Les Gam's étaient un groupe vocal féminin de rock français, populaire au début des années 1960, mais dont la carrière fut éphémère.
Le groupe se compose de Graziella, Annie, Michèle et Suzy, toutes anciennes choristes de Gilbert Bécaud. C'est en prenant la première lettre de leurs prénoms qu'elles trouvent leur nom d'artiste.
Les Gam's figurent parmi le plateau proposé par le magazine Salut les Copains lors d'un concert gratuit donné le 22 juin 1963 à Paris, place de la Nation, devant 150 000 jeunes spectateurs. Elles furent également choristes pour Claude François.
La chanteuse soliste Annie Markan entame une carrière solo en 1965 en enregistrant la version française d'un succès américain de Len Barry 1,2,3. Elle est ensuite attachée de presse chez Polygram.
Supers 45 tours
Cheveux fous et lèvres roses / Comme ils s'aimaient / Bon vent, ma jolie / Adieu bye bye, Vogue, 1962
Il a le truc / Ne dis pas du mal de mon amour / Oui les filles / Rendez-vous jeudi, Mercury, 1963
C'est bien fait pour toi / Je ne pourrai jamais l'oublier / Attention accident / Tiens-le, Mercury, 1963
La soirée est finie / De quoi sont faits les garçons ? / Toi l'ami / Beau garçon, Mercury, 1963
Oh ! wow wow wee / L'été reviendra / My boy lollipop / L'anneau de feu, Mercury, 1964
Une petite larme m'a trahie / Impatiente (d'etre seule pour pleurer) / Rien n'est trop beau / Toujours un coin qui me rappelle (Les Gam's avec Annie Markan), 1964
Pussy Cat & Les Petites Souris – Boof! The Complete Pussy Cat 1966-1969
Published: July 21,
2020 | 09:59
Pussy Cat was the most tough sounding of France's '60s ye-ye girls. She looked to Britain for her inspirations, not home-grown, upbeat Gallic pop. She covered Small Faces, the Moody Blues, the Hollies and the Zombies. Her original songs - she was a rarity and wrote her own - were energized, hard edged, melodic and stomping. She put a French twist on the Mod era. BOOF! Is the first-ever Pussy Cat - born Evelyne Courtois - collection to be issued outside France. Her complete '60s recordings, including two tracks unheard at the time, are collected. As a special bonus, her debut release, a 1965 EP with the band Les Petites Souris is also collected. They were France's first all-girl band. At age 17, she was their guitarist and wrote their songs. She was a pioneer. Pussy Cat took her name from the Tom Jones song 'What's New Pussycat'. She toured France with him. With extensive liner notes and illustrations, this package is the ultimate tribute to France's one-woman musical dynamo of the 1960s.
Pussy Cat – Boof! The Complete Pussy Cat 1966-1969 (2014)
Although I have a taste for both Euro pop and Sixties pop, Pussycat – born Éveleyne Courtois – has previous escaped my attention, so this new, thorough collection is welcome indeed. The first ever non-French compilation, it’s an impressive collection of cover versions and originals by the yé yé girl who took her influences from British beat music, even as the Beat scene was evolving into something else. A singing guitarist and drummer, Pussy Cat never quite made it as big as she should’ve done in France – and remained unknown everywhere else – but this collection should go some way to giving her the attention she deserved as a musical pioneer.
Recorded between 1966 and 1969, it might be the covers that the casual listener finds most immediately intriguing. French language versions of well known tunes, they are both familiar and unexpected. Album opener Ce N’Est Pas Une Vie, for instance, is The Small Faces’ Sha-La-La-La-Lee, given a gallic, moody makeover. Betty Everett’s You’re No Good is transformed into the sexy, seductive Mais Pourquoi…, while Les Temps Ont Changé is a pop reconstruction of folk tune Have Courage, be Careful. The Moody Blues’ Stop, on the other hand, manages to retain its original name. These four tracks made up the first Pussycat EP in 1966, and are a fine collection of tunes, managing to be very French in feel despite the familiarity of some of the tunes (featuring future Foreigner founder Mick Jones on guitar) and the British Beat influence.
Other covers include a groovy version of Paul Revere and the Raiders’ Kicks (Vive La Mariée) and The Hollies’ So Lonely (Mais La Continiuait), both originally a 1966 single; The Hollies covers continued with the next EP, with poppy versions of Have You Ever Loved Somebody (Si Vous Avaz Déja Aimé) and Bus Stop (Arret D’Autobus), the latter penned by Graham Gouldman who also wrote Herman’s Hermits’ Listen People, here covered as the floaty J’Avais Juré, the first of the tracks on this album to hint at the influence of the 1967 West Coast hippy sound. And finally, there’s a solid version of The Zombies’ She’s Not There (Te Voila), that has more of a bossa nova vibe that the original in parts before building to a belting chorus.
pussycat02Then there are the originals, catchy little numbers like La La Lu and Ba Ba Ba… Boof that are very yé yé in nature but backed with a real rocking vibe, complete with distorted, proto-psych guitar breaks. Je N’Ai Pas Pleuré is a more laid back affair, complete with harpsichord, while Moi Je PréFere Ma Poupée is more gimmicky in nature. By 1968’s single releases, the originals had begun to take precedent, with the fantastic, ambitious and oddly unsettling Dans Ce Monde Fou being light years from her usual Beat sound. Chance is closer to her traditional sound, while On Me Dit is a slower blues number, unfortunately a bit plodding and limp.
1969’s Cette Nuit sounds oddly like a Shangri Las song from earlier in the decade, a solid, impassioned number, while the other original songs from this final EP also feel like they are calling back to the past – On Joune is a middling romantic pop number, but Hymne Au Soleil is a lively slice of beat pop marred only by a rather flat production sound.
The tracks are presented in chronological order, and while it might be a stretch to say that you can see a notable musical progression taking place – her career was too brief and too stop-start to really build any developing and ongoing musical momentum – you do at least see a slight shift from solid beat music to a more psych-pop feel as time passes. Unreleased number Adieu My Baby (And My Baby’s Gone by the Moody Blues) is the funkiest number on here, suggesting a groove-laden pop future that never materialised – the 1970s saw her working as a model before cutting a number of disco tunes under a variety of pseudonyms.
As a bonus here, there are also tracks by Pussy Cat’s former band, Les Petites Souris, France’s first all girl band – a three guitar outfit featuring a bunch of teenage girls – eat your hearts out, Runaways! Their sole EP features a number of light girl-group numbers, ranging from bouncy pop songs (Joue) to angst ridden ballads (Cette Melodie Que L’Orchestre Joue), with On Te Le Dit, Il T’Aime being the closest to the later Pussy Cat sound. The disco numbers are, appropriately, not see as canon and so not included here.
This compilation is a fantastic slice of Sixties French pop, it’s unfamiliarity giving it a remarkable freshness. If you have a taste for beat music, yé yé girls or simply great, timeless pop, it’s a must-have item.
Noël est né le 22 juin 1942 à Villefranche sur Saone. Grand, blond, les yeux bleus, l'allure sportive, Il se fixe à Paris à l'âge de 14 ans. Bon footballeur, il souhaite en faire son métier. Malheureusement, un accident l'en empêchera. Dès lors, afin de meubler ses dimanches, il fréquente les "surprises-parties" et découvre ainsi les disques d'Elvis Presley, Gene Vincent, Ray Charles etc... Enthousiasmé, il décide à son tour de chanter. Il forme un premier groupe "Jimmy Dan et les Diables Rouges", il compose et écrit quelques chansons, mais n'a pas le temps de se produire car il est appellé sous les drapeaux.
À son retour, nullement découragé, accompagné par un nouveau groupe, "les Atomes", et après de nombreuses répétitions et quelques galas dans la région parisienne qui lui permettent de se faire connaître, mais surtout de s'aguerrir, il passe le 22 novembre 1963 au "Golf Drouot", le temple du rock français. Ce soir là, il y remporte le premier prix à l'unanimité, devant d'aussi prometteurs débutants, la firme R.C.A lui fait signer un contrat d'enregistrement..
Son premier disque paraît en juillet 1964 avec "Ça n'est jamais assez". D'autres suivent et deviennent autant des succès tels "Comme je suis, Te voilà, À six heures c'est fini, Je n'ai à t'offrir que mon amour, et surtout Oh la hey". Ces enregistrement ont un "son" bien particulier. Noël double, triple ou quadruple lui-même sa voix dans les aigus aussi bien que les graves, et l'accompagnement très chargé ne retire rien à sa fulgurante énergie.
Très estimé, il apparaît régulièrement dans les "unes" des magazines et grimpe rapidement dans les Hits Parades. Enfin, son talent explose en 1965 à l'Olympia de Paris avec Johnny Hallyday. Après cela , on le voit dans plusieurs "Musicorama" dont un avec Jimmy Hendrix puis il part successivement en tournée avec Johnny Hallyday, Hugues Aufray, Tom Jones, les Moody Blues, Adamo et plusieurs autres....
Ses meilleurs souvenirs restant son concert avec les Rolling Stones en Belgique ainsi que sa place No 1 au Québec, au palmarès français de la radio CJMS 1280 (Montréal). Il est reconnu aussi dans plusieurs pays d'Europe, du Maghreb ainsi qu'en Argentine. Pendant six ans , en toutes circonstances, respectueux de son public, en vrai professionnel, Noël Deschamps se donne à fond et, s'est épuisé, qu'il demande à souffler en 1969 après une dernière tournée avec Nicoletta et Johnny Hallyday.
Conventional wisdom has it that the French are not all that great at rock & roll -- pop music, yes indeed, but not rock & roll -- and no matter how many times people cite Metal Urbain, Stinky Toys, or Les Thugs, name-checking more than a tiny handful of French bands that really give up the rock is a challenge. But apparently there was a glorious window of time in the mid-'60s when France had a pretty lively rock scene, given the 28 good-to-excellent sides collected on Psychegaelic: French Freakbeat, which serves up a variety of Gallic rock, R&B, and acid-tinged garage rock tunes. The selection ranges from uptempo Merseybeat-style (or in this case Seinebeat-style) rockers like "Hello Josephine" by Les Witackers and straight-up garage rock such as Patrick Samson's rowdy translation of "Gloria" to the cool and bluesy organ-driven "Pourquoi l'Amour a Deux" by Les Fleurs de Pavot (the group name translates as "The Poppy Flowers," fans of not-so-subtle drug references), the fuzz-guitar mayhem of Benjamin's "Un Train," and less readily classifiable craziness like "Bof!" by the Brummels, "L.S.D. 25" by 5 Gentlemen, and "Fou" (literally "Crazy") by Jacques Da Sylva. While some tracks are better (and rock harder) than others, there isn't anything here that sinks beneath a respectable B-, and most of the cuts could stand proudly beside the cream of American and U.K. garage and freakbeat sides from the era. Most of these tracks appear to have been sourced from vinyl, but the remastering is good and catches the fire of the performances quite well. Psychegaelic is truly Le Grand Fromage among collections of European rock & roll of the '60s, and suggests there was a lot more going on in France during the garage era than most American fans ever knew.
Charles Aznavour - real name: Shahnour Varenagh Aznavurjian. Great Armenian-French singer, songwriter, actor, public activist and diplomat, born May 22nd, 1924 in Paris, France, died October 1st, 2018 at the age of 94 years. He was introducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1996.
During the mid-'60s, Ronnie Bird was the only French artist to successfully emulate the sounds of the British Invasion across the channel. Bird was one of the few French singers with a facility for singing rock & roll in French without sounding strained or embarrassing. His first few discs were crafted with the help of expatriate guitarist Mickey Baker, the same Mickey Baker who was half of Mickey & Sylvia and responsible for great session work on numerous rock and R&B songs in the '50s. Baker played on Bird's discs and actually wrote a few tracks with him, although most of Bird's records were French covers of songs by British giants like the Stones, the Who, the Pretty Things, and the Hollies. For a time, Bird's band included guitarist Mick Jones, who went on to fame with Foreigner in the'70s.
Although extremely derivative of the tougher side of the British Invasion, Bird's covers and originals were respectably hard-driving and well-executed. Dabbling in soul and psychedelia at times as the '60s progressed, Bird eased out of the music business and emigrated to New York in the '70s
Ronnie Bird - 1965 (1987)
1965 is a compilation of Bird's first four EPs, released on French Decca in 1964 and 1965. Divided about evenly between covers and originals (three co-written with Mickey Baker), these 16 songs represent his best and hardest-rocking output.
Jacques Dutronc was born in Paris on 28 April 1943. He grew up in a highly musical environment at home as his father, an engineer, was a passionate music fan. Jacques learnt to play the piano at an early age and soon progressed to the guitar, which would become the favourite instrument of his teenage years. Jacques, who never showed the slightest amount of interest in his schoolwork, left the Lycée Condorcet at the age of 16 to study industrial drawing. Yet draughtsmanship failed to motivate the teenage Jacques any more than his schoolwork.
Jacques’s great passion in life was music and he would spend every single moment of his free time practising guitar riffs with his friends in the Trinité area of Paris. (These early musician friends included Hadi Kalafete and a young man by the name of Jean-Philippe Smet, who would go on to become the legendary French rock star Johnny Hallyday). Rock’n’roll was beginning to drift over the Atlantic in the early 60’s and Jacques Dutronc soon found himself caught up in the Yéyé craze (as the French dubbed their own version of rock’n’roll). Inspired by the thriving music scene in Paris, Jacques went on to form his own group El Toro et les Cyclones who began to make a name for themselves on the French music scene in 1962. Indeed El Toro et les Cyclones scored two minor hits with a couple of four-track singles they recorded in the spring of that year.. [Read more...]