While flipping through my collection of vintage French magazines the other day, I came across an interesting little segment in the October 1966 issue of Salut les copains, France's enormously popular and influential youth music magazine that launched in 1962 to complement the radio show of the same name. It features Françoise Hardy sharing her ten current favourite songs, as part of a running segment where popular music stars were asked to create their own 'hit parade'.
Hardy's tastes encompassed a variety of popular genres of the time, from the easy listening of Frank Sinatra and Petula Clark to the garage rock of Syndicate of Sound and The Troggs, whose 'Wild Thing' she calls "breathtaking". Most of the picks here are from the USA and UK, as was more fashionable by that time than homegrown music. Hardy, though, was no bandwagon jumper and had long been a fan of Anglo-American sounds. She often had the chance to hear new British music when she ducked across the channel to record an album or play some venues, and she mentions buying Syndicate of Sound's 'Little Girl' in London and seeing Dusty Springfield perform 'Goin' Back' on Ready Steady Go! A couple of her fellow Gallic singer-songwriters are represented here in Michel Polnareff ("She could have cited any other of Michel's songs, she loves them all equally"), and Antoine, who had debuted nearly a year earlier and transformed the local scene.
I've playlisted her choices so you can immerse yourself in what the wonderful Ms Hardy was grooving to 50 years ago:
This blog has gained many new readers since I first posted my Spiked Candy Canes mixes in 2005, so I thought I'd share them again for anyone who missed out the first time around. Hopefully they'll give you an idea of the abundance of lesser-known but fun, interesting, weird or sometimes beautiful Christmas songs that are out there, and maybe introduce you to some artists you haven't heard before. If you're looking for more info and links to purchase anything that's still in print, have a look through the December 2005 and the December 2006 archives.
Obscure 50s and 60s French film actress who seems to have only recorded the EP pictured above. This track is a cover of the Bacharach/David ballad 'Reach Out For Me', made famous by Dionne Warwick.
- Claudine Longet - Snow (1967)
- Dressy Bessy - All the Right Reasons (1999)
- Deerhoof - Xmas Tree (2001)
- Antena - Noëlle à Hawaï (1982)
- Peggy Lee - The Christmas Spell (1949)
- Stina Nordenstam - Soon After Christmas (1991)
- The Diskettes - Noel (2004)
- The Gems - Love For Christmas (1964)
- The Kinks - Father Christmas (1977)
- The Knife - Christmas Reindeer (2005)
- The Pipettes - In The Bleak Midwinter (2004)
- The Sonics - Don't Believe In Christmas (1965)
A Christmas package for all my lovely readers.
Thanks to Ion for the idea for the title!
out of print
- February 19 2017
- February 2 2017
- December 24 2016
- December 23 2016
- November 25 2016
- November 19 2016
- November 11 2016
- October 29 2016
- October 7 2016
- September 1 2016
- August 29 2016
- July 30 2016
- July 19 2016
- July 14 2016
- Sun, Dec 17 2006
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