His career as a professional musician began some years later at a fais-do-do hall called the "Blue Goose" (Oneziphore Guidry's dance hall) in Rayne, Louisiana when the regular band didn’t show up and the dance hall owner insisted that Joe take their place. As a young man, Joe was friends with accordionist Amédée Breaux of the legendary Breaux family and sometimes accompanied him on triangle. Amédée’s sister, Cléoma, a gifted guitarist and singer, became Joe’s frequent accompanist and they married not long after the onset of their recording career. In April 1928, a jeweler, George Ber, from Rayne, Louisiana persuaded Columbia records to record Joe and his wife Cléoma by agreeing to purchase the records. Recorded on April 27, 1928 in New Orleans, "Lafayette" caused a sensation when it was released by Columbia Records in the summer of 1928.
Thousands of copies were sold and Falcon became the first Cajun-recording star, playing to packed dance halls in Louisiana and neighboring Texas. Joe and Cleoma recorded more material at sessions in New York in August 1928 and Atlanta in April 1929. After a hiatus caused by the onset of the Great Depression, the couple resumed their recording career in 1934, recording again in New York, then at New Orleans in 1936 and San Antonio in 1937. Cléoma died suddenly on April 9, 1941, but Joe continued to perform as leader of Joe Falcon and His Silver Bell String Band, which included his second wife, Theresa Meaux, on drums. Despite this success, Joe’s career flagged in the late 1930s with the increasing popularity of fiddle-based country-and-western influenced bands.
His music came to be considered old-fashioned and he stopped recording after his last session in 1937. Though Joe continued to play local dances into the 1960s, he declined to make further recordings, maintaining he had been cheated by record companies. "Allons a Lafayette" remains one of the most popular Cajun songs of all times. Joe recorded for Columbia Records.
His studio recordings, mostly with Cléoma Breaux, are available on the compilation CDs "Cajun Dance Party: Fais Do-Do" (Columbia/Legacy) and "Cajun Vol. 1: Abbeville Breakdown (Columbia). A live CD, "Joe Falcon: Cajun Music Pioneer," recorded at the Triangle Club in Scott, La., in 1963, is available on the Arhoolie label. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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