4 By Christie Laume – Past Daily Nights At The Round Table: Rock Without Borders
A taste of Yé-Yé tonight. For those of you who may not be all that familiar – here is her biography via the Ready, Steady Girls! blog:
French singer Christie Laume was the sister-in-law of Édith Piaf and gained musical experience thanks to the musical legend. She went on to release several EPs in the mid-to-late 1960s, which, though not hits, have found lasting popularity.
Christie Laume was born Christina Lamboukas on 4 February 1942 in Paris and grew up in a suburb of the French capital.
She began singing at an early age with her older brother, Theo, and performed for her family from the age of just three. At seven she gained her first public exposure when she sang on the radio in a children’s show.
From the age of 17 she trained as a beautician, but her fortune changed in October 1962 when her brother (by now known as Théo Sarapo) married French musical legend Édith Piaf. The newly weds invited the would-be singer to live with them in their flat overlooking the Bois de Boulogne. “Suddenly because of them, I was living a life of a celebrity without being one,” she says.
While she lived with them, Piaf asked to hear her sing, and gave her a role singing in the opening act of several of her concerts and touring with her. Piaf also gave her a more French-sounding name, Christie Laume. During this period she made her television debut.
In 1966, she was offered a recording contract with the Barclay label. J’ai besoin de toi became the lead track of her debut EP.
It failed to attract much attention and she switched labels, to Odéon, in 1967. Her first release for the new label was issued shortly afterwards. The title track of the EP was the exuberant La musique et la danse, which Christie had co-written. She also helped pen Agathe ou Christie, whose lyrics were packed with rather clever jeux de mots. L’adorable femme des neiges, also featured on the EP, has also gone on to find favour with fans of French femme pop.
Pas de nouvelles was chosen as the lead track of her follow-up EP, though the fabulous fuzz-guitar-heavy Rouge-rouge is considered the standout track of the four on the release. She had performed the latter at Antibes‘s Rose d’or (Golden rose) festival that year.
Now you know – hit Play and crank it up.