Ever get a song stuck in your head?
Yeah, me too.
So often, I’ve actually posted about this before.
But this time it was different.
The song was in French, and I’ve been singing it incorrectly for fifty years.
Literally, fifty years.
In the Summer of 1967, I along with two other teens and my High School Spanish teacher’s family went to Oaxaca, Mexico.
It was a Summer to remember, and one of these days, I’ll write about that.
While we were there, much of the ‘pop’ music was in French – I think.
At least this song was.
It’s called “Capri c’ést fini,” and it’s about a bad break UP.
I’ve been running this little ditty in my brain for weeks, and in my mind it was Capri sin fini, which is incorrect, and since all the French I know comes from Patti LaBelle numbers and Bond movies, well, I have no idea what that means either.
The song propelled Hervé Vilard, a French orphan to stardom. It was a yuge hit.
Born Rene Vilard in a taxi cab on the way to the hospital in 1946, Herve was abandoned by his father shortly after he was born – like the same day, and his mom lost custody of her children, and Rene along with his siblings were sent to orphanages.
Rene wound UP in Paris.
In and out of foster homes in the Berry region of France, he miraculously landed in the Cher region and met Father Angrand who became his mentor, taught him literature and music.
In 1991, Vilard bought the monastery at La Celette and made it his home.
Back in the USA, we were all listening to John, Paul, George, and Ringo because their songs were in English.
Meanwhile, Herve, after hitting the big time in Paris, was on a South American tour and on his way to international stardom.
He had finally been adopted by a former French Resistance member and art dealer in 1962 which enabled him to leave the state child care system of France.
“Capri C’est fini” was his breakthrough hit and all the gals in France were just gaga over him.
He was on the cover of every magazine, signed a deal with France Dimanche, a French magazine for exclusive interviews as they searched for his long lost mom.
The magazine launched a publicity campaign and found the old gal, there was a big reunion, life was good, and most importantly, the magazine sold zillions of copies.
After a French tour as an opening act (which ended badly), he took off for South and Central America, which is where I first heard about him.
He was big in Turkey, Japan, and Korea as well.
He sold out concerts in Algeria!
Really, who does that?
And why did we here in the states ignore the poor lad?
He was good looking…
And he even had a video!
Seriously, a video in 1965.
I know, I was shocked too.
Yeah, I know, it’s in French. Here’s a link to an English translation.
Today, Vilard is 70, lives in France, is considered a treasure, has been honored and awarded repeatedly, and still performs from time to time.
He’s also published two books.
But no one here has ever heard of the guy.
I think we need to get out more.