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Stephan55

MUSIC THAT INFLUENCED "ME" GROWING-UP

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MUSIC THAT INFLUENCED "ME" GROWING-UP

It has been suggested that I create a musical thread of "my" own.
And so I have.

Music, as movies, has had a profound influence upon me throughout my life, as I suspect it has for many others.
So the "Me" in the title really refers to any one of "US" posting here.

My intention for this thread is to provide numerous music links to a host of songs that "We" grew up with and fondly remember. And because we each have been exposed to many different kinds of music I imagine that there will eventually be quite an eclectic list of songs within this thread.

And personal anecdotes, information or trivia, about any of the music posted here is both welcome and encouraged.

Music like movies is influenced by many things, including social events, politics and war, so though I intend this thread to be relatively apolitical and personal, it may stray into the politicized arena every now and then if that is what the music is about.
But please no political rants.

As others have pointed out, Musical taste is highly subjective and one persons favorite may be "lousy" to someone else.
And that's okay, so long as we respectfully agree to disagree and politely allow each of us an opportunity to share as much or little as they choose. I may not personally like some of the music that others will be posting here, but I welcome exposure to different things. And I enjoy being informed and enlightened by the experience of others. And I hope that you will likewise.

The music posted will not be in any chronological order of life, but rather bounce around a bit.
Allow the music to lead where it may, from one song and life experience to another.
So it may jump from post to post, from a silly childhood tune, to songs that our parents used to frequently play when we were kids, to songs recalled from adolescence, and beyond.
Songs that made us laugh, songs that made us cry, and songs that made us think about other possibilities.
Songs that consoled us, and music that inspired us.
Any song or music that we had (or still have) a personal connection to is welcome.  

 

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I will start off by posting about a song that I first heard in 1963.
I had a little 8 transistor AM radio that came with an ear bud, and I used to carry and listen to music from it when I walked to school and back.  
It was on such a morning that I first heard this very special little tune.
Special, because it was in a different language and I didn't understand a single word sung, but the music was so unique and entrancing that it allowed me to imagine all sorts of things about what the song might be about.
And throughout my life, even without knowing what the words meant, whenever I heard even an instrumental version of this song, it wafted me back to the first time that I heard it.

In fact I still knew very little about this song until I researched it for this initial post.
I didn't even know what the title meant.
I have heard several renditions of it over the years in both English and other languages, but not until today did I gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the song, it's origin, and the singer who popularized it.   

 

"Ue o Muite Arukō" ("I Look Up As I Walk") first released in 1961 in Japan.
re-released in the United Kingdom and the United States in 1963, under the alternate name of "Sukiyaki".
Lyrics by Rokusuke Ei; Music by Hachidai Nakamura; Sung by Kyu Sakamoto.
 The song topped the charts in several countries, including on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963. The song has grown to become one of the world's best-selling singles of all time, having sold over 13 million copies worldwide.

In Anglophone countries, the song is best known under the alternative title "Sukiyaki".
Sukiyaki refers to a Japanese hot-pot dish with cooked beef, does not appear in the song's lyrics, nor does it have any connection to them; it was used only because it was short, catchy, recognizably Japanese, and more familiar to English speakers.
A Newsweek columnist noted that the re-titling was like issuing "Moon River" in Japan under the title "Beef Stew".

Well-known English-language cover versions with altogether different lyrics often go by the alternative name or something completely different, including "My First Lonely Night" by Jewel Akens in 1966, and "Sukiyaki" by A Taste of Honey in 1980. The song has also been recorded in several other languages.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukiyaki_(song)
 

Sukiyaki (Ue o Muite Arukou) - Kyu Sakamoto 1961 (Japanese Lyrics with literal English Translation)


A few Variations

Sukiyaki (1963 USA, UK) - KYU SAKAMOTO - English translation


SUKIYAKI - (English Version with Lyrics / A Taste of Honey) 1980
anglicised lyrics by A Taste of Honey vocalist Janice-Marie Johnson


Sukiyaki Song Japan 1961 (Ue o Muite Arukou)


Selena Tribute - Sukiyaki (Caminaré Mirando Arriba) 1989
Spanish-language version of the song, featuring the lyrics written by Janice Marie Johnson in 1980 translated into Spanish.


"Ue o Muite Arukou" sung by Kyu Sakamoto 1961 vintage video
Sukiyaki Kyu Sakamoto FULL SONG ReEdit STEREO ReMix HiQ Hybrid JARichardsFilm


Two Instrumental versions

Sukiyaki - HQ Piano & Orchestra


Sukiyaki (Guitar Instrumental Version) for James ;)


Kyu Sakamoto (December 10, 1941 - August 12, 1985)
was a Japanese singer and actor, best known outside Japan for his international hit song "Ue o Muite Arukō" (known as "Sukiyaki" in English-speaking markets), which was sung in Japanese and sold over 13 million copies. It reached number one in the United States Billboard Hot 100 in June 1963, making Kyu Sakamoto the first Asian recording artist to have a number one song on the chart. Sakamoto, along with 519 other passengers on the flight, was killed in the crash of Japan Airlines Flight 123 on 12 August 1985; the deadliest single-aircraft accident to date.
 

Kyu Sakamoto (坂本 九 Sakamoto Kyū) born Hisashi Sakamoto (坂本 九 Sakamoto Hisashi), raised as Hisashi Ōshima (大島 九 Ōshima Hisashi), was born in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, on December 10, 1941 (3 days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor). Today Kanagawa is considered part of an expanding greater Tokyo.

Kyu Sakamoto was the youngest of his father's nine children, and he was nicknamed Kyū-chan (九ちゃん), meaning "lil nine".
Kyu's father, Hiroshi, was a cargo tender officer and his mother, Iku, was his second wife.
In the summer of 1944, there were frequent air raids over the greater Tokyo area.
Kyu's mother took her three biological children to live with their maternal grandparents in rural Kasama, Ibaraki Prefecture.
After the war ended they moved back to Kawasaki in 1949. Their father's company had been closed by American occupation forces and he had opened a restaurant.

In 1956, Kyu's parents divorced. And his mother was given custody over her three minor children including Kyu, and they adopted the mother's maiden name, Ōshima. His six older step-siblings kept their father's surname, Sakamoto (which Kyu later adopted).
Kyu began playing guitar while in high school, and soon after began singing.

In May 1958, when Kyu was 16 years old, he joined the Japanese pop-band The Drifters that had been formed three years earlier in 1955.
The Drifters (aka Sons of the Drifters) was influenced by western culture and music.
Kyu's position in the band was as second vocalist, however his big breakthrough as a band member came 3 months later (August 26, 1958), when he sang at the annual music festival Western Carnival at the Nichigeki Hall. After a quarrel and fight with two of the other members, Sakamoto left the band in November 1958.

For the next month, Kyu returned to his studies and focused on entering the university. But by December 1958, he joined another classmate's band called Danny Iida and the Paradise King. He replaced another singer and Kyu's musical career began to rise.
He quit school and devoted himself to music, and by June 1959, the band had been offered a record deal at the JVC record company. The Paradise King and Kyu released their song "Kanashiki Rokujissai" in August 1960, which became a great hit in Japan.
It was followed by a number of songs that also became very popular. This led to Kyu obtaining a record contract at the Toshiba Records company and he left the Paradise King to begin a solo career.

His first hit as a soloist was the "love song" "Ue o Muite Arukō" ("I look up as I walk") written by Rokusuke Ei and composer Hachidai Nakamura.

Rokusuke wrote the lyrics while walking home from a Japanese student demonstration expressing his frustration at the failed efforts protesting against a continued US Army presence and the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan.
The lyrics tell the story of a man who looks up and whistles while he is walking so that his tears will not fall. The verses of the song describe his memories and feelings.
Though Rokusuke Ei's words are a reflection of his feeling dejected about the failure of the protest movement, he purposefully rendered the lyrics in an allegorical generic way so that they might be interpreted by the listener as refering to any lost love. Hachidai Nakamura's musical composition provided a perfect backdrop for Rokusuke's lyrics, and Kyu Sakamoto's voice became a perfect interpretation of the song.  

 The English-language lyrics written and sung by vocalist Janice-Marie Johnson in the 1980 version recorded by A Taste of Honey are not a direct translation of the original Japanese lyrics, but instead a completely different set of lyrics arranged to the same basic melody.

The song was first heard on the NHK entertainment program Yume de Aimashō on August 16, 1961. It became an instant smash hit and was released on red vinyl on October 15. It remained the highest selling record in Japan until January 1962.

In 1963, Louis Benjamin, an executive of the British record company Pye Records, was visiting Japan. He listened "Ue o Muite Arukō" several times and decided to bring it back to England. However the songs Japanese title was difficult for English speakers to prounounce so the song was renamed  "Sukiyaki", after the Japanese cooked beef dish familiar to the English. The new title was intended to sound both catchy and distinctive in Japanese, but other than the language, it had no actual connection to the song.

Pye Records initially released an instrumental version of Hachidai Nakamura's composition "Ue o Muite Arukō" (aka "Sukiyaki"). And after that became a hit in the UK, His Master's Voice (HMV) record label released the 1961 original with Rokusuke Ei's words and Kyu Sakamoto's voice, which also sold well, reaching sixth place in HMV's most sold records.

 In 1963, Capitol Records released the song in the USA with the alternate title  "Sukiyaki", eventually selling over one million copies, and remaining number one on the Billboard Hot 100 number one single for three weeks in June, 1963.

After the international success of "Sukiyaki", Kyu Sakamoto went on a world tour that lasted from summer of 1963 to the beginning of 1964. Among the countries he visited were the United States (including Hawaii), Germany, and Sweden.
During his time in the U.S., he was invited to appear in several television shows. On August 13, 1963, he landed at Los Angeles International Airport and that evening, was a guest on the television program The Steve Allen Show.
Kyu was also expected to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show, but his appearance was canceled owing to a scheduling conflict with the production of his upcoming movie, Kyu-chan Katana o Nuite.

Kyu Sakamoto had only one other song reach the U.S. charts, "China Nights (Shina no Yoru)" (released by Capitol records), which peaked at number 58 in 1963.
His only American album, Sukiyaki and Other Japanese Hits (Capitol), peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart (now known as the Billboard 200) in 1963 and remained on the Pop Albums chart for 17 weeks.

He received his sole foreign Gold Record of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) by Capitol Records on May 15, 1964, in Tokyo.

In 1971, Kyu Sakamoto married Japanese actress Yukiko Kashiwagi. The couple had two daughters, Hanako and Maiko.

On August 12, 1985, Kyu was aboard Japan Airlines Flight 123, on which he was heading to Osaka for an event. The plane crashed into Mount Takamagahara becoming the deadliest single-aircraft accident to date.
A total of 520 people were killed in the crash, including Kyu Sakamoto.


Discography

    Sukiyaki and Other Japanese Hits (1963)
    Very Best of Kyu Sakamoto (1994)
    Kyu Sakamoto Memorial Best (2005)
    Kyu Sakamoto CD & DVD The Best (2005)

Filmography

    Takekurabe (1955)
    Everything Goes Wrong (1960)
    Kigeki: ekimae danchi (1961)
    Shichiji ni aimashō (1963)
    Clap your hands when you are happy (1964)
    Gulliver's Travels Beyond the Moon (1965)
    Kyūchan's Big Dream (1967)
    Tokkan (1975)


His most popular song, "Ue o Muite Arukō" ("I look up when I walk") remains the only Japanese song to reach number one on the Billboard pop charts in the United States, a position it maintained for three weeks in 1963. It was also the first ever Japanese language song to enter the UK charts, though it only climbed to number 6 with no further chart entries.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyu_Sakamoto


Rokusuke Ei (April 10, 1933 – July 7, 2016) was a Japanese lyricist, composer, author, essayist, and television personality of Chinese descent.
Ei wrote the lyrics to the song "Ue o Muite Arukō", known internationally as "Sukiyaki", which has been used in several English language films. He has also written the lyrics to the song "Miagete Goran Yoru no Hoshi o" sung by Kyu Sakamoto in 1963. He was a graduate of Waseda University.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rokusuke_Ei


Hachidai Nakamura (January 20, 1931 – June 10, 1992)
was a Japanese composer and jazz pianist.
Hachidai Nakamura was born in Tsingtao, China to Japanese parents. He moved to Fukuoka at a young age, where he attended high school, and eventually graduated from Waseda University in Tokyo with a degree in literature. Nakamura extensively played piano during his high school days, where he was invited to perform with local dance band "Yasuhiko Taniguchi and Premier Swing", and "The Red Hat Boys", a student jazz combo.
 After Nakamura entered Waseda University, he formed a jazz band named "Big Four" along with Hidehiko Matsumoto, Joji "George" Kawaguchi, and Mitsuru Ono in 1953, but the band was soon disbanded.
As a composer, Nakamura later wrote many songs for various Japanese singers such as Kyu Sakamoto, enka singer Saburō Kitajima and Johnny & Associates' first group Johnnys.
 He worked closely with lyricist Rokusuke Ei and many of his songs were popularized by singer Kyu Sakamoto. He wrote the music of the popular Japanese song "Ue o muite arukō," released in 1961 in Japan.
 The song was released in the United States under the name "Sukiyaki" in 1963, peaking at the number-one position on the Billboard Hot 100. He and Ei also worked on the productions of Johnnys' 1964 debut single "Wakai Namida" and Saburō Kitajima's 1965 single "Kaerokana."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hachidai_Nakamura


"Ue o Muite Arukō" (aka "Sukiyaki")  Trivia

"Sukiyaki" has been covered multiple times over the years, beginning with the 1963 instrumental by Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen. "Sukiyaki" was also covered as an instrumental, by English pianist Johnny Pearson, during 1982.
Well-known English-language cover versions include a 1981 cover by A Taste of Honey and a 1995 cover by 4 P.M., both of which made the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100. In 1989, Selena's (Selena Quintanilla-Pérez April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995) self-titled album contained a Spanish translation of the Taste of Honey cover which was released as a single in 1990.
The English lyrics have also appeared in whole or in part in songs by performers including Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh (1985's "La Di Da Di"), Salt-N-Pepa (1985's "The Show Stopper"), Snoop Dogg (1993's "Lodi Dodi", a "La Di Da Di" cover), Bone Thugs-n-Harmony (1995's Bless Da 40 Oz.), Raphael Saadiq (1995's Ask of You, another to make the Hot 100), Mary J. Blige (1997's "Everything") and Will Smith (1999's "So Fresh", featuring Slick Rick).

An American version by Jewel Akens with different American lyrics was written for it. Titled "My First Lonely Night (Sukiyaki)" in 1966, the song reached number 82 on the Billboard Hot 100.

On March 16, 1999, Japan Post issued a stamp commemorating Kyu Sakamoto and "Sukiyaki".

Wii Music includes "Sukiyaki" in the "handbell harmony" section.

"Ue o Muite Arukō" was featured in the soundtrack of the 2011 Studio Ghibli film From Up on Poppy Hill. In one scene, an animated Kyu Sakamoto is seen performing the song on the television.

An instrumental version of "Ue o Muite Arukō" was used in episode 2 of the Amazon series The Man in the High Castle, a reimagining of life in the United States had the United States lost World War II. In the series, set in 1963, the year the song debuted, Japan is given control over the West Coast, and "Ue o Muite Arukō" can be heard playing in a bar.

"Sukiyaki" was also featured in season 2, episode 2 of the television show Mad Men, a period drama television series about the lives of advertisers in New York in the 1960s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukiyaki_(song) 

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EDIT: 2/17/2019

When I first started posting "Pop" music links in another thread that was not "my own", 
I was somehow oblivious to the fact that there were already at least two music threads within different forums on these boards (and probably more). 
Had I actually looked around a bit, rather than jumping the gun, I likely wouldn't have started this thread at all.

I have since examined the two earlier ones (linked below), and realize that practically any nostalgic song or music that would be posted here, has likely already been posted elsewhere. So I have inadvertently created a redundant thread.
With that in mind, and in the interest of making this thread somehow a little different than the others, I would like to re-emphasis personal anecdotes, information &/or the trivia aspect mentioned in the OP.

I would like each person that posts a song or music link here to provide a little something about their personal connection to it.
Perhaps like when and/or where we were when we first heard it. What we remember doing at the time, Or who we were with.
Maybe it's a song associated with someone "special" at the time?
Perhaps a friend or family member? Someone we loved, or thought we hated?
Perhaps when we were falling in (or out of) love?

Music is like a "time Machine" and easily evokes such memories, so without sharing anything too identifying, maybe just a little bit of why the song is important to you.
It's significance (however great or small).
It doesn't have to be a thesis, or anything like that, just share as much or as little as you wish, so long as it connects you with the music. 
Again, any song or music that we had (or still have) a personal connection to (whether old or young) is welcome.  

Thanks


Incomplete listing of LINKS To Other Music Threads in various forums on the TCM website.

First Movie SONG That Comes to Mind
Started by LonesomePolecat, July 11, 2016

FORGOTTEN Oldies
Started by hamradio, January 1, 2017

Post All the Lousy Music You Want Thread
Started by darkblue, February 6, 2019

 

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I grew up at the very beginning of rock and roll on the radio.

 But the first music that I remember oh, the music that my parents liked was the American popular songbook type stuff. They had 78's and it was all on the radio--

 

The singers that I liked the best were Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Eddie Fisher, and Rosemary Clooney. Those were the top singers along with Bing Crosby.

My mother loved Steve Allen, who had the first "Tonight Show" on NBC.

My first memories of my favorite singer, who I grew up with, Andy Williams, was hearing him singing on " The Tonight Show " as I was falling asleep. My mother told me her favorite girl singer was Eydie Gorme'. And that Eydie had met Steve Lawrence on "The Tonight Show". How different musical history for me and so many other people might have been had Eydie married Andy Williams instead of Steve Lawrence. LOL

We watched Perry Como and Dinah Shore on television and that was a continuation of the same kind of music. But rock and roll was starting to really kick in.

I can remember the first time I ever heard it on the radio: it was Bill Haley & the Comets.

 It was exciting to be on the ground floor of rock and roll, but I never stopped listening to American popular music.

Growing up in the 1950s and 60s with AM radio: Andy Williams, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra-- they never left the radio station even when there was all of that rock at the same time.

 However in Northeast Kansas you couldn't listen  to the radio for one hour without hearing the late great Mr Jim Reeves, Patsy Cline or my personal favorite, Johnny Cash. Country music will always be King in Kansas. And the Grand Ole Opry always toured in the vicinity at least once or twice a year.

 

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Thanks Princess, for sharing that little snapshot of your life.
When examining my extremely eclectic library of nostalgic music I see many of the artists that you have mentioned there.
I will seek out relevant music links in forthcoming posts, and surely welcome anyone else to do the same. 
So keep checking back and you may see (hear) something that you fondly remember from those formative years.

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13 hours ago, Stephan55 said:

"Ue o Muite Arukō" ("I Look Up As I Walk") first released in 1961 in Japan.
re-released in the United Kingdom and the United States in 1963, under the alternate name of "Sukiyaki".

I liked this one too, for some crazy reason it sounded to me like music from some Japanese Western with Kyu Sakamoto sounding like he was yodeling.

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12 minutes ago, LonesomePolecat said:

Here's the Beach Boys on THE TAMI SHOW singing "I Get Around" (had to google this one--lots of great songs to choose from, thanks for introducing it to me!)

 

 

 Happy Valentine's Day to all--

And most of all to my teenage rock and roll Idol Brian Wilson!

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On 2/13/2019 at 7:16 PM, cigarjoe said:

I liked this one too, for some crazy reason it sounded to me like music from some Japanese Western with Kyu Sakamoto sounding like he was yodeling.

Yes... that is exactly the same thought that I had at the time.
The tune does have a slight western like melody of sorts.
I don't know if that was intentional or just coincidental by composer Hachidai Nakamura, but to an American kid reared on westerns, it sure made me think of it that way at the time. And I can still hear it that way with those same young ears today.
Thanks for injecting that thought. :)

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In 1963 (along with "Sukiyaki") I found myself frequently enjoying another foreign language song which I could not understand and knew nothing about, but was none-the-less entranced by the melody and singing voice which transcended the linguistic barriers within my developing little mind.  

And like "Sukiyaki" I still knew very little about the song, what it meant, and the singer who popularized it until I researched it for this post.

But what has stuck with me throughout my years (since 1963) is the melody and the voice which always takes me back to my youth when I hear it.

Now that I know what I know, this little song means more to me than ever before.

 

"Dominique" is a 1963 French language popular song, written and performed by Jeannine Deckers of Belgium, better known as Soeur Sourire or The Singing Nun.
"Dominique" is about Saint Dominic, a Spanish-born priest and founder of the Dominican Order, of which Deckers was a member (as Sister Luc-Gabrielle).
The English-version lyrics of the song were written by Noël Regney.
In addition to French and English, Deckers recorded versions in Dutch, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean and Portuguese.

It was a top selling record in 11 countries in late 1963 and early 1964.

 "Dominique" reached the Top 10 in 11 countries in late 1963 and early 1964, topping the chart in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
It reached the Top 5 in Norway, Denmark, Ireland and South Africa, with the song making it into the lower reaches of the Top 10 in the Netherlands, West Germany, and the United Kingdom.
The song reached and stayed at No. 1 on WLS Chicago, for the last three weeks of November, then both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and "easy listening chart" (since renamed the Adult Contemporary chart) for the four weeks in December of 1963.
 It was the second foreign language song to hit #1 on the Hot 100 in 1963, the first being "Sukiyaki" by Kyu Sakamoto.
For the next ten years or so, although there were a number of hits with most of the vocals in a language other than English (e.g., The Sandpipers' "Guantanamera", René y René's "Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero", etc.), no other purely foreign language song reached the Billboard Hot 100's top 40 until the Spanish language hit "Eres tú (Touch The Wind)", which entered the top 40 on February 16, 1974 and peaked at No. 9 on 23–30 March 1974.
"Dominique" outsold Elvis Presley during its stay on the Billboard Hot 100; it was the second to last No. 1 hit before the British Invasion.

 Deckers never again reached the same success and continued to lead a colourful, but tragic life.
She and her companion of ten years, Annie Pescher, both committed suicide in 1985, as a result of financial and tax problems stemming from the recording of the song.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominique

 

The Singing Nun - Dominique (1963)


Soeur Sourire (The Singing Nun) Dominique 1963

 

Dominique The Singing Nun French & English Subtitles (Literal translation)

 

harmonized English Lyrics by Noël Regney, sung by Mary Ford.
Mary Ford - Dominique - English Version - 1964

 

In 1963, one of the major hit songs was written and sung by a nun.
Dominique topped the charts!
It outsold Elvis as it stayed for four weeks on top of the Billboard Charts.
The nun was invited on the Ed Sullivan show and later her story was made into a movie starring Debbie Reynolds.

DOMINIQUE - Debbie Reynolds/Mary Ford - by Paul Siddall (Lyrics by Noël Regney)

 

The Debbie Reynolds version sung in the 1966 movie "The Singing Nun" based on the story of Soeur Sourire otherwise known as The Singing Nun.

Debbie Reynolds - "Dominique" (The Singing Nun)

 

This is the last videoclip of Belgian Jeannine Deckers, (The Singing Nun or Soeur Sourire).
It's a remake of her smash hit 1963, Dominique.

soeur sourire The Singing Nun Dominique (disco version 1982)

 

SOEUR SOURIRE : Dominique [1982]

 

The Singing Nun Commits Suicide - Mar 29 - Today In Music

 

Jeanne-Paule Marie "Jeannine" Deckers (October 17, 1933 – March 29, 1985), better known as Soeur Sourire ("Sister Smile", often credited as The Singing Nun in English-speaking countries), was a Belgian singer-songwriter and for seven years a member of the Dominican Order in Belgium as Sister Luc-Gabrielle.
She acquired world fame in 1963 with the release of the Belgian French song "Dominique", which topped the US Billboard Hot 100 and other charts.

 She was born Jeanne-Paule Marie Deckers, in Laeken, Belgium, in 1933, the daughter of a pâtisserie (pastry) shop owner, and was educated in a Catholic school in Brussels. She was a keen Girl Guide (Girl Scout) who bought her first guitar to play at Guide evening events. Though she was thinking about becoming a nun even as a young woman, she trained and then worked as a teacher.

In September 1959 she entered the Dominican Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Fichermont, headquartered in the city of Waterloo, where she took the name Sister Luc-Gabrielle.

 While in the convent, Deckers wrote, sang and performed her own songs, which were so well received by her fellow nuns and visitors that her religious superiors encouraged her to record an album, which visitors and retreatants at the convent would be able to purchase.

In 1961, the album was recorded in Brussels at Philips; the single "Dominique" became an international hit, and in 1962 her album sold nearly two million copies.
The Dominican Sister became an international celebrity, with the stage name of Soeur Sourire ("Sister Smile"). She gave concerts and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show on January 5, 1964.
"Dominique" was the first, and remains the only, Belgian song to be a number one hit single in the United States.

Deckers found it difficult having to live up to her publicity as "a true girl scout", always happy and in a good mood. "I was never allowed to be depressed", Deckers remembered in 1979. "The mother superior used to censor my songs and take out any verses I wrote when I was feeling sad."

In 1963 she was sent by her order to take theology courses at the University of Louvain.
She liked the student life, if not her courses. She reconnected with a friend from her youth, Annie Pécher, with whom she slowly developed a very close relationship. The two subsequently shared an apartment until their deaths.

 In 1966, Debbie Reynolds starred in "The Singing Nun", a biographical film loosely based on Deckers. Deckers reportedly rejected the film as "fiction".

Deckers did not see much money from her international fame, and her second album, "Her Joys, Her Songs", received little attention and disappeared almost as soon as it was released. Most of her earnings were in fact taken away by Philips, and her producer, while the rest automatically went to her religious congregation, which earned at least $100,000 in royalties.

Pulled between two worlds and increasingly in disagreement with the Catholic Church, she left the convent in 1966, to pursue a life as a lay Dominican of the order.
She later reported that her departure resulted from a personality clash with her superiors, that she had been forced out of the convent and did not leave of her own free will.
She still considered herself a nun, praying several times daily, and maintaining a simple and chaste lifestyle.

After leaving the convent, her record company required her to give up her initial professional names of "Soeur Sourire" and "The Singing Nun".
She attempted to continue her musical career under the name "Luc Dominique" and pursued social work.

Increasingly frustrated at what she perceived to be the Catholic's Church failure to fully implement the reforms of the Second Vatican Council she released a song in 1967 defending the use of contraception called "Glory be to God for the Golden Pill." This led to an intervention by the Catholic hierarchy in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, which resulted in one of her concerts being cancelled.

Deckers released an album entitled "I Am Not a Star in Heaven."
Her repertoire consisted of religious songs and songs for children.
Despite her renewed musical emphasis, Deckers' career failed to prosper. She blamed the failure of the album on not being able to use the names by which she had become known, saying that "nobody knew who it was".
She also struggled to reconcile her faith with her sexuality. She eventually suffered a nervous breakdown followed by two years of psychotherapy.

 In 1973, Deckers became involved with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.
Cardinal Suenens requested that she write songs for the movement, and this led to a brief but successful return to the stage, including a visit to Pittsburgh, where she sang before several thousand people.
Under the name "Sister Smile", she released another album in 1979, which she described as containing "honest, religious songs" and commented that the album would help listeners to "know who I really am."

In the late 1970s, the Federal Public Service Finance of Belgium claimed that she owed $63,000 in back taxes.
Deckers countered that the royalties from her recording were given to the convent and therefore she was not liable for payment of any personal income tax.
She then called on her former convent and her former record label, Philips.
The sisters gave her what they considered to be her share (which enabled her to acquire an apartment in Wavre, Brabant) on condition that she stopped denigrating the congregation and signed a document that all accounts were balanced, but Philips, which had received 95% of the revenue, did nothing.
Deckers ran into heavy financial problems.
In 1982, she tried, once again as Soeur Sourire, to score a hit with a disco synthesizer version of "Dominique", but this last attempt to resume her singing career failed.
In addition to the other financial worries, an autism centre for children started by Annie Pécher had to close its doors for financial reasons in 1982.
After this Deckers tried to make a living by giving lessons in music and religion.

 Citing their financial difficulties in a note, she and her partner, Annie Pécher, committed suicide by taking overdoses of barbiturates and alcohol on March 29, 1985.
In their suicide note, Deckers and Pécher stated they had not given up their faith and wished to be buried together after a church funeral.
They were buried together on April 4, 1985 in Cheremont Cemetery in Wavre, Brabant, the town where they died.
The inscription on their tombstone reads "J'ai vu voler son âme/ A travers les nuages" (English: "I saw her soul fly through the clouds").

Belgique_02.2009_Soeur_Sourire_(4).JPG

 
"Dominique" became a worldwide hit in 1963 and was the first, and only, Belgian number one hit single in the American Billboard charts.

It is remembered chiefly for its refrain, which goes:

    Domi-nique -nique -nique s'en allait tout simplement,
    Routier, pauvre et chantant.
    En tous chemins, en tous lieux,
    Il ne parle que du Bon Dieu,
    Il ne parle que du Bon Dieu.

A literal English translation is:

    Domi-nique -nique -nique went about simply,
    a poor singing traveller.
    On every road, in every place,
    he talks only of the Good Lord,
    he talks only of the Good Lord
.

The lyrics of the chorus of Regney's English-language translation are:

    Domi-nique -nique -nique, o'er the land he plods along,
    And sings a little song.
    Never asking for reward,
    He just talks about the Lord,
    He just talks about the Lord.


Theatrical portrayals

In 1996, "The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun" premiered Off-Broadway at the Grove Street Playhouse. The play, which was written and directed by Blair Fell, was loosely based on the events in Deckers' life. The production featured several musical numbers and followed the renamed character Jeanine Fou's life from her entry into the convent until her death with Pécher.
The New York Times review stated the play "milks much of its comic mileage from the incongruous, and willfully tasteless, pairing of its holy setting and its trashy, Jacqueline Susann-style dialogue ... In dressing up despair in barbed frivolity, Mr. Fell provides his own skewed equivalent of tragic catharsis."
The Catholic League spoke out publicly against the production.

In 2006, a musical version of Fell's play was staged during the New York Musical Theatre Festival, produced by George DeMarco and David Gerard, both of whom produced the 1996 production. Laura Daniel played Jeanine and received the NYMF Award for Outstanding Individual Performance. The musical featured music and lyrics by Andy Monroe and a book by Fell (who also contributed additional lyrics); it was directed by Michael Schiralli.

Films

"The Singing Nun" is a 1966 American semi-biographical film based loosely on the life of Deckers, with Debbie Reynolds in the title role and also starring Ricardo Montalbán, Agnes Moorehead, Katharine Ross, Chad Everett, and Ed Sullivan as himself.

In 2005 Dutch writer, historian and a psychoanalyst Leen van den Berg, published the biographical novel "Soeur Sourire. Zie me graag" ("Sister Smile. Please see me"), inspired by Deckers' personal diaries and correspondence.
The book contains personal excerpts from Deckers' diary and some photographs, material which was difficult to obtain, but which was donated by interviewees to researcher Luc Maddelein, who had researched the film version and who co-authored the book.
The book was later translated into French as "Soeur Sourire. Journal d'une tragédie." ("Sister Smile. Diary of a Tragedy").
Van den Berg subsequently wrote the screenplay for the 2009 film Soeur Sourire. In 2009 "Soeur Sourire", a Franco-Belgian biopic, starring Cécile de France as Deckers, was released.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Singing_Nun

Cover versions

Mary Ford recorded an English-language version that was released in November 1963 by Calendar Records.
Sister Adele (a.k.a. Madelaine) also recorded a cover version of the song in 1963, which was released on Diplomat Records.

The Cuban artist La Lupe, the Mexican artist Angélica María, and the Venezuelan artist Mirla Castellanos recorded Spanish language versions of this song.

The Brazilian singer Giane recorded a Brazilian Portuguese version of this song.

Spike Jones recorded a version that combined "Dominique" with "When the Saints Go Marching In", merging both the melodies and the styles of the two songs.

Tommy Roe recorded an English version of the song for his U.S. album release, "Something for Everybody" in 1964.

 Sandler and Young revived the song in late 1966, a version that appeared on the Billboard easy listening chart. The performance was a medley including other religious-themed songs including "Deep River" and "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen".

The Czech singer Judita Čeřovská covered this song in 1964 under the name "Dominiku".


Soundtrack appearances

    In the 1966 film The Singing Nun, about Deckers, Debbie Reynolds, playing the title role, sings an English-language version of the song (with different lyrics than Deckers' version).
    The song is heard in the 1985 film Heaven Help Us.
    In the 1987 Married... with Children episode "Thinnergy", "Dominique" is one of several songs Peg (Katey Sagal) sings in an attempt to annoy Al (Ed O'Neill).
    It was used in the 1990 film Mermaids with Cher.
    The song was referenced in The Simpsons episode "Bart's Friend Falls in Love" (1992), where Milhouse van Houten visits his girlfriend in an all-girls convent school. A nun playing guitar and singing "Dominique" passes along, followed by several equally happy little girls. The nun's character voice was provided by cast member Maggie Roswell, who knew none of the song's actual French lyrics and instead made up her own.
    In 1999, it was sung in Everybody Loves Raymond by Robert and Raymond when they learn Debra's sister is becoming a nun.
    In 2009, the song was used in the third series premiere of British teen drama Skins.
    In 2009, it was also used in Mad Men in the episode "The Color Blue", when Don Draper walks into Suzanne Farell's apartment for the second time.
    In 2012, the song is featured prominently in US anthology series American Horror Story: Asylum, the events of which take place in 1964. The original Belgian French version of the song is playing over and over in the common room of the insane asylum, and the inmates are punished if they disrupt or stop the song from playing.
    In season 2 of episode 20 (titled 'Rock n Roll Fantasy') of Just the Ten of Us, it is sung by Heather Langenkamp, who played Marie Lubbock. It originally aired April 28, 1989.
    In the season 2 episode of the science fiction series Dark Matter, entitled "All the Time in the World", it is sung by Anthony Lemke and Zoie Palmer. Lemke, who is fully bilingual, plays a character who is caught in a time loop similar to "Groundhog Day" and spends his time learning French from the spaceship's android.

Samples

    The musician Poe used a sample of the song in her album Haunted, on the track "House of Leaves".
    The anonymous Australian rock band TISM sampled the song in the chorus to their 1998 song "I Might Be a C-u-n-t, But I'm Not a F-u-c-king C-u-n-t".


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominique

 

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The beauty of the internet. Did a search and found it. My first radio below was a GE 678 they started making them in 1956 mine was aqua colored like the one below but it also had a leather case with an over the shoulder strap.

678 ; General Electric Co. (ID = 1578166) Radio

Image result for General Electric 5-Transistor Radio, Model 678 years produced

I can remember taking it to Astoria Park and sitting on the grass with my folks and watching the heavy traffic going through the treacherous Hell Gate on the East River, ships, tugs pulling various barges or lashed to car floats fought the currents pretty dramatically at times with some close calls.

I can remember also taking it with me to the South shore beaches, Jones Beach and Robert Moses or once in a while  to Sunken Meadow on the North shore.

The tunes I recall that I first heard over this little baby....

"At a time when bikini bathing suits were still seen as too risqué to be mainstream, the song prompted a sudden take off in bikini sales and is credited as being one of the earliest contributors to the acceptance of the bikini in society. The early 1960s saw a slew of surf movies and other film and television productions that rapidly built on the song's momentum." (Wikipedia)

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On 2/13/2019 at 6:26 AM, Stephan55 said:

"Ue o Muite Arukō" ("I Look Up As I Walk") first released in 1961 in Japan.
re-released in the United Kingdom and the United States in 1963, under the alternate name of "Sukiyaki".

My mom being Japaneses this was the song that was played in our house the MOST,  by far,  until us kids got our own music (mostly British invasion stuff).

My mom had a nice singing voice and she would sing this while cooking Japanese meals.    

Thanks for bringing back those memories!

 

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6 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

The beauty of the internet. Did a search and found it. My first radio below was a GE 678 they started making them in 1956 mine was aqua colored like the one below but it also had a leather case with an over the shoulder strap.

678 ; General Electric Co. (ID = 1578166) Radio

Image result for General Electric 5-Transistor Radio, Model 678 years produced

I can remember taking it to Astoria Park and sitting on the grass with my folks and watching the heavy traffic going through the treacherous Hell Gate on the East River, ships, tugs pulling various barges or lashed to car floats fought the currents pretty dramatically at times with some close calls.

I can remember also taking it with me to the South shore beaches, Jones Beach and Robert Moses or once in a while  to Sunken Meadow on the North shore.

 

 

 I haven't seen one of those transistor radios like that in years. When I see one I always think of my father.

He was a baseball fanatic. He coached Little League before and after my brother was in it. He knew every important baseball statistic and the only book I ever saw him seriously read was "How the Dodgers Play Ball".

When he would watch a Big League baseball game he would turn on his transistor radio at the same time,

so he could also listen to Harry Caray announce live for the St. Louis Cardinals.

 Holy Cow, Joe, that was a long time ago. LOL

 

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On 2/15/2019 at 12:42 PM, Princess of Tap said:

 Holy Cow, Joe, that was a long time ago. LOL

I must have been 6/7/8 years old

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On 2/15/2019 at 10:37 AM, jamesjazzguitar said:

My mom being Japaneses this was the song that was played in our house the MOST,  by far,  until us kids got our own music (mostly British invasion stuff).

My mom had a nice singing voice and she would sing this while cooking Japanese meals.    

Thanks for bringing back those memories!

 

Does your mother like this one? :lol: 

 

Rather kitschy but a catchy tune. 

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On ‎2‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 12:42 PM, Princess of Tap said:

 

 I haven't seen one of those transistor radios like that in years. When I see one I always think of my father.

He was a baseball fanatic. He coached Little League before and after my brother was in it. He knew every important baseball statistic and the only book I ever saw him seriously read was "How the Dodgers Play Ball".

When he would watch a Big League baseball game he would turn on his transistor radio at the same time,

so he could also listen to Harry Caray announce live for the St. Louis Cardinals.

 Holy Cow, Joe, that was a long time ago. LOL

 

my first AM radio was an 8 transistor and was in a leather case.

 

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I like all sorts of powerful orchestral music but I started listening to the ventures who are considered by many to be the instrumental equivalent of the beatles.

they were absolute masters of the guitar.

 

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On 2/15/2019 at 5:31 AM, cigarjoe said:

The beauty of the internet. Did a search and found it. My first radio below was a GE 678 they started making them in 1956 mine was aqua colored like the one below but it also had a leather case with an over the shoulder strap.

Image result for General Electric 5-Transistor Radio, Model 678 years produced

I can remember taking it to Astoria Park and sitting on the grass with my folks and watching the heavy traffic going through the treacherous Hell Gate on the East River, ships, tugs pulling various barges or lashed to car floats fought the currents pretty dramatically at times with some close calls.

I can remember also taking it with me to the South shore beaches, Jones Beach and Robert Moses or once in a while  to Sunken Meadow on the North shore.

The tunes I recall that I first heard over this little baby....
WITCH DOCTOR (David Seville) 1958 original version
1958 HITS ARCHIVE: The Purple People Eater - Sheb Wooley
Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport by Rolf Harris 1963
Nat King Cole - Those Lazy Crazy-Hazy-Days Of Summer
Brian Hyland - Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini

"At a time when bikini bathing suits were still seen as too risqué to be mainstream, the song prompted a sudden take off in bikini sales and is credited as being one of the earliest contributors to the acceptance of the bikini in society. The early 1960s saw a slew of surf movies and other film and television productions that rapidly built on the song's momentum." (Wikipedia)

Mine was also a GE (I think) at least I remember it looking like the one you posted. Except mine was black, and came with a black leather case and shoulder strap.
Hah ha, I have every tune you posted in my "oldies" collection and Yep, first heard them all back in the day as yourself, on the radio.
And yep, I remember those pre-bikini days at the beach... What a debt we owe to that little song ehhh. ;)
(and of course those "explosive" tests at Bikini Atoll) :(
Thanks for posting your recollections and music.

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On 2/15/2019 at 10:37 AM, jamesjazzguitar said:

My mom being Japaneses this was the song that was played in our house the MOST,  by far,  until us kids got our own music (mostly British invasion stuff).

My mom had a nice singing voice and she would sing this while cooking Japanese meals.    

Thanks for bringing back those memories!

Your very welcome James.
BTW, I included that little "Sukiyaki" guitar instrumental with you in mind.  ;)

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22 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

As for music that influenced me:  Jeff Beck and the Blow by Blow album.   

 

Thanks James,
I remember Jeff Beck with The Yardbirds back in '66
And his rendition of two iconic guitar instrumentals: "Apache" and "Sleepwalk"
I think that Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page & Jimi Hendrix, had to be among the most talented guitarists ever.

The Yardbirds - Shapes Of Things (& Jeff Beck) 1966



The Guitar Gods - Jeff Beck: "Apache" / "Sleepwalk"

 

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21 hours ago, NipkowDisc said:

I like all sorts of powerful orchestral music but I started listening to the ventures who are considered by many to be the instrumental equivalent of the beatles. 

they were absolute masters of the guitar.

Thanks Nipper,
I too liked the Ventures.
One song comes to mind in 1966, "Wild Thing," and the radio was playing both the Ventures and the Troggs instrumental of the same song. Got a little confusing, since they both sounded so much a like.
The song was originally recorded by The Wild Ones in 1965, but became a hit in '66 when The Troggs released it.

The Troggs- Wild Thing 1966

 

Then the Ventures came out with this one, which definitely set it apart (in a silly way)
BTW, can you recognize the "voice" of the famous actor they are trying to parody in this one?

THE VENTURES- "WILD THING"(VINYL) 1966


A year later  another funny "Wild Thing" parody was briefly popular, that is up until June 6, 1968. The radio stopped playing it after that.
BTW, I shook Bobby's hand a few days before when he was campaigning next door to my H.S.

Senator Bobby - Wild Thing - 45rpm Novelty! 1967

 

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1 hour ago, Stephan55 said:

Thanks James,
I remember Jeff Beck with The Yardbirds back in '66
And his rendition of two iconic guitar instrumentals: "Apache" and "Sleepwalk"
I think that Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page & Jimi Hendrix, had to be among the most talented guitarists ever.

The Yardbirds - Shapes Of Things (& Jeff Beck) 1966



The Guitar Gods - Jeff Beck: "Apache" / "Sleepwalk"

 

 I bought my first Yardbirds record in 65, "For Your Love". I was always disappointed that they didn't go further in the charts or in American popularity. Technically they were A Cut Above the Rest. And their debut number was Superior to anything The Byrds or The Rolling Stones had done for their first outing.

 All their numbers were good and I thought all their records were worth buying, but my favorite was "Over Under Sideways Down Backward Forward Square and Round"-- I think that's right because it's been quite a few years.

I lost track of Jeff Beck in the 70s, but found him around the mid-80s in an album with Rod Stewart: "Infatuation".  Of course, their tour never quite got off the ground for obvious internecine squabbling. Though the two of them did a nice version of "All Right Now" in that album.

 Then much to my amazement in recent years Jeff hooked up with Brian Wilson. Apparently that worked for a little while too.

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