20 November 2012

Take it to la bridge

Reading the London Independent’s fascinating obituary of French pretty-boy singer Frank Alamo – the leading exponent of the 1960s yéyé genre – I came across a sentence about his rivals Johnny Hallyday and Claude François. All three recorded French-language adaptations of UK and US hits, occasionally covering the same songs, eg ‘Da Doo Ron Ron’ and ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’. This is how the obituary described Alamo’s competitors:

Hallyday, in the late 1950s, based his moody persona on Elvis Presley and the US rock’n’rollers, while François drew on James Brown and Motown and surrounded himself with dancing girls – les Clodettes, inspired by Ike and Tina Turner's Ikettes – but the clean-cut Alamo gave them a run for their money …

A French James Brown, go-go-ing Clodettes? I had to see this. The song I found is called ‘Belinda’.

Still, delving into old French pop singers required a nostalgic re-visit to Claude Nougaro’s ‘Anna’.


Anonymous said...

Interesting to hear that Nougaro track - didn't realise Kim Hill's theme tune came from there. She had another French theme tune as well - was it also Nougaro or did I hear a snatch of this guy?


Chris Bourke said...

The opening of Nougara's "Anna" was the theme from 2002 till about 2008. It took us a few weeks to find it - Sandra Reid brought it in as a "Playing Favourites" choice. Engineer Andrew Dalziel played around with it a little, editing bits of it to use at different parts of the programme, so that it connected the morning but felt like it was moving forward.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Chris. I had a feeling there was another french track there post-Anna as well.

Here's one of his that I'm pretty keen on:


just discovered your blog through public address - very interesting