Françoise Hardy and Other Groovy 60s Gals

Françoise Hardy

I was riding in a cab from the airport, and I had a Francophone African cab driver. He had a lot of trouble figuring out where Oak Park was. But I forgave him because he had a totally excellent tape of some French women singing pop songs and country western songs. I tried to get him to tell me who it was singing and his linguistic debility was a real obstacle. I tried to write down what he was trying to tell me. The one name I correctly got out of him was Françoise Hardy. I looked her up and bought The Vogue Years. It is a good record, with a nice period sound. (I may buy another one from her late ’60s period — any tips?)

As it happens, she was a hugely popular figure in the ‘60s, and I’m surprised I never heard of her. She was apparently the Queen of French pop. The site I linked to above, “All Over the World” is absolutely smashing, a real labor of love. See for example the page of Magazine covers. (The picture above is from there.) How much effort must have gone into pulling that collection together? Mlle Hardy was clearly one of the great beauties of the age, in addition to making some pretty fine records. Her cool, unsmiling, aloof look, to say nothing of her understated but hip fashion sense, goes along well with her her musical style. Moreover, she was part of a scene which is well documented on the ye-ye girls website. This site, too is an incredible thing, another labor of love. After poking around on the Net a little bit, I think I’m going to get a France Gall (and here) record next. (Again, any tips?)

While I’m at it, if you are a fan of 60s style and pop culture, you must check out the Swinging Chicks of the ‘60s website. Lots of cool stuff. It reminded me of the altogether wonderful Julie Newmar — whose chief claim to fame was playing Catwoman on the old Batman TV show. Damn she was beautiful. I thought so when I was about six years old, and I think so now. TV has really declined since those days, baby.

  1. Excellent stuff. But then I grew up with Francoise Hardy and France Gall in the background. For the later, the earlier records are a better choice. Or you can just go for a best-of CD and figure out which period you like best. Like the ‘Poupee de son’ compilation, available on Amazon.

    Sylvie Vartan was another one. She’s been living in the US for a while.

  2. I was wondering why Lex didn’t just ask Sylvain. Isn’t there a CB “backdoor” where you can talk?

  3. Andrew, If you don’t like what I put on my blog, go do better and send me the link. If I like it, I’ll say so. If I don’t, I’ll go look at something else.

    How, when, about what, and by what means the ChicagoBoyz communicate with each other is none of your business.

  4. Oh she was invaluable to listen to the week that my business partner killed himself, and I left my wife.

    Somehow she made it all better and let loose the tears.

    Can’t remember which of her CD’s was in the car all that week. :-(

Comments are closed.