Any Major Paris In Black & White
Here is my tribute to Paris, a city that will not be defeated by terrorists. I wish my music collection would allow me to likewise compile collections in tribute to the people of Beirut, Baghdad, Ankara, Gaza or whichever city the genocidal bastards of Boko Haram are blowing up this week — or, indeed, whichever Afghan hospital the US destroys in a case of couldn’t-give-a-damn.
And on that cheerful note, to the music. Unlike the first Any Major Paris mix, which I posted last year, this one trades bilingually in nostalgia: there are tracks by great French singers such as the majestic Edith Piaf, her ex-lover and protégé Yves Montand, the great entertainers Charles Trénet and Maurice Chevalier, the powerful Gilbert Bécaud, and the godmother of them all, Mistinguett.
Among the English tracks, Petula Clark’s song is a cover of a French chanson which is best heard in Piaf’s version.
A couple of the American artists who sing here in French once scandalised prim Parisian society. Josephine Baker’s story is well known, that of Joan Warner less so. The tall blonde used to dance in Parisian joints in various stages of nudity. For that she was tried in 1935. Found guilty she fined, just a nominal sum, even though she contended that she had been painted all in white make-up and was partly covered with a transparent silk cloth which served as a “fig leaf” — without that, the judge said, her fine would have been fined eight times as much. Warner is still alive, it seems, at the age of 102.
And speaking of Piaf, should you go to Paris and want a guided tour of Edith Piaf’s life, I know someone who does that. Message me for contact details (ideally via Facebook; become my friend here).
As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-bricolé covers. PW in comments.
1. Dean Martin – I Love Paris (1961)
2. Patachou – Sous le Ciel de Paris (1956)
3. Edith Piaf – Notre-Dame de Paris (1952)
4. Petula Clark – Mademoiselle de Paris (1963)
5. Gilbert Bécaud – Dimanche à Orly (1963)
6. Jacques Dutronc – Il est cinq heures, Paris s’éveille (1968)
7. Mel Tormé – Paris Smiles (1967)
8. Sammy Davis Jr. – April In Paris (1965)
9. Francis Lemarque – Lair de Paris (1957)
10. Mouloudji – Le Mal De Paris (1954)
11. Charles Trénet – Le Coeur de Paris (1946)
12. Maurice Chevalier – Place Pigalle (1946)
13. Yves Montand – À Paris (1948)
14. Kate Smith – The Last Time I Saw Paris (1940)
15. Joan Warner – Etre Parisienne (1936)
16. Mistinguett – La tour Eiffel est toujours là (1942)
17. Django Reinhardt et le Quintette Du Hot Club De France – Belleville (1942)
18. Josephine Baker – Paris Paris Paris (1949)
19. Eartha Kitt – Under The Bridges Of Paris (1953)
20. Les Baxter – The Clown On The Eiffel Tower (1957)
21. Catherine Sauvage – L’Île Saint-Louis (1954)
22. Pierre Dudan – Ciel de Paris (1957)
23. Georgette Plana – Le Dimanche à Paris (1953)
24. Quincy Jones – Evening In Paris (1957)
25. Judy Garland – Paris Is A Lonely Town (1962)
26. Max Steiner – Casablanca: Paris Montage (1942)