Friday, March 23, 2012

Song Of The Day #800

Ranch Radio's dusty old 78 today is Ain't Satisfied by The Hackberry Ramblers and features the fiddling of Luderin Darbone.

The following is from Darbone's obituary in The Guardian:

    If Cajun music has a place on the world stage, it is because of men such as Luderin Darbone, a fiddler and singer with the Hackberry Ramblers, who has died aged 95. Originally confined to the marginal community of French-speaking Acadians in southern Louisiana, Cajun music began to seep into the outside world in the late 1920s, when it was first recorded, but only in the late 30s did it find a significant audience beyond the Cajun enclaves of Louisiana and east Texas.
    The turning point was a record called Wondering. The combination of Joe Werner's tear-stained singing and Darbone's poignant fiddling electrified listeners who knew little of Cajun. The influence of that dense, bluesy ensemble would infiltrate country music all over the south, colouring the sound even of the leading 1940s country act, Hank Williams's Drifting Cowboys.
    Darbone was born in Evangeline, Louisiana, the son of an itinerant oilfield worker, and grew up in east Texas. He began playing the fiddle aged 12 and quickly learned tunes. In 1931 the family moved back to Louisiana and settled in the small town of Hackberry. "Across the street," Darbone would recall, "lived Ed Duhon, who was just learning to play guitar, and we immediately began playing together. He knew Cajun songs and I knew hillbilly tunes."
    Joined by another guitarist, Lennis Sonnier, they began playing at parties. Cajun had been dominated by the accordion so, Darbone said, "We didn't know how people would react - we were there to play their dance with only a fiddle and two guitars, but to our amazement, we were a smashing success."
    Through live shows and broadcasts, the Ramblers' new string band sound spread across the Cajun community. Darbone bought one of the first sound systems in the region; if he was booked into a rural dancehall with no electricity, he ran it from his car...

The Song Wondering mentioned was revived by Webb Pierce and became a big hit for him in 1952.

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