Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Johnny Hallyday: A Tribute From Singapore

Paris, France:

I tried, but couldn't start a romance with Paris, France. The country is picturesque, the language is beautiful with the not so easy to pronounce nasal vowels; the Louvre, ah, and the femme fatale, well I could not stand up to them. 

Worse, my wife and I were robbed* at the La Defense Metro underground while we were around or about to head for the Paris red-lights at Montmartre. That was the end of my love life with France. But I still love her...
Johnny Hallyday (1943 - 2017):

It was the same with Johnny Hallyday. I never got to know him but would have loved to. Why? The language just didn't work with me. And other reasons too.  But Johnny himself and the music 👍.

He was one of the top stars in the 60's, followed Elvis' style and sang rockabilly numbers. He started off right and like so many singers then, followed The King impact. 
Johnny Hallyday: Blue Suede Shoes: video from grandino 57. Thank You.

But what I like about Hallyday, as he grew in his own image, with his powerful voice, muscle-flexed stature, he became an original French rock star, not a rock-n-roll star. And he was outstanding - a man of his own before he died.

To say, as one international newspaper mentioned, that Hallyday was the Elvis of France is not true. He may have started off, copying Elvis' style but he was a singer and musician in his own category, in fact, the best that France could offer. Just watch his YouTube videos. He grew with the music.

His Vinyl Records:

I tried to buy his vinyl records but could not find them in Singapore. I should have bought a few on my trips to France, but the thought never came to mind. As a young person, I had more important things to do. I have regretted it since.
Johnny Hallyday, the French Elvis Presley, before his death, unique!

Like France, my interest in Johnny Hallyday waned because it was difficult to know this great singer in Asia.  Unlike Maurice Chevalier, Francoise Hardy and Claudine Longet, I never really got to know Johnny Hallyday with his songs, only familiar with some of his rockabilly hits.

So readers out there, if you have Johnny Hallyday vinyl records to spare, spare me some. 110 million albums, half a century of reign, 74 years young, I'm sure I could find some. 

R.I.P. Johnny Hallyday, le meilleur il ya, (the best there is). 
Singapore 60's music has much influence from other countries. Is Hallyday the
French influence? Tell us.

*I was travel insured and got back what I lost. Cheers.

Images: Google.
Johnny Hallyday was married 5 times. Laeticia Hallyday announced his death. 

The Johnny Hallyday Funeral
9th December 2017 

Thousands gave Johnny Hallyday a big send-off this afternoon as they thronged the streets to wish him a last goodbye.  Even President Macron and the former President Sarkozy were present at the ceremony.


Motorbikers, 700 strong, lined the streets and famed guitarists played melodies outside the church. France's Elvis received a loving but sad au revoir, similar to the Elvis Presley funeral when The King died in 1977.

13 comments:

RICHARD RAJOO said...

France' answer to modern pop for the French.

MICHAEL BANGAR (GUITARIST, BLOG WRITER) said...

Heard his name but not his music. A true French music hero. RIP Mr Hallyday.

I like this guy, late English singer Michael Holliday (mistook him for Johnny Hallyday.)

RICKIE CHNG (LEAD GUITARIST SILVER STRINGS GUITAR GROUP said...

Not heard of him, though his choices are familiar ones.

HORACE WEE (GUITAR LEGEND, PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN) said...

Oh, he passed away. RIP. I have a few tracks of his on some CD early Elvis rock n roll rockabilly that I heard even traces of people like Gene Vincent and the Stray Cats.

Intriguing that rock n roll crept into France. His fame as I gathered centred around Europe and Perhaps some in the UK. There was something European that I detected when I first heard him. Much like a lot of pop music from Europe influenced by America.

There is always a local flavour somewhere under. Though it isn't a bad thing. That's what makes music great.

TAN SOO KHOON said...

Yes, the French Elvis. But he also does a lot of covers in English. Here's one with Hallyday and Celine Dion.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you all for the quick response. Apparently, he's not much known in Singapore, unless like Horace Wee, a true blue musician that he is, and Soo Khoon, who's familiar with anything Elvis.

I asked Larry Lai (DJ Rediffusion 60's) if there were requests for Hallyday songs those years and he replied, "Not really, very few."

Anonymous said...

Sad news. His version of Hey Joe in French is rather special.

Steve

nini (YouTube) said...

je suis conquise !j'adoorrreee cette nouvelle chanson !!du rockabilly comme ont aime! et un air rétro que l'ont aime tout spécialement !une belle bouffée d'oxigéne qui donne envie de dansé encore et encore !et envie de faire la féte !une pure merveille cette chanson et une trés belle surprise de notre johnny !et un trés beau clip !vivement la sortie de l'album .... bravo johnny et respect je t'adooorrreee.

(I am conquered! I adore this new song !! rockabilly as they like! and a retro look that especially loved it! A nice breath of oxygen that makes you want to dance again and again! And want to celebrate! A pure wonder this song and a very nice surprise from our johnny! very nice clip! vividly the release of the album .... congratulations johnny and respect I
t'adooorrreee.)

CINDELL TISSET FB said...

Great French singer. He always gives hope with his songs. Since my earliest childhood, I have been listening to and still singing Johnny Hallyday's songs. I admire him immensely not only for his talent but also for the love and passion he has for his fans. Long live Johnny !!

GILLES LESAUVAGE FB said...

It is with great sadness - the news of Johnny's passing. You left us too quickly, but know that your memory is eternal. Johnny will be missed, he will remain forever in our hearts as a Courageous, Kind, Generous and Smiling person.

REST IN PEACE.

My most sincere condolences...

CHARLIE BEAUMONT FB said...

Only your songs accompany my loneliness Thank you Johnny!

1/3 Fried Ice 2/3 Matt Tan :D said...

Yes, he was a giant, even before Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Dylan,... Johnny (the name given to him for the English scene) was larger than Elvis. The French Elvis was a misnomer, he was more than just Elvis in the French world. He even conquered the English world of RnR. I would be wrong , perharps not, to say even The Straycats were more like Halliday than Cochran.
The thing is, we all so little of him, me included being bred in Singapore, I only knew how big he was when I lived in Quebec . To compare Johnny Halliday to anyone even Elvis would be like comparing Clapton to Robert Johnson , Jimi Hendrix to Howling Wolf.. that is like comparing water to the well.
No comparision. IOW, like saying Mick Jagger or even Elvis, invited Rock n Roll LMAO .

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Yes I agree with you Matt. He was a solid rocker and everything else, with a tough, powerhouse voice. A totally different image from Elvis.

He started off like The King but matured into a different superstar altogether. With my limited time in Paris, I learnt some about this great man.

Thanks for sharing Matt.