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French girl singers of the 1960s

Gallic girl pop in the 1960s had a distinctly American flavour. Like their male counterparts, many of the French girl singers relied on covers of US hits for their material, at least until the mid-1960s when a more British sound became popular.

 

In what are known as the yé-yé years (after the ‘yeah yeahs’ popular in rock ‘n’ roll), girl singers earned the appellation ‘the yé-yés’. The derivative nature of their music meant that many failed to earn the respect they deserved. Until now, that is.

 

Sylvie Vartan and Sheila were two of the most successful of the yé-yés, enjoying hit after hit throughout the 1960s, often with covers of Anglo-Saxon songs, particularly in the early years.  

 

But not all yé-yés relied on British or American material. France Gall, for instance, had a team of French songwriters behind her, and others, such as Françoise Hardy, wrote many of their own songs. These two chanteuses of cool sat at the very top of the hit heap in the 60s.

 

The French penchant for an international sound left the door open for foreign singers, and many recorded French versions of their hits to find favour in France.

 

Here we celebrate France’s domestic doyennes of pop and the other European singers who twisted their tonsils around the language of Molière.

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France's most successful girl singers of the 1960s

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France's lesser-known girl singers of the 1960s

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Other girl singers who sang in French

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Other girl singers whose pops we’ve picked

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Coming soon

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Highlights of the coming months include:

 

Les Surfs

Christine Delaroche

Evy

Les Parisiennes

Marianne Mille

Brigitte Bardot

Amazon C'est chic

CD

C’est chic! – French girl singers of the 1960s

Buy CD La belle epoque EMI's French girls 1965-1968 Amazon Epoque Buy book L’odyssée de la chanson française Amazon Chanson fr

CD

La belle epoque – EMI's French girls 1965-1968

Book

L’odyssée de la chanson française

Buy CD Complete Femmes de Paris Amazon Complete femmes de Paris

CD

Complete Femmes de Paris

Buy book Anti-yéyé Une autre histoire des sixties Amazon Antiyeye

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Anti-yéyé – Une autre histoire des sixties

Buy CD Sixties girls vol 3 Amazon Sixties girls 3 Buy CD Pop à Paris, vol 1 Amazon Pop a Paris 1

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Sixties girls, vol 3

CD

Pop à Paris, vol 1

Buy DVD Masculin féminin Amazon Masculin feminin

DVD

Masculin féminin

Buy Yé-yé girls of ‘60s French pop, Jean-Emmanuel Deluxe Amazon Yé-yé girls book

Book

Yé-yé girls of ‘60s French pop – Jean-Emmanuel Deluxe