A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 09, 2017
“Laissez les bons temps rouler” ("Let the good times roll")

"Laissez les bons temps rouler” ("Let the good times roll") became a popular Louisiana saying from the 1940s-1960s. “Good times roll round once more” was printed in the New-York (NY) Daily Tribune in 1875. “The people are cheerful, confidence is abundant, the war is over, so now let the good times roll in upon us—let ‘er roll, let ‘er roll!” was printed in The Constitution (Atlanta, GA) in 1898.

“Let the Good Times Roll” is a 1924 song from songwriter Tom Delaney (1883-1963). “Let the Good Times Roll” (1946) is a blues song from Louis Jordan (1908-1975) and the Tympany Five. This song popularized the saying.

“Bon Ton Roula"/"Bon Ton Roulet” (1949) is a zydeco-influenced blues song first recorded by Clarence Garlow (1911-1986). “Let the Bon Temps Rouler” was listed as a song title in a 1953 newspaper. “Let the Good Times Roll” (1956) by Shirley and Lee is another song hit with that title.

The French version of the saying was popularized at a February 1962 crawfish festival in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. The Cajuns declared a mock Declaration of Independence, stating:

“In witness thereof, we the undersigned patriots do pledge our fortunes and our best stock of invigorating spirits and proclaim ‘Laissez les Bonnes Temps Rouler.’”


Wikipedia: Laissez les bons temps rouler
The expression Laissez les bons temps rouler (alternatively Laissez le bon temps rouler, Laisser les bons temps rouler and Laisser le bon temps rouler, French pronunciation: ​[lɛse le bɔ̃ tɑ̃ ʁule]) is a Cajun French phrase that is literally translated from the English expression “Let the good times roll.”

This phrase is often mentioned in Louisiana and around the Gulf Coast when Mardi Gras is celebrated. It is well known touristically around the United States from television and radio. It is not an expression used in other French-speaking countries.

Wiktionary: laissez les bons temps rouler
Etymology
Calque of English let the good times roll.
Interjection
laissez les bons temps rouler

1. (Louisiana) make merry!, let the good times roll!

18 June 1875, New-York (NY) Daily Tribune, pg. 6, col. 3:
The process of recovery is but imperfectly understood, bu it is certain that sooner or later, it may be in one year or it may be in five, the commercial world throws off the disease, and again all classes seem to be prosperous, and good times roll round once more.

4 September 1898, The Constitution (Atlanta, GA), pg. 15, col. 3:
SARGE PLUNKETT
In the Dim Distance the Now Era Is Dawning.
BUT IT COMES TOO SLOW
Let Us All Try To Hasten the Good Times Forward for the People Are Anxious.
For The Constitution
The people are cheerful, confidence is abundant, the war is over, so now let the good times roll in upon us—let ‘er roll, let ‘er roll!

17 November 1899, The Living Truth (Greenville, AL), “Mashville Dots,” pg. 4, col. 4:
Mr. W. E. King is going to move to Mashville; let the good times roll on, and every thing be fine and take the Living Truth and keep up with the times.—Slim Jim.

9 January 1915, The Billboard, “The Billboard Song Chart,” pg. 14, col. 2:
SONGS HEARD IN NEW YORK VAUDEVILLE LAST WEEK
(...)
Ed Morton (Royal)
When the Good Times Roll ‘Round

Google Books
12 April 1924, The Billboard, “Reviews” by Billy Chambers, pg. 49, col. 3:
Birmingham, Ala.
(Frolic Theater, March 17)

(...)
“Buttermilk” Garnett’s monolog proved the feature of the evening. He left them in a riot. He is much better than when seen here before. “Let the Good Times Roll” and “Liza Cooks Better Bread” were among the songs used.

Google Books
Catalog of Copyright Entries
Musical compositions, Part 3

Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Copyright Office
1925
Pg 476:
9642 Let the good times roll; w and melody Tom Delaney, of U. S. (C) 1 c. June 12, 1924; E 589143; Clarence Williams music pub. co., inc., New York

Wikipedia: Let the Good Times Roll (Louis Jordan song)
“Let the Good Times Roll” is a jump blues song recorded in 1946 by Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five. A mid-tempo twelve-bar blues, the song became a blues standard and one of Jordan’s best-known songs.

Original song
“Let the Good Times Roll” is “Louis Jordan’s buoyant invitation to party”:

Hey everybody, let’s have some fun
You only live but once, and when you’re dead you’re done
So let the good times roll, let the good times roll
Don’t care if you’re young or old, get together let the good times roll


OCLC WorldCat record
Let the good times roll Ain’t nobody here but us chicken
Author: Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five.
Publisher: [S.l.] : [s.n.], 1946 (enr.)
Edition/Format: Music : 78 rpm : English

13 July 1946, The Afro-American (Baltimore, MD), “Jordan and Page Share Band Honors at Royal,” pg. 6, col. 5:
“Let the Good Times Roll,” his latest recording; ...

Wikipedia: Bon Ton Roula
“Bon Ton Roula” (alternatively “Bon Ton Roulet”) is a zydeco-influenced blues song first recorded by Clarence Garlow in 1949. The following year, it became a hit, reaching number seven in Billboard magazine’s Rhythm & Blues Records chart and “helped introduce the Louisiana music form to a national audience”.  “Bon ton roula” (pronounced “bahn tahn roolay") is a phonetical approximation of “bons temps rouler”, Louisiana Creole French for “good times roll” as in “Laissez les bons temps rouler” or “Let the good times roll”, a regional invitation to join in a festive celebration.

A song with a similar theme, “Let the Good Times Roll”, was recorded by Louis Jordan in 1946 and it became a R&B chart hit. In 1949, Clarence Garlow recorded “Bon Ton Roula”, using a different arrangement and lyrics. The song was recorded as a sixteen-bar blues with “an insistent, swirling rhumba rhythm”. Commenting on the song’s lyrics, singer and music writer Billy Vera noted, “The song featured some of the same kind of broken Cajun-isms as Hank Williams’s “Jambalaya”

You see me there, well I ain’t no fool
I’m one smart Frenchman never been to school
Wanna get somewhere in a Creole town
You stop and let me show you your way ‘round
You let the bon ton roula, you let the moolay boolay
Now don’t you be no fool-ay, you let the bon ton roula


OCLC WorldCat record
Bon ton roula ; In a boogie mood.
Author: Clarence Garlow
Publisher: Houston, Texas : Macy’s Recordings, [1950]
Edition/Format: Music : 78 rpm : English

18 February 1950, The Billboard, pg. 31, col. 1:
ADVANCE RHYTHM & BLUES RECORD RELEASES
(...)
Bon Ton Roula
C. Garlow (In a) Macy’s 5002

12 August 1953, Daily World (Opelousas, LA), “Reed’s Off-the-Cuff” by R. J. Reed, pg. 8, col. 2:
With the bayou ballads so popular, especially “Jambalaya,” “Jolie Blonde,” “Shrimp Boats,” “Big Mamou,” “Pretty Little Cajun Girl,” “Let the Bon Temps Rouler,” “Saturday night on the Bayou Pon Pon,” and “Dancez Calinda,” and others, ...

Wikipedia: Let the Good Times Roll (Shirley and Lee song)
“Let the Good Times Roll” is a song that was recorded by Shirley and Lee in 1956. This song was written by the duo, Shirley Goodman (later Shirley Pixley) and Leonard Lee, and by September 8, 1956 had climbed to #20 in the US charts.

15 February 1962, Daily World (Opelousas, LA), pg. 5, col. 1:
BADON OF BREAUX BRIDGE
Le Bonnes Temps Gonna Rouler
A Declaration by the Citizens of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, in Congress assembled:

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people, namely, we Cajuns of Breaux Bridge, to cast off the oppressive yoke of a relatively joyless and doleful state and nation, then therefor and to wit does it behoove us to set forth the reasons for our actions.

We find that the majority of this state and nation are incompatible with us in that:

!. They do not eat Couche Couche.
2. They cannot make a sauce piquante, much less do they eat gratons and boudin.
3. They cannot make a decent crawfish stew or etouffee.
4. They cannot cook grillades a la chique.
5. They cannot cook nor do they eat courtboullon de poisson.
6. They murder what should be a good gumbo.
7. They are not disciples of Epicurus.
8. They cannot dance a fais do do.
9. They cannot let Bonnes Temps Rouler.
10. They cannot speak Cajun.
(...)
In witness thereof, we the undersigned patriots do pledge our fortunes and our best stock of invigorating spirits and proclaim “Laissez les Bonnes Temps Rouler.”

20 February 1962, Morning Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA), “Breaux Bridge will ‘Secede’ For Festival,” pg. 10-A, col. 3:
BREAUX BRIDGE—The Crawfish Capital of the World will “secede” from the state April 27-29 during the three-day annual Crawfish Festival.
(...)
The proclamation ends by proclaiming, “Laissez le Bon Temps Rouler,” which translates rather smoothly as “Let the Good Times Roll.”

20 February 1962, Alexandria (LA) Daily Town Talk “Breaux Bridge Becomes ‘Isolationist’ As It Prepares for Crawfish Festival,” pg.. 12, cols. 7-8:
The patriots pledge their fortunes and their “best stock of invigorating spirits” to “Laissez le Bon Temps Rouler” (Let the Good Times Roll to you “foreigners").
(...)
“9. They can not Let Le Bon Temps Rouler.”

23 February 1962, States-Times (Baton Rouge, LA), “Crawfish Capital Is Planning Succession—Sees No Other Way,” pg. 11-B, col. 8:
Part of their declaration of freedom reads:
(...)
“9. They cannot let Le Bon Temps Rouler. (Let The Good Times Roll. The name of a song popular about 10 years ago.)”

The New Yorker
U. S. JOURNAL MAY 20, 1972 ISSUE
U.S. JOURNAL: BREAUX BRIDGE, LOUISIANA EATING CRAWFISH
By Calvin Trillin
(...)
“We would appeal to the beautiful youths to practice a degree of restraint so that they are not wantonly drunk, if you know what I mean,” he told me a couple of days before the festival. “If the youths persist in conducting themselves in such manner as they have conducted themselves, they will destroy the very festivals they like. But, as we say here, ‘Laissez le bon temps rouler’—‘Let the good times roll.’ “

11 March 1973, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Louisiana’s Cajun country” by David Laird Watt, sec. 4, pg. 11. cols. 1-3:
LAFAYETTE, La.—(...) Laisser le bon temps rouler—Let the good times roll” is announced as the Cajun band swings into action.

22 September 1974, Atlanta (GA) Journal and Constitution, pg. 16-G, col. 6 ad:
Laissez les bons temps rouler!
This fall, the good times will roll at 62 Louisiana festivals.
(...)
THE LOUISIANAS
...where the good times roll
(Louisiana Tourist Development Commission.—ed.)

Wikipedia: Good Times Roll
“Good Times Roll” is a song by American rock band The Cars. It is the first track from their 1978 debut album The Cars. With its slow, lumbering rhythm, the track became a modest hit when it was released as a single in 1979. It has since appeared on many of The Cars’ compilation albums.

OCLC WorldCat record
“Louisiana festivals” : “laisses les bons temps rouler” : favorite recipes of United Methodist Women, Broadmoor United Methodist Church, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Author: Irene Peeler; United Methodist Women (Broadmoor United Methodist Church)
Publisher: [Baton Rouge, La.] : [Broadmoor United Methodist Women], [1986]
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Let the good times roll : the story of Louis Jordan and his music
Author: John Chilton
Publisher: Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, 1997.
Series: Michigan American music series.
Edition/Format: Print book : Biography : English : 1st paperback ed

WordReference
let the good times roll
“Laissez les bons temps rouler!”
“Laissez les bons temps rouler!” is a Cajun expression meaning “Let the good times roll!” It strongly conveys the “joie de vivre” ("joy of living") attitude that pervades south Louisiana. The saying lent itself to the title of a “proto-zydeco” song by R&B musician Clarence Garlow of Welsh, whose “Bon Ton Roula (Let The Good Times Roll)”—also known as “Bon Ton Roule”—appeared on the Macy’s record label in early 1950. (It climbed onto national R&B record sales charts that year.) Around 1958, Cajun musician Lawrence Walker recorded “Bon Ton Rouley” for Floyd SoileauIs short-lived Vee-Pee label of Ville Platte. Although hardly a new invention, the expression now appears on everything from T-shirts to bumper stickers; it also is now generally regarded by Cajuns as a cultural cliché.
Source: Broven, South to Louisiana.
Gil, Feb 24, 2005 #8

Urban Dictionary
Laissez les bon temps roulez
Laissez les bons temps rouler!” is a Cajun expression meaning “Let the good times roll!” It strongly conveys the “joie de vivre” ("joy of living") attitude that pervades south Louisiana. It is mostly associated with New Orleans. (THE BEST CITY IN THE WORLD!)
I’m going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras so I can Laissez les bon temps roulez!
#let#the#good#times#roll#lazey#le#bone#ton#rouler#lundi#mardi#gras#new#orleans#fat#tuesday
by Uptown Rachel February 02, 2007

YouTube
Let The Good Times Roll- Shirley & Lee
1SweetDreamz3
Uploaded on May 30, 2008
Let The Good Times Roll By: Shirley & Lee

YouTube
Clifton Chenier - Bon Ton Roulet
zydecodave1
Uploaded on Nov 18, 2009
A rare video of the King of the South, the King of the Bayous, the King of the Zydeco. With CJ Chenier on sax, Cleveland Chenier on rubboard, and the late Harry Hypolite on guitar.
(...)
COMMENTS
chrisb3999
Laisse le bon temps rouler, let the good times roll, That’s how its done! 

YouTube
Judy Henske - LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL (Jack Nitzsche) (1966)
Anthony Reichardt
Published on May 6, 2012
NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED - (Reprise 458) This 1966 disc is the first of three Jack Nitzsche produced and arranged singles issued by Miss Henske on the Reprise label. Most notably known as songstress in the folk scene, this crazy, unexpected ‘Wall Of Sound’ treatment on the Tom Delaney composition is quite a delight to hear. Recorded at Sunset Sound Recorders in February 1966, L.A.’s ‘Wrecking Crew’ delivers a powerful Spectoresque backing track with angelic background vocals by The Blossoms.

Posted by Barry Popik
Nicknames of Other PlacesBig Easy, City That Care Forgot (New Orleans nicknames) • Tuesday, May 09, 2017 • Permalink