Thursday, January 5, 2012

Song #75 of 9999 - Romantica by Dalida

Song #75 of 9999

Title: Romantica
Artist: Dalida
Year: 1960
Album: Les Annees Barclay

Almost all of my knowledge of popular music of the 1950s through the 1970s comes from my father. He had a large collection of music, mostly on mix tapes he culled from my uncle's even larger collection. Music was constantly playing in our house and I became pretty familiar with the rock and roll canon as a child and teenager. It wasn't until high school that I started tuning out his more mainstream choices for progressive and hard rock. But by that time it was the 1980s and I had already assumed a working knowledge of every song worth listening to (in my father's opinion) from the previous three decades.

Of course, he didn't have everything. Although music was becoming less regional by 1960, it wasn't quite global. An artist like Dalida, who was unfamiliar to me before this past weekend, was virtually unknown to those of us in the United States. A former Miss Egypt who emigrated to Paris, Dalida was a huge success almost everywhere in the world except here. It's easy to see why. Her powerful voice and ability to sing in a multitude of languages made her marketable all over Europe and the Middle East. Listening to this song, I can just imagine it turning up in some David Lynch film or something scored by Ennio Morricone. It avoids sounding dated by achieving a classic, timeless quality. A fun discovery on my journey through 1960!

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