Gary U.S. Bonds - Jolé Blon

First performance: 05/06/1981


Bruce recorded Jole Blon in studio with the E Street Band in early 1980 and also recorded a version as a duo with Gary U.S. Bonds which was released on Bonds' 1981 album Dedication. The Gary U.S. Bonds and Bruce Springsteen version of Jole Blon has almost nothing in common, lyrically or musically, with the earlier Cajun versions. However, country legend Roy Acuff's version, titled "(Our Own) Jole Blon", has lyrical similarities to the Springsteen/Bonds version. In addition to the official version that was recorded with Gary U.S. Bonds, three Bruce Springsteen studio takes of Jole Blon have been circulating among Springsteen fans via the unofficial route. These were not studio recordings in the traditional sense; they were part of extensive song rehearsal sessions with the E Street Band that took place in 1978-1980 at Telegraph Hill Studios, a make-shift studio in a converted barn at Springsteen's property on Telegraph Hill Road in Holmdel, NJ. Unfortunately the audio quality from these rehearsals at Telegraph Hill Studios leaves much to be desired; it sounds as if a single boom recording mike was used. The three circulating versions of Jole Blon from these studio rehearsals were recorded on 11 Jan 1980.
source : Springsteenlyrics 
Bruce covered the song 39 times.
2024-04-04 Kia Forum, Inglewood, CA
The set includes "Boom Boom" to open. "Jolé Blon" was played by sign request.
2017-02-21 AMI Stadium, Christchurch, New Zealand
2017-02-18 Hope Estate, Hunter Valley, Australia
2017-02-16 Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, Australia
2016-07-31 Letzigrund, Zurich, Switzerland
2016-06-27 Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden
2014-02-15 AAMI Park, Melbourne, Australia
2013-06-18 Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland
2012-09-22 MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
2012-09-21 MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
2009-11-15 Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI
2009-09-12 Ford Amphitheatre, Tampa, FL

2003-04-29 Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, NJ
Billed as "The Hope Concert," the event was a benefit for Robert Bandiera Jr., son of the local band leader and guitarist Bobby Bandiera, a longtime colleague of Springsteen and Bon Jovi.

2002-11-02 Tradewinds, Sea Bright, NJ
The third annual Light of Day Benefit has its third straight appearance from Springsteen. Held once again at the Tradewinds in Sea Bright, the Light of Day show brought together a host of Jersey-style rockers to benefit the Parkinson's Disease Foundation

1993-06-26 Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
Kristen Ann Carr Fund Benefit Concert. The fund is dedicated to fighting Sarcoma. Joe Ely and Terence Trent D'Arby guest. Joe Ely plays guitar and sings on "Lonesome Valley" and "Settle For Love". Terence Trent D'Arby plays guitar and sings on on "Many Rivers To Cross", "I Have Faith In These Desolate Times", "Jole Blon", and "Jumpin' Jack Flash". Sadly, this show is perhaps best known for the Terence Trent D'Arby "event". After D'Arby was booed Bruce admonished the crowd: "Terence Trent D´Arby... need I remind some of you rude motherfuckers that everybody onstage is my guest?".
1982-12-31 Harkness House For Ballet Arts, New York City, NY
The wedding reception for Steven Van Zandt and his bride Maureen Santoro. The wedding itself features Percy Sledge singing "When A Man Loves A Woman" as the couple walk down the aisle. The ceremony is performed by the Reverend Richard Penniman (Little Richard). Music is supplied by Little Milton and the wedding band from The Godfather, who are joined by best man Bruce and various other guests (including Gary U.S. Bonds, Southside Johnny and the E Street Band) on the above songs at the reception.
1982-05-08 Fast Lane (The), Asbury Park, NJ
with Beaver Brown

1982-04-10 Big Man's West, Red Bank, NJ
with Beaver Brown 

1982-01-05 Stone Pony (The), Asbury Park, NJ
The Lord Gunner Group was one of the Jersey Shores most popular unsigned groups. The power rock band was formed in 1974 by Lance Larson (lead vocals), Rick DeSarno (lead guitar), Stephen Rava (bass), and Ernest "Boom" Carter (drums). The group would later add John Mulrenan on organ. As the group evolved, it would include dozens of members including Vini Lopez and future Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres.

1981-09-13 Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati, OH
1981-09-08 Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, IL
1981-08-20 Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, CA
1981-08-17 Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO
1981-08-12 Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI
1981-08-04 Capital Centre, Largo, MD
1981-07-30 Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, OH
1981-07-18 Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA

1981-07-11 Big Man's West, Red Bank, NJ
Bruce joins Clarence Clemons and his Red Bank Rockers on stage on the opening night of his new nightclub.

1981-07-09 Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
1981-07-08 Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
1981-07-06 Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
1981-07-05 Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
1981-07-03 Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
1981-07-02 Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ

1981-06-15 Old Waldorf, San Francisco, CA
with Gary U.S. Bonds

1981-06-14 Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA
Fourth annual Survival Sunday anti-nuclear benefit with Jackson Browne and Gary U.S. Bonds as well as Springsteen.

1981-06-08 Birmingham International Arena, Birmingham, England
1981-06-07 Birmingham International Arena, Birmingham, England
1981-06-05 Wembley Arena, London, England 


"Jolie Blonde" is a traditional Cajun waltz, often called "the Cajun national anthem" because of the popularity it had in Cajun culture. The song was then later popularized on a nationwide scale by a series of renditions and references in late 1940s country songs. It has been the subject of occasional cover later in the 20th century by Cajun and classic country revival bands. The original Cajun version is a brief address to a "pretty blonde" who had left the singer and moved back in with her family, and is also now in the arms of another man. The singer concludes that plenty of other pretty blonde women are around. The fiddle-based melody dates to before the 1900s : 
  • The earliest recording of the song is believed to be a 1929 version by the family trio Breaux Brothers entitled "Ma blonde est partie".
  • In January 1929, John Bertrand and Milton Pitre travelled to Chicago and recorded "La Valse de Gueydan".
  • Using the same melody. It appeared again in a 1930 recording of "La Valse de Gueydan" by Amade Ardoin
  • 1936: The song appeared with the title "Jolie Blonde" for the first time on two records. Both the Hackberry Ramblers and J. B. Fuselier and his Merrymakers traveled to New Orleans and recorded the song on October 17, 1936. the Hackberry Ramblers simplified the name to "Jolie Blonde".
  • By 1937, the melody was popular among very small regions of Louisiana. On Feb 21, the Jolly Boys of Lafayette traveled to Dallas and recorded "Jolie (Brunette)" a similar take on the song with different lyrics.
  • Later in the year, Happy Fats traveled to New Orleans and recorded "Nouveau Grand Gueyan".
  • During the late 1940s, as country's nationwide market had solidified, a number of country artists popularized the song "Jole Blon". The popularization began in 1946 with Harry Choates and his French version of "Jole Blon". Later, he recorded an English version and several different versions for different labels.
  • As is not infrequent in country music, once a song is popularized, several other contemporaries covered it. In this case, it was common for the covers to be not so much reproductions as they were songs in the same spirit, making use of the same subject, melody, or Cajun theme. Several of them used "Jole Blon" as the name of subject of the song, instead of using the original meaning of pretty blonde.
  • Gary U.S. Bonds released Jole Blon his 1981 album Dedication. The song is one of four on the album that were produced and arranged by Steven Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen. The arrangement of Jole Blon on Dedication is credited to Moon Mullican, who had a hit with a country version of the song in 1947, but his version doesn't have much in common with the Springsteen/Bonds version.
other info : estreetshuffle 

Other cover versions

Bruce on the artist

Bruce on Gary U.S. Bonds :

Gary U.S.Bonds was one of Bruce’s 25 all time hero’s : RollingStone 
"No musician on earth was less cool in 1981 than Gary U.S. Bonds. It had been 20 years since the dance classic "Quarter to Three" fell off the charts and the singer had been largely forgotten. But Bruce Springsteen knew the guy had more life in him, and together with Steve Van Zandt he wrote and produced the LP Dedication for Bonds. It was an amazing labor of love that introduced Bonds to a whole new generation of rock fans. They remain close and in 2012 Bonds sat in with the E Street Band at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium.  "

Bruce helped Gary U.S.Bonds improving his carrier with producing the album "Dedication" and "On the line". 
  • Dedication 
An album released by Gary U.S. Bonds in 1981, the first of two on which he collaborated with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, the second being On the Line, released the following year, 1982. The musicians accompanying Bonds on the album include many members of the E Street Band and the Asbury Jukes.The album includes three songs written by Bruce Springsteen, one written by Steve Van Zandt, and several covers of songs from the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, and others. It also features a duet between Bonds and Springsteen on the track "Jole Blon". Bonds' early 1960s sound had been a major influence on both Springsteen and Van Zandt. The songs written by Springsteen, including the cover of "Jole Blon", were originally intended for his 1980 album, The River, but he felt they fitted better with Bonds and his versions of them have never been released although he has performed most of them live, often featuring Bonds as a special guest. The album produced several singles. The Springsteen-penned "This Little Girl" was a major success. The album was re-released in 1994 on the Razor Edge label of Razor & Tie music, and then again in 2009 on BGO Records, paired with On the Line. In a 2016 career retrospective interview with Pods & Sods, Gary revealed that a few additional songs and outtakes recorded during this time may eventually be released.

  • On the line
On the Line is an album released by Gary U.S. Bonds in 1982, the second of two on which he collaborated with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, the first being Dedication, released the previous year, 1981. The musicians accompanying Bonds on the album include many members of the E Street Band. The album includes seven songs written by Springsteen, one written by Steven Van Zandt, and two written by Bonds himself . Three other songs were recorded for the album but not present on the final release including Springsteen's "Action In the Street", "Lion's Den", and "Savin' Up". Springsteen's version of "Lion's Den" was eventually released in 1998 on his boxset Tracks and "Savin' Up" appeared on Clarence Clemons' first solo album Rescue (1983); " Springsteen's version of "Rendezvous" was finally released in 1998 on the four-disc box set. 
Interview with Gary U.S.Bonds about his autobiography : "That's My Story" by Gary U.S. Bonds and Stephen Cooper. 


Jole Blon, Delta Flower
You're my darling, you're my sunshine
I love you, and adore you
And I promise to be true

In the evening in the shadow
I'll be waiting by the river
When I hear your sweet voice, I rejoice
I save my kisses for you

Sha la la, la la la la la
Sha la la la, sha la la la
Sha la la, sha la la la la
Sha la la, la la la la

Jole Blon, Cajun Angel
Let me tell you that I love you
In the spring you swore we'd be married
But I'm waiting still for you

When your hair turns to silver
I'll still call you Delta Flower
Pretty Blon, I'll still love you
And I will wait for you

Sha la la, sha la la la la
Sha la la la, sha la la la
Sha la la, sha la la la la
Sha la la, la la la la la

We'll go away from this city
We'll go back girl, back to our home
Someday I promise I'll take you
'Cause so far away we've roamed

And the bells they will ring
From the mountains through the valleys
On the banks of the river
There you will be my bride

Sha la la, sha la la la la
Sha la la la, sha la la la
Sha la la, sha la la la la
Sha la la, la la la la la

Sha la la, sha la la la la
Sha la la la, sha la la la
Sha la la, sha la la la la
Sha la la, la la la la la

Sha la la, sha la la la la
Sha la la la, sha la la la
Sha la la, sha la la la la
Sha la la, la la la la la