Something completely different tonight, a session recorded at the ORTF (French Broadcasting network) in Paris, circa 1962. Line Renaud was a huge artist in her native France all through the 1950s, 60s and 70s, before she handed it all over to being an AIDS activist as well as acting in a string of movies.
Not of the “yeh-yeh” school of young French Women singers of the early 60’s, Line Renaud was more of the Music Hall variety. And in fact, one of her landmark appearances which established her in the U.S. as an international star of note, was a stint in Las Vegas with a variety show which played to sell-out audiences for several months.
Although not all that well known in the U.S. anymore, Renaud is still with us and still very much in the public eye in her native France, via an acting career and her AIDS activism as I indicated earlier.
This session comes from her 1962 period, where she is branching out from her customary Chansons to dabble in a bit of Rock n’ Roll. Like similar sessions from the BBC at the time, these were sessions produced for several radio programs produced in Paris. This set of songs come by way of an American series produced by the ORTF for their Transcription Service, known as Paris Star Time. Very few of these tracks made their way to commercial releases, and a few songs never made it to albums. So this series is a rare glimpse at what artists from other parts of the world were up to around this time.
If you’re familiar with the music of Line Renaud, here’s a memory refresher. If you aren’t familiar and never heard of her, here’s a good example of what the rest of the world was up to in the early 1960s.