February 21 – Piaf, History of Rock, Lennon, Four Seasons

1936
Release of film La Garçonne (The Tomboy), the film debut of Édith Piaf.

Cabaret singer Piaf (aged 21 at the time) plays a lesbian chanteuse who seduces a flapper (played by Marie Bell), making the film a succès de scandale. Born into poverty, inspired by Marie Dubas (see below), Piaf becomes widely regarded as France’s national diva, known as the Little Sparrow. Her signature song is La Vie en rose. with Louis Armstrong

Piaf recorded from 1933 (when she was 17) to 1963, the year of her death — and appears in 7 more films, the last in 1959. Other famous songs include Hymne à l’amour (1949), Sous le ciel de Paris (1954), Milord (1959) and Non, je ne regrette rien (1960). Her songs have appeared in the soundtracks of over 120 films and are still being used in new films. Her life is portrayed in 2007 biopic La Vie en Rose, which wins two Oscars.

Also in 1936, French actress, singer, storyteller Marie Dubas debuts her most famous song, Mon légionnaire. She tours the US with it in 1939. 1936 Piaf makes the song a standard in her repertoire. 1937

1969
First airing of radio rockumentary The History of Rock and Roll (an early ) on 93 KHJ in Los Angeles.
The 48-hour series is produced by Bill Drake and Gene Chenault. In 1978 the program is rebuilt from scratch by Gary Theroux; a hit, it runs 52 hours and leads to a final, 1981 version.
In 1982 Theroux publishes The Top Ten: 1956-Present ▷ISBN▹, a book which details the personal stories behind each year’s ten biggest hits.

1975 (40 years)

John Lennon releases his album Rock ‘n’ Roll.

In part it’s released to resolve a lawsuit by Roulette Records dumbass Morris Levy — who objected to Lennon quoting ‘Here come old flattop’, a Chuck Berry lyric. But hey … that’s the ‘music industry’ for ya.

Whatever the reason, it’s a great album, well worth visiting.

1976

US band The Four Seasons (impossible to exaggerate how important they were in the early 60s) bounce back with #1 (UK,US,CA) hit December, 1963.

Let’s just say they were one of a handful of acts The Beatles didn’t push off the charts. (*) ( Fansite )

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