Manuel's Bar Waltz
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MANUEL'S BAR WALTZ. Cajun, Waltz. USA, southwestern Louisiana. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA(Vocal)AAABB(Vocal)AA. Dr. Shane Bernard explains the origin of the title in his article "J. D. Miller and Floyd Soileau: A Comparison of Two Small Town Recordmen of Acadiana" (Louisiana Folklife Journal, Volume XV, December 1991):
[Floyd] Soileau began with a short-lived Cajun-oriented label and then began to break out quickly with new labels that were directed toward wider audiences. Soileau's first label, Big Mamou, was formed in partnership with Ed Manuel, a Mamou, Louisiana, jukebox operator, nightclub owner, and regular customer of Floyd's Record Shop, who had the financial backing to assist the young entrepreneur. Manuel had also taped Cajun musicians Milton Molitor and Austin Pete at a party where they performed "Manuel Bar Waltz" and Midway Two-Step." Although these songs were recorded merely to advertise a couple of Manuel's nightclubs, Soileau shipped the masters to Don Pierce's Starday Records in Nashville (Broven 193-94). During his days at KVPI, Soileau had often run across promotional fliers from Starday, which read "If you've got a tape, we can press a record for you." The Big Mamou releases sold encouragingly and began to revive interest in Cajun music around Ville Platte. "We put our first record out and started selling it," says Soileau.
"And then when word got out that somebody in Ville Platte was releasing French records again. . . . I say again because most—in fact, I think everybody had stopped, they weren't selling enough French records. . . . Country music had come through and sorta swept around here and there was nobody interested in doing Cajun records anymore. I didn't know any better, people kept asking for Cajun records and they wanted to know if there was anything in a 45 available. So the jukeboxes were coming out; they were playing 45 RPM records. So we put that first record out. It sent the message that there was somebody releasing that kind of music again" (Soileau).
Several local artists began to ask Soileau to release their work. Among these were Lawrence Walker and Aldus Roger. In fact, Walker offered to sell Soileau four taped songs; Soileau bought two for 60 dollars and optioned the others for 40. However, when he told his Mamou partner Ed Manuel the news, Manuel stated that he was no longer interested in the record business. Manuel offered to back Soileau with loans, but the records business, he said, would belong entirely to Soileau (Soileau).
See also "Valse de Prison."
Source for notated version: Milton Molitor (Big Mamou) [Francois].
Printed sources: Francois (Yé Yaille Chère!), 1990; pp. 412-413.
Recorded sources: Big Mamou Records 101, Milton Molitor. "The Daigle-Frey Affair" (2010). Swallow Records, Tasso - "Viens à Ma Maison" (1994).