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#MusicMonday France Gall #France

France Gall was a French pop singer, one of the yé-yé girls of the 1960s, which included Françoise Hardy and Sylvie Vartan. She died earlier this month, on January 7, 2018, of an infection from cancer. She was age 70.

She shot to prominence when she won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1965, singing Serge Gainsbourg’s song Poupée de cire, poupée de son (wax doll, rag doll):

Wikipedia dissects the meaning of the lyrics of Poupée de cire, poupée de son: for example, poupée de son can also be interpreted as “singing doll.” The lyrics portray her as an ingenue, that is, “an innocent or unsophisticated young woman.”

Seule, parfois je soupire
Je me dis à quoi bon
Chanter ainsi l’amour sans raison
Sans rien connaître des garçons

In English:

Alone, I sometimes sigh
Thinking, what’s the point
Of singing love like this, without reason
Without knowing anything about boys?

Gainsbourg exploited her innocence with Les Sucettes or Lollipops, which is a thinly veiled allusion to oral sex. France Gall apparently wasn’t aware of the double entendre. In this video, she talks about the humiliation she suffered when she found out the double meaning of Les Sucettes:

Next week, I will pay tribute to American singer Keely Smith, who died last month, December 2017.

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#MusicMonday #France Johnny Hallyday et Sylvie Vartan – À plein cœur

French singer Johnny Hallyday died last month, December 5, 2017, at age 74. He was the closest thing that France had for a rock’n’roll star.

Here is Johnny Hallyday with his soon-to-be wife Sylvie Vartan singing À plein cœur from the film D’où viens-tu Johnny? (1963).

Johnny Hallyday and Sylvie Vartan were married in 1965 and divorced in 1980. He subsequently married 4 times (including twice to the same woman). Sylvie Vartan remarried once.

In subsequent #MusicMonday posts, I’ll feature other singers whom we lost recently: Keely Smith (d. December 16, 2017) and France Gall (d. January 7, 2018).

#MusicMonday A #Christmas Pop #Music Playlist That Won’t Drive You Insane With Schmaltz

Over at The Federalist, James B. LaGrand writes:

If your tastes run more to popular, folk, or jazz music, there are still plenty of beautiful, creative, and moving interpretations of classic Christmas songs in a Christian vein to listen to. Here are some favorites that can serve as an antidote for unsatisfying Christmas music concerts (as well as various other sad and troubling things in our world).

Source: Here’s A Christmas Pop Music Playlist That Won’t Drive You Insane With Schmaltz

Merry Christmas from Cold Cream 'n' Roses

Merry Christmas from Cold Cream ‘n’ Roses

The article includes videos for James LaGrand’s eight chosen songs, but I put those songs into a Spotify playlist:

#MusicMonday Nat King Cole “The #Christmas Song”

In tribute to the holidays, here is Nat “King” Cole singing “The Christmas Song”, better known by its opening lines:

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

via https://www.facebook.com/natkingcole/posts/10155089032158807

The Christmas Song was written by Mel Tormé, a crooner in his own right, and Bob Wells.  It is among the Top 10 Christmas songs written by Jews, from ‘Silver Bells’ to ‘Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.”

 

#MusicMonday Lonelyville Della Reese #RIP – from Let’s Rock 1958

Della Reese died on Sunday, November 19, 2017 at age 86.  Invariably, any news about her death mentioned Touched by an Angel, but she had a long and varied career before that.

Here’s a surprisingly vampish Della Reese singing Lonelyville, from the 1958 movie Let’s Rock:

Nora by Tara O’Grady #MusicMonday

Jazz Inspired is a radio show that WAMU 88.5 FM in Washington, DC broadcasts at 11 pm Saturdays.  It’s mostly chit-chat between host Judy Carmichael and her guest – so intimate, that it doesn’t draw listeners in.

I was listening to Jazz Inspired last Saturday, and Judy Carmichael’s guest was Irish-American singer-songwriter Tara O’Grady.  Wow!  You mean they still make distinctive voices like this??!!

Here is Tara O’Grady singing Nora, which was inspired by her grandmother:

Tara O’Grady’s web site quotes Author Will “the Thrill” Viharo:

Combining Billie Holiday’s gift for meticulous but effortlessly poetic phrasing with Anita O’Day’s swingin’ sassiness, June Christy’s cocktail coolness, Patsy Cline’s rural romanticism, and Sarah Vaughn’s sophisticated sultriness, she is indeed a musical force of nature to reckon with. Tara’s music is as eclectic, authentic, timeless and nostalgic as the American landscape itself.”

And that fits!  The instrumentation (sax, guitar) is jazzy, but her voice is more country than jazz.  She also has a penchant for vintage style, as you can see.

#MusicMonday A Foggy Day (in London Town)

I call Sunday afternoon “Radio Sunday” as WPFW 89.3 PM has 6 hours of great programming, starting with Miyuki Williams’ Sunday Kind of Love from Noon to 2:00 PM, continuing with Donnie McKethan’s American Songbook from 2:00 to 4:00 PM, and winding up with Larry Applebaum’s The Sound of Surprise from 4:00 to 6:00 PM.

Donny McKethan often plays different renditions of the same song back to back. Today he had renditions of George & Ira Gershwin’s A Foggy Day (in London Town) by Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra.  The beauty of standards such as A Foggy Day is that different singers, with different styles, can perform them and be equally  persuasive.

I had not heard A Foggy Day before, but I smiled when I heard the lyric:

A foggy day in London Town
Had me low and had me down
I viewed the morning with alarm
The British Museum had lost its charm

It reminded me of the weekend that I spent in London, in a hotel room no larger than a closet. Restaurants were so expensive, that I bought a grab’n’go sandwich at Boots to eat for dinner. The serendipitous discovery was that the British Museum was just around the corner from the hotel. I have more to say about the British Museum, but enough for now.

Here is another rendition of A Foggy Day, this time featuring Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald: