Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Y = Yé-yé Music, French Faves, or Not - A to Z Blog Challenge

French Pop Music in the 1960s. . .


Amazon Image - limited edition Album

Y = Yé-yé
Yeah-Yeah

Yé-yé was a style of pop music that became popular in France, Italy and Spain in the early 1960s. The term Yé-yé was derived from the English term "yeah! yeah!" popularized by the British Beat music bands such as the Beatles. The style expanded worldwide for a time to a specific audience.


Yé-yé Gets Around

Yé-yé music remained a mostly European phenomenon featuring young female singers. Although the Yé-yé movement was led by female singers, it was not an exclusively female movement. Ages 16-17 was the average age for performers.

As for Yé-yé girls, Sylvie Vartan, a glamorous young singer, married the rock star, Johnny Hallyday in 1965. They toured in the USA and Asia, but several years later, she was still singing girly-girl songs. Hm-mm.

Early French artists dabbling in Rock n' Roll and similar genres such as Johnny Hallyday admit that they were creating an imitation of English language Rock n' Roll, and yé-yé music helped assimilate that music in a unique, French way. Johnny Hallyday was an icon in the French speaking world from the beginning in the early 60s, and has been called the French Elvis. . .

Yé-yé style songs were trendy for a while, then faded away as times moved on. Then, in 2012 in the USA, French-Canadian actress Jessica Paré performed a cover of "Zou Bisou Bisou" (a yé-yé song) in the tv series, Mad Men, a popular show in its fifth season at that time.

***

NOTE: This is not a favourite style of music of mine, but it is a 'Y' subject with a few interesting details. I prefer my French music flavoured by Stephane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt, or Edith Piaf. In fact, I only learned about this novelty music during research for the A to Z Challenge.


***

Have you ever heard of Yé-yé music? Do you like girl groups or pop music in this style? Did you watch Mad Men in 2012 and do you remember hearing such a song?


Please leave a comment to let me know you stopped by, and if you are part of the A to Z Challenge. I'll be sure to check your blog, and reciprocate. If you're not in the challenge, thanks for stopping by to visit! I try to reply to all comments.

***

The A to Z Blog Challenge is brainchild of Lee, at Tossing It Out.  Please visit the A to Z blog site to find out more information and the participant list.  There are also Twitter and Facebook presences if you want to check those!



****

References

Yé-yé Music
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y%C3%A9-y%C3%A9

Johnny Hallyday
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Hallyday

***

21 comments:

  1. Never heard of ye ye and I consider myself an afficianado of 60s music. Never been crazy about girl groups though. Not really sure why, but there are very few female singers/groups that I can or will listen to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From the little I listened to, it's soft voice, little girl style, not unlike the Spice Girls, too sweetie sweet. And I agree with you JoJo, there are few women groups or singers that I like. I do like some women blues singers, and jazz singers though. Didn't care for the female Motown groups that much either.

      Delete
  2. I've never heard of the Yé-yé's before. I like to explore all kinds of music, so I'll have to listen to their stuff. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not my choice, as I told JoJo, and I try to keep an open mind. Some music like this was popular before the British invasion of the Beatles. The early Beatles touched on it, but thankfully they evolved.

      Delete
  3. Ye Ye music was new to me, too. Glad to learn all I can though! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not Diana Krall type of jazz, but it could be a forerunner of that one album with all the soft songs and risque cover.

      Delete
  4. So cool!! I have not heard of this but recently I have noticed different stores I was in-playing French pop music and I really loved it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's interesting, Lynn, I hadn't heard about that .

      Delete
  5. I've never heard of this style of music. Vanessa Paradis was very famous for a while, when I was at school. I remember translating the words to Joe le Taxi in a French class. They made no sense whatsoever!

    Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How interesting that you remember at least one of the names. And a lot of songs didn't make sense from the 60s!

      Delete
    2. Oi I'm not THAT old. I was at school in the 80s ;-) Vanessa Paradis was Johnny Depp's partner for a long time and has kids with him - she's not that old either!! :-)

      Delete
    3. Aha, I remember Vanessa Paradis now, and I didn't mean to imply anything specific.

      Delete
  6. I'd never heard of it before. Those girls started young.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's mostly a European phenom, I think, or for pre-teens. . .

      Delete
  7. While I'm also a fan of Django, Stephane, and Edith, this sounds interesting. I've been on a British Invasion kick on my blog, and it's interesting to hear music that was inspired by those bands and artists.

    John Holton
    Blogging from A to Z 2015 Cohost
    The Sound of One Hand Typing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Music sounds different to each person's ears, so listen and see what you think, John. It's lighthearted, I'll say that. But there's no depth, it's like flirting. . .

      Delete
    2. Never heard of yé ye, but 'She Loves you, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah' was the very first song I ever heard - on a transistor on a tiny, high shelf in my neighbours's house as a child of 6. ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com (website, Blogger will take you somewhere else!)

      Delete
  8. I'm also not familiar with the Ye-ye movement of music, but from that era I recall the Georgie Fame song "Yeh Yeh" which was a minor hit in the U.S. but I think a fairly big hit in Europe.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    A Faraway View

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I think I've heard that name, Georgia Fame, too!

      Delete
  9. Hi DG - I don't think I've known the term 'Ye-Ye' ... but that sort of music was popular .. the French have a way of singing that is, at times, enticing ... Francoise Hardy is another ... but I think my ears would perk up if I heard Jessica singing .. just to acknowledge the music for a brief moment ...

    Good Y though .. cheers Hilary
    (PS Georgie Fame was male and from Liverpool ..)

    ReplyDelete
  10. The Pop Princesses seem to exist in every culture and keep coming back around. I have heard of Ye-Ye and Silvie Vartan, but couldn't have put my finger or ears on the sound now, to save my life.

    I'm with you on the other influences in French Music, I love Gypsy Jazz and Django (possibly my favorite type of tune). Interesting 'Y' post.

    ReplyDelete

Comments will be reviewed before they appear.