- Travis D. Stimeling
(b Dec 26, 1922, Rayne or New Iberia, LA; d July 17, 1951, Austin, TX). American Cajun honky-tonk singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. An influential figure whose music reflects the complex relationships between Anglo-Americans and Cajuns along the Texas Gulf Coast, he was raised in the region around Port Arthur, Texas, known as Cajun Lapland. As a boy he developed a keen musical ear and learned to play a variety of instruments, including accordion, guitar, lap steel guitar, fiddle, and mandolin. While a teenager he played with many of the luminaries of Cajun music, including Leo Soileau, Papa Cairo, and Leroy LeBlanc, and developed fluency in the Cajun and western swing styles that were popular throughout the region. After forming the Melody Boys in 1946, Choates recorded “Jole Blon” (Gold Star, 1947), his first of 26 sides for Gold Star Records in Houston between 1946 and 1951. A reworking of the Breaux family’s popular waltz “Ma blonde est parti” (Columbia, ...