One of my enthusiasms is French pop music from the 1960s. Does that sound a tad eccentric? All I can say is that from the time I discovered the phenomenon of the yé-yé girl, I was hooked.
Yé-yé is the term the French applied to rock-‘n’-roll. It started out being mostly derivative of American and British pop, but later in the decade it developed a flavor and even a sophistication all its own. The song writer and musical genius Serge Gainsbourg had a lot to do with that. He came in, grabbed hold of the genre, and then transcended it (I’ve always wanted to use that cliche).
There were male yé-yé performers, to be sure, but the primary exponents were female. Sylvie Vartan, France Gall and the incomparable Françoise Hardy were the three biggest of the yé-yé girls, but there were many others.
Like other digitally tuned-in obsessives, I’ve sought out every video I can find pertaining to the genre, watching some of them dozens of times. Whenever I think the well has run dry, that there are no more yé-yé videos out there for me to discover, whoever is behind the Nonosserie Nonosserie channel on YouTube surprises me. He (she? they?) must have bought a vault full of old television and concert performances that no one else has access to, and is releasing them one by one.
By the way, I don’t know if Nonosserie is a name, or why someone chose to double it, but it doesn’t matter. I’m grateful to find a channel that caters to my particular musical obsession and that continues to feed it.
I should mention there’s also an Internet radio station called Radio Yé-Yé. In my opinion, about half of the songs it plays aren’t really yé-yé, but more in the realm of standard French chanson (when you’re obsessed with something, you can become quite the pedant about it). Still, I like it.
See also Learn French with Frencheezee.