Born: Dec. 26, 1922 in Cow Island, La.
Died: July 17, 1951
Known as the "Godfather of Cajun Music" and “the Fiddle King of Cajun Swing”, Harry Choates moved to Port Arthur, Texas in 1930's with mother and began playing fiddle in barbershops at age 12 for nickels thrown to him.
He gained early professional experience playing in the bands of Leo Soileau and Leroy Leblanc, then split off to form his own group called the Melody Boys in 1946.
His 1946 song "Jole Blon" was a top 10 hit (Billboard position #4) for Choates, was recorded under the Gold Star Records label. Since Goldstar could not keep up with the demand for "Jole Blon", the record was co-released under other label. Later, it was recorded by country singer Moon Mullican and became a major hit, but Choates had waived his rights to the song and was never compensated for its success.
Other hits include "Basile Waltz," "Port Arthur Waltz," "Poor Hobo," and "Grand Mamou."