & Stephen « Sammy » Lind « Granddad’s Favorite» (2010)

A duet (Nadine on vocal and guitar, Stephen on banjo and fiddle) who offer a cajun pot-pourri of old, traditional songs as well as personal compositions. I like Nadine’s high-pitched vocal in « Parlez-nous A Boire » (Invite us to drink), or the good « Les Oiseaux Vont Chanter » (The birds are going to sing). I picked up « Un Ange Pour Toute La Louisiane» (An angel for all Louisiana) too, and the fine instrumental fiddle-led « Brown’s Dream ». Really don’t know if they are used musicians on CD, but felt it a bit monotonous in term of paces and rhythm guitar styling. Maybe a duet to look for in the future.





Eileen Jewell presents Butcher Holler « A Tribute To Loretta Lynn » Signature Sounds (2010)

This is a difficult task of paying tribute to an icon of Country music of the ’70s to the ’90s, but Eileen Jewell (vocal) does it fairly well. Actually her versions of Lynn’s songs may even sound better than the originals, according to Jack Dumery ! I believe him, me being not familiar with Loretta Lynn’s music. Anyway, I particularly liked « Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind »), with Eileen’s assured vocal over a crisp lead-guitar. Other goodies do include « I’m A Honky Tonk Girl », with love gone wrong lyrics which seem suited to Loretta’s image. Let’s also take a listen to the nice shuffler « A Man I Hardly Know » or the good « Deep As Your Pocket », and I’m ending with « You’re Lookin’ At Country », a great Honky tonk song in its own right. A very fine CD, you surely enjoy if you ever decide to pick it.


Pokey Lafarge & Soul City Three « River Boat Soul » Free Dirt Records (2010). Takoma Park, MD

This is entirely something else. Back to roots music and « jazz manouche ». Pokey and his band do offer a large amount of happy old-time music, be it traditional songs (« Claude Jones » or « Sweet Potato Blues ») or own compositions like « Daffodil Blues ». I felt like their sound of traditional instruments, like kazoo, mouth harp, banjo and acoustic guitar. All selections are taken at brisk tempos, even the blues songs. I noticed the slower « Bag Of Bones », full of laziness. A very nice record I recommend to old-time music lovers. But the other people will enjoy it too !