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PRIVATE33 001How about the “French tricolor” flowers in red, white and blue, and a bouquet of songs by Tohama. No credit is given to the cover designer or photographer on this 1949 Decca record, but the ensemble is very very French chic!

img510img512In this post, you will get a taste of Paris and France through some record covers and great audio.

The covers, shown below, tell us about the stereotypes assumed to create fantasies of romance or of a walk by the Eiffel Tower, and a “French” hairdo that came straight from New York! Undoubtedly, quintessential French music of the fifties and sixties included the Accordion with music we would instantly know as “French“. The cover photograph of the record album “Accordion de Paris” is by Bob Witt.

PRIVATE33 0071957! Two glasses of red wine and fishnets! An impending disaster, a very very politically incorrect cover by today’s standard, with those two stars smoking, and they are not the very Gauloises bleu or Gitanes either!

img505Jo Basile, son of Italian immigrants to the North of France who opened a cafe, became a professional accordion player whose records sold by the millions in the United States in the 50’s. One of my favorite songs on the album was written by Charles Trenet titled L’Ame des Poetes. I included the song sung by Charles Trenet himself from an unrelated album found on YouTube. The words to this song are below so you can sing along with Trenet.

Longtemps, longtemps, longtemps
Après que les poètes ont disparu
Leurs chansons courent encore dans les rues
La foule les chante un peu distraite
En ignorant le nom de l’auteur
Sans savoir pour qui battait leur cœur
Parfois on change un mot, une phrase
Et quand on est à court d’idées
On fait la la la la la la
La la la la la la

Longtemps, longtemps, longtemps
Après que les poètes ont disparu
Leurs chansons courent encore dans les rues
Un jour, peut-être, bien après moi
Un jour on chantera
Cet air pour bercer un chagrin
Ou quelqu’heureux destin
Fera-t-il vivre un vieux mendiant
Ou dormir un enfant
Tournera-t-il au bord de l’eau
Au printemps sur un phono

Longtemps, longtemps, longtemps
Après que les poètes ont disparu
Leur âme légère et leurs chansons
Qui rendent gais, qui rendent tristes
Filles et garçons
Bourgeois, artistes et vagabondes

Below, especially chosen from the many songs by Basile is a fabulous Youtube performance.

PRIVATE33 008Here is a record cover of the mid fifties with a photo supplied by the defunct airline Trans World Airline (TWA) on the cover. The singer is Yvette Giraud, with the group Les Quatre de Paris.

img506The few words of text on the back of the cover say it all don’t they? VOILA MES AMIS!

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