Country Music

Harry Choates, ‘Jole Blon’ (1946)

“Around 1946 he organized a band that he called the Melody Boys. Perhaps in honor of his daughter, Linda, he rewrote an old Cajun waltz, “Jolie Blonde” (Pretty Blonde) and renamed it “Jole Blon.” He recorded the song in 1946 for the Gold Star label, owned by Bill Quinn of Houston. “Jole Blon” became a favorite in the field of country and western music and a standard number in Texas and Louisiana clubs and dance halls. A year after Choates’s recording, Aubrey “Moon” Mullican, a Texas-born singer and piano player, made an even bigger hit with the song. “Jole Blon,” which Choates performed in the key of A instead of the traditional G, featured slurred fiddle notes and has been sung with both Cajun French and English romantic lyrics as well as nonsense lyrics with references to the “dirty rice” and “filé gumbo” of Cajun cuisine.

Choates, who suffered from chronic alcoholism, sold “Jole Blon” for $100 and a bottle of whiskey.”

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