Welcome to Mellow's Log Cabin. This blog's purpose is to supply information on a diversity of American southern music - ranging from country, blues, old-time and folk to R&B, rock'n'roll and rockabilly. I regularly present my research results about artists, labels, shows and also give guest writers a chance to publish their texts here on occasion.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Harry Choates day

What is better than Harry Choates' version of the cajun classic "Jolé Blon"? I think nothing!
Choates is a tragical figure in cajun music. Born in 1922, he moved to Port Arthur, Texas, in the 1930s and visited the bars there on a regular basis. At the age of 12, he began to play fiddle in barbershops and later played with Leo Soileau and Leroy LeBlanc. He formed his band, the Melody Boys, in 1946 and recorded with them for Gold Star in 1946/47, recording such songs as "Port Arthur Waltz", "Allons a Lafayette", "Draggin' the Bow" and the classic "Jolé Blon". Moon Mullican made the latter a country hit, but Choates never received one dollar for songwriting credits, because he had waived his rights. In the late 1940s the Melody Boys disbanded and Choates became an alcoholic. While he spent three days in prison, he knocked his head again the jail cell bars, eventually knocking himself into a coma. He died several days later. It was the year 1951 and Choates was only 29 years old.

Here are some of his songs:

1. Jolé Blon

2. Allons a Lafayette
3. Devil in the Bayou
4. Basile Waltz

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