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Harry Choates - Fiddle King Of Cajun Swing

CAT. #: 380

Price: $15.00

CD 380

Harry Choates - fiddle and vocals with: Johnnie Mae Smirle (Manuel) - piano; Joe Manuel - banjo; B.D. Williams - bass; Eddie Pursley - guitar; Ron Ray “Pee Wee” Lyons or Julius “Papa Cairo” Lamperez - steel guitar.

Harry Choates played a combination of Cajun and Western swing and immortalized “Jole Blon,” which he made into a hit in 1946. Here are most of his best recordings for the Gold Star label from that period just prior to his untimely death in 1951.
Note: Harry Choates' original hit of "Jole Blonde" is not on this CD but is on CD 331 - Vol. 1 of “J'ai Été Au Bal.”
Some of this material was previously issued on ARH LP 5027.

1. Allons A Lafayette
2. Basile Waltz
3. Cajun Hop
4. Port Arthur Waltz
5. Harry Choates Special
6. It Won't Be Long
7. Wrong Keyhole
8. Draggin' The Bow
9. Te Petite
10. Rubber Dolly
11. Louisiana
12. Poor Hobo
13. Devil In The Bayou
14. Rye Whiskey
15. Fais Do Do Stomp
16. Lawtell Waltz
17. Bayou Pon Pon
18. Chere Meon
19. Harry Choates Blues
20. Mari Jole Blon
21. Honky Tonking Days
22. Grand Mamou
23. Je Pase Durvan Ta Port
24. Hackberry Hop
25. Jole Brun
26. Louisiana Boogie


“The French ingredients in his music are generally mixed in with other elements, in particular Western Swing or honky tonk country music. In fact on a few tracks, there are little or no French characteristics at all. I'm not sure whether Choates is an acquired taste or whether if that unique appeal of his doesn't grab you right from the start you can give up trying. For he was, if anything, an individual and the appeal of his music is its sheer distinctiveness - the easy jogging beat, smooth fiddle, whooping vocal and gliding steel guitar are pretty unmistakable, especially when combined with the jubilant cries of `Eh, ha ha.' There is a feeling of a musician at ease with himself, at ease with his talent and at ease with the world. Of course, this could hardly be farther from the truth, for just as his music was maverick, so also was his life. A prodigious drinker, he lived hard and died tragically, before he had reached his 30th birthday, in a jail cell in Texas. His big hit `Jole Blon'- is not here (though her cousin `Jole Brun'- is), but we have 26 other titles from Gold Star, made between 1946 and 1950. Choates could play Cajun standards like `Allons A Lafayette'- (show me a Cajun musician who can't) and `Bayou Pon Pon' or he could stretch out on Western Swing style pieces like `Draggin' The Bow.' Whatever he did, he added a touch of something that was his very own — brilliant, often remarkably beautiful fiddle playing, and his own eccentric garbled French vocals. Personally, I love it and am positively delighted that this CD version of a long-loved Arhoolie LP gives me a bonus of 10 more wonderful tracks of it.”

(Ray Templeton — Blues & Rhythm)