You’re listening to “the Cajun national anthem”, sung and…fiddled…by Harry Choates on a Modern Music 78, and…

You’re on the Sound Beat.

Choates initially recorded “Jole Blon” (translated as “pretty blonde”) in 1946 for Gold Star records. It served as the B side, but when a Houston-area DJ played it instead of the A side, Basile Waltz, the rendition of the much-loved Cajun classic became a big hit. It was the first one for Gold Star records, and so big in fact that the recording was licensed to Modern Music for distribution.

In an all-too-common happening in the world of music, Choates didn’t see much of anything from the sales of the record. His payment, according to legend: 100 dollars and bottle of whiskey.


Photo: Wally Gobetz – A Harry Choates 78 from an exhibit at Barbara Jordan Terminal at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport