zaterdag 11 januari 2014
Basile (Waltz) (1928) / Gran Mamou (1935) / Big Mamou (1952)
Most of the versions of "Big Mamou" are credited to Link Davis, though he only wrote the English words for it and copyrighted the song in 1952.
His version was the first ever release (#18001) at the start of the country-branch of the OKEH-label, a subsidiary of the Columbia-label.
Link Davis probably learned it from Harry Choates, with whom he had worked in 1950.
Harry Choates recorded a version of "Big Mamou" in 1951 on the Humming Bird label.
But Choates had already recorded a version of the song in 1950 with a different title "Gra Mamou" (on the Macy's Recordings label).
And already in 1946 Harry Choates had recorded a version for the Gold Star-label, with the ORIGINAL title "Basile Waltz"
Leo Soileau already recorded a version of the song as "Le Gran Mamou" in 1935 on the Victor label.
But Leo Soileau on his turn had already recorded a version of the song in 1928 with yet another title ("Basile").
In between the 2 versions of Leo Soileau, in 1934, Joe Falcon and Cleoma Breaux Falcon had also recorded a version of the song (yet with another title and text). "Ma Valse Prefere". On the Decca-label.
"Mamou" and "Basile" are two towns in the Evangeline parish (a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana.)
Here are the recordings beginning with the oldest version I found:
(o) Leo Soileau and Mayuse Lafleur (1928) (as "Basile - Waltz")
Leo Soileau, f; Mayuse Lafleur, ac/v.
Recorded in Atlanta, GA on Friday, October 19, 1928
Released on Victor 21769
Less than two weeks after the recording session, Mayuse Lafleur was shot to death during a quarrel involving moonshine at a local dance after jumping to the aid of a friend, Alexander Bellon, who was shot first. He was only 22 at the time of his death.
(c) Cleoma Falcon 1934 (as "Ma Valse Preferee")
Joseph Falcon [accordion] & Cleoma Breaux Falcon [vcl/gt]
Recorded December 22, 1934 New Orleans, LA –
Released on Decca 17005
(c) Leo Soileau and His Three Aces (1935) (as "Le Gran Mamou")
Fiddle, Vocals – Leo Soileau
Guitar – Bill (Dewey) Landry, Floyd Shreve
Drums – Tony Gonzales
Recorded January 18, 1935, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Original issue: Bluebird B-2194.
Leo Soileau and His Three Aces (ca 1935)
(c) Harry Choates and His Fiddle (1946) (as "Basile Waltz")
Recorded ca. June 1946 Quinn Recording Co., 3104 Telephone Road, Houston, TX
Harry Choates (Esmond Pursley [gt], Abe Manuel [gt], Joe Manuel [vcl/banjo], B.D.Williams [bass])
Released on Gold Star 1313-A
Also on Modern 20-511, DeLuxe 6000, Starday 284 and D 1132
(c) Harry (Jole Blon) Choates and his Fiddle (1950) (as "Gra Mamou")
Harry Choates:Vocals & Fiddlle
Either Joe Manuel or Eddie Pursley:Guitar
Ronald "Pee Wee" Lyons:Steel Guitar
Johnnie Ruth Manuel:Piano
Recorded at ACA Studios 612 Westheimer, Houston, TX. c. March, 1950
Released on Macy's Recordings #124-A
(c) Harry Choates and his Fiddle 1951 (as "Big Mamou (Original) (Grosse Mama)"
Released on Humming Bird 1012
(c) Link Davis with Benny Leader’s Bayou-Billies (as "Big Mamou")
Link Davis, Vcl/fiddle with Frank Juricek, steel gtr; Bill Buckner, gtr; Clyde Brewer, piano; Benny Leader, bass; others unidentified.
Recorded at ACA Studio, Houston, December 2, 1952
Released on OKEH 18001 (first ever release on the start of the country-branch of the Okeh-label, which was a subsidiary of the Columbia-label)
(c) Smiley Lewis (1953) (as "Big Mamou")
In the spring of 1953 Smiley Lewis made his own variation of "Big Mamou", still crediting Link Davis.
In 1953 Eddie Shuler made a cover-version (crediting "Shuler" !?)
(c) Pete Hanley (1953) (as "Big Mamou") (#19 Hit USA)
(c) Rusty Draper (1953) (as "Big Mamou")
Recorded March 1953 Universal Recording Corp., 111 East Ontario Ave., Chicago, IL
(c) Ella Mae Morse (1953) (as "Big Mamou")
(c) Dolores Gray (1953) (as "Big Mamou")
(c) Jimmy Newman (1961) (as "Big Mamou")
Recorded April 12, 1961 Bradley Film and Recording Studio, 804 16th Ave. South, Nashville, TN – Jimmy Newman (unknown musicians. Producer: Owen Bradley)
Released on Decca 31281(45) and DL-74221 (LP)
(c) Everly Brothers 1961 (as "Gran Mamou")
(c) Waylon Jennings 1964 (as "Big Mamou")
(c) Rod Bernard (1969) (as "Big Mamou")
Released on the JIN-label (#45-250)
(c) Clifton Chenier (1970) (as "Big Mamou")
Recorded at Gold Star Studios--Houston, Texas on November 6, 1969.
(c) Fiddlin' Frenchie Burke And The Outlaws (1974) (as "Big Mamou")
Released on Music Creek MC-560 and after regional succes distibuted nationally by 20 Century.
It was a #39 C&W hit for Frenchie at the end of 1974.
(c) Commander Cody (1976) (as "Big Mammau")
Recorded live in England in January 1976.
(c) Queen Ida & the Bon Temps Zydeco Band (live 1978) (as "Grand Mamou")
(c) Amos Garrett / Doug Sahm / Gene Taylor (1988) (feat. Queen Ida) (as "Big Mamou")
Released on the album: "The Return of the Formerly Brothers"
(c) Hank Williams Jr (1989) (feat. Jimmy Newman) (as "Big Mamou")
Released on the album "Lone Wolf"
More versions here: