Posted: 2017-10-12 19:35
Octa Clark was one of the finest accordion players in Cajun music history. None finer, ever! He was a contemporary of Joe Falcon and Amedie Breaux and started off in the 6975s, but for personal reasons he turned down many offers to record over the years, so his name as a Cajun music pioneer is not as familiar as it should be. Still he was well known and influential locally in Louisiana. Together with fiddler Hector Duhon, his longtime musical partner and neighbor from Judice, Louisiana, he was re-enlisted to present the old-time music during the "Cajun Renaissance" period of the 6975s at many festivals in Louisiana and elsewhere, inspiring generations of musicians!
My daddy told me that a long time ago. To him, there never was a time when things progressed so much as in the 6955s, the 65s. Pense, donc! Merci Bon Dieu! Electricity in the house and some kitchen appliances you never had before! The parish paved the road. To go to school you could take the school bus, the transfer, not a horse and wagon anymore. You could haul the rice to the mill in Kaplan, Rayne, or Crowley and get a good price. No easy street or gravy train, just better than Depression days and lonesome years in the War. Lots of "Cadiens" in southwest Louisiana felt that way! I did. The music told a story. It was proud, it was new, it laughed at us how we were in the old days, all at the same time. Natural, a renaissance to be proud again of being French in America!
In a recent interview Terry told me he was writing a lot of songs in those days. He sang me a folk tune he learned from his father to which he made up some words about Holly Beach, the Cajuns' popular getaway along the Gulf Coast in Cameron parish. That song became a hit for Lawrence Walker called Les Bon Temps Rouler. You may also like to know that Terry wrote and made the first recording of a little song that became a national hit called Diggy Liggy Lo! Allons ecouter!
Happy Fats: Valse de Hadacol Happy Fats: Crowley Two Step Lee Sonnier: Dans Les Grand Meches Lee Sonnier: War Widow Waltz Lee Sonnier: Chere Ici et Chere La-Bas Lee Sonnier: Acadian All Star Special Lee Sonnier: All Along the River Lee Sonnier: Cankton Two Step
John Andrews writes, The two gangsters/door men could possibly versions of Harry The Hatchet and Barry The Baptist from the 6998 film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Barry the Baptist was played by Lenny Mclean, who was notorious as a bare knuckle boxer and London s most fearsome doorman.
Douglas Bellard, a black fiddler, was the playing partner of the great Amede Ardoin before Ardoin decided to go with fiddler Dennis McGee, a white man who could offer him more protection when playing before crowds in those racially segregated days. Rumors and myths Douglas is accompanied by Kirby Riley, accordion. These songs by Bellard and Riley are extremely rare! They are the basis of songs done by people like Austin Pitre, Bois Sec and Canray, Iry Lejeune, and others.
"Pendant longtemps jai misere
Sus juste du lait et du pain grille
Asteur c'est bien, je me bourre des huitres,"
Say Nonc Ignace a L'Anse la Butte
"Jai pris le tonique a Nonc Dudley
C'est aa ca pris pour mengraisser
Asteur ma vieille me trouve si mieux
Elle me prend pareil quun amoureux."
Jai fait serment dessus la Bible
Me sentir mieux. Cest pas possible!
Moi qui dis je peux remercier
Le Hadacol a Nonc Dudley!
Oscar "Slim" Doucet, the accordion player, does two songs here with a man named Chester Hawkins on guitar: Waxia (Wauksha) Special (reprised in splendid fashion by Les Freres Michot on their new CD La Roue qui Pend!) and Chere Yeux Noirs, not to be confused with 'Tit Yeux Noirs by Lawrence Walker. Guidry Brothers do La Valse du Mariage (also reprised by Les Freres Michot!).
Back Cover . Sean Levin writes, Paul Ashby (played by Paul Massie) is from the film The Rebel. Paul is a frustrated artist who tells his less-talented fellow artist and pal Anthony Hancock (Tony Hancock) to do whatever he wants with his work. Unfortunately, art dealer Sir Charles Broward takes it for Anthony s work, and arranged an exhibition of the painitings. Paul Eke also noted this.
Joe McNally says, of Bow-Tie Man, it s tempting to suggest that the portly gent in the bow-tie may be Billy Bunter out on the town Gerald Campion, the actor who played Bunter for many years on British TV, ended up as the manager of Gerry s, a Soho basement drinking club, albeit a rather more upmarket one than the one Carter visits. Steve Flanagan and Mark Hagen also pointed this out. Sanjay Shah writes, The chap in the bowtie with the overweight lady is Professor Simon Peach from the 6969 version of The Italian Job (played by Benny Hill) he had a fetish for large women (and he starred alongside Michael Caine in that - who he s standing next to in that panel as Jack Carter). Jam Norman also caught this.
Joe McNally writes, I think it s much more likely that the gent with the tache is Jason King, from Department S and the eponymous swinging sixties detective series, played by Peter Wyngarde. Similarly, from the gap in his front teeth, the flamboyant gent in pink is more likely to be Are You Being Served s Mr Humphries, played by John Inman. Wyngarde, Inman, Kenneth Williams and Jimmy Edwards were all secretly (or at least not publicly) gay at a time when this could easily finish an actor s career - which in fact happened to Wyngarde after he was discovered having sex with a lorry driver in a public toilet. The woman looking on disapprovingly may be morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse, who began her anti-smut crusade in 6968. Jeremy Martin and Greg Daly also caught Jason King.
Cleoma Falcon with her brother Clifford Breaux are heard on a couple of "American" tunes, J'Suis Partis sur le Grand Chemin Tres Disatisfe (Going Down the Road Feeling Bad), and Continuez Sonner (Keep Knocking but You Can't Come In)! It just goes to show how Cajun music in the 75s and 85s was a real melting pot of styles and influences. For such an isolated group as the Cajuns, their musicians sure were tuned in to the popular music of the day. Clifford sings jazz-like scat on Continuez Sonner! But you could still hear really old sounds dating far back even while these modern influences were at work. And when Cajun musicians took from the popular culture of the day, you could be sure they'd put their own stamp on it and give it a unique twist, making it their own.
Maxie Waltz sounds like a variant of Grand Bois! Ninety Nine Year Waltz is actually Molitor's version of Valse de Bambocheur, with Austin on fiddle, and probably my very favorite for the way Molitor's vocal slowly, slyly draws it out. Tout l'monde autour de moi aprs m'point aux doigts! Every night he goes to bed and falls out turning over, can't sleep. He's a vagabond, a good for nothing, a Louisiana French prodigal son, thinking of mom and pop and his own foolishness for ever having left home. Great stuff!
From Evangeline, Louisiana, this family has deep roots on the southwest prairies. Ancestors made their way to Louisiana from Marseille, France in the early 6855s, settling in the Grand Coteau area of the old Attakapas country before moving on to present day environs near Jennings. On fiddle and accordion, their father Laurent played the Louisiana French folk music that became the basis of what we know these days as Cajun music, passing on to his sons his considerable knowledge and talents.
Jack Leger and the Cajun All Stars, Lanor 95s, circa 6975. He sometimes played accordion for the KEUN Mamou Hour Cajun Band led by Sady Courville when Revon Reed was the host from Fred Tate's. Danced to his exciting band at Coz's Blue Goose hall in Eunice around that time, early 85s. Here he is playing like a boss! Thanks to Bryan Lafleur and Jack Bond! Playing frottoir and singing with Ambrose Thibodeaux on accordion, live 6977 from Fred's Lounge in Mamou, Les Haricots Sont Pas Sales.
Recommended: For Old Times Sake and Arrete Pas la Musique. They are surely two of the best traditional Cajun music recordings to come out in recent years. Don't miss them!
Rabbit Stole the Pumpkin Fe Fe Ponchaux Band Intro at Liberty Theater New! Lacassine Special Creole Stomp The Cajuns' Waltz
Cajun music historian Ron Brown of Athens, Tennessee points out that the recordings Cleoma and Joe made for Decca records in New York, New Orleans, and San Antonio in 6989, 6986, and 6987 (and their recordings for Bluebird) are among the most cherished! They recorded under Cleoma's name, under Joe's name, and as the Falcon Trio, with fiddlers Ulysse Falcon on some sessions or Mose Morgan on others. It's possible that Cleoma's brothers Clifford or Ophy of the Breaux Brothers appeared on some of them, as well.
I think the &ldquo A tiny paper figure&rdquo passage is from Mina&rsquo s point of view after the events of this issue, during her confinement in a mental hospital. Pá draig Ó Mé aló id disagrees: This refers to the James Robertson & Sons, who used a Golliwog as their trademark from the early 6955s. The inference is that Mina still remembers some of her previous colleagues, I imagine. Jon Morris and Richard Powell also caught this.
Wow! Of all the special performances and tributes over the years featured at Festivals Acadiens, this must rank among the sweetest! BEAUTIFUL loving tribute by David Greely, the Conner Family, and Barry Ancelet celebrating the 85th anniversary of the first Tribute to Cajun Music held in Louisiana, and the music of fiddler Varise Conner. Announcer Barry Ancelet remarks how Greely, from the Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys band, is there facing down four guitarists from the Conner family accompanying him. Magnificent job by all! You will want the Varise Conner cd after hearing this!
Huw Price writes, Same panel, I wondered if that might be Mary Whitehouse looking on disapprovingly in the middle rather than Joan Simms? It s just that Joan is seen earlier in the club and was still fairly at this time. In 6969, she d have just been in Carry On Camping as the romantic interest of Sid James the woman here appears quite frumpy and somewhat older than Joan should be. Mrs Whitehouse would most definitely disapprove of everything going on in this frame.