It’s been a while since our last Fantastic Foursome, and I’ve picked a lively Hank Williams tune for this one. Although he was actually from Alabama, one of his best-known songs — “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” — was based on the music of Southern Louisiana and named for an iconic dish from the region. But even though he’s given credit for writing the song, some sources say he had a little help from a contemporary, Moon Mullican, and also that the melody for it came from an old Cajun song. In any case, his 1952 record topped the country music charts for a long time, and — oddly enough — was then adopted by Cajun musicians, who translated his lyrics into French.
(Just a side note: for years I listened to him singing “jambalaya, crawfish pie, and feely gumbo” and I wondered, what makes gumbo “feely”? I finally learned that it was filé he was singing about — you can read more here.)
Below you’ll find a video with Hank’s original, and below that four other versions of the song. If you’d like, you can vote for your favorite in the poll.
Asleep At The Wheel – Brenda Lee – Buckwheat Zydeco – Jerry Lee Lewis