Rock Rebel Pants new influences in the 1960s. The bohemian traits of post-war Paris spread to other urban parts of the French-speaking world, notably to Algiers, where an underground culture of “jazz clubs, girls, and drugs” grew up – in the words of punk rock producer Marc Zermati, who was in the city at the height of the Algerian war in the late 1950s, “all very French”. However, that war marked a turning point which, in the view of some, was so traumatic that “ordinary French people” looked instead to America as “a new model for pleasure and happiness”.
This, in turn, led to the ye-ye music of the early to mid-1960s (named after the British band, the Beatles’ use of “yeah, yeah” in some their early songs) and the rise of such singers as Johnny Halliday and Françoise Hardy.
The French also adopted a number of British singers (Petula Clark, Gillian Hills, Jane Birkin) who performed successfully in French, Birkin forming a long-term relationship with singer/songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, who was a seminal figure in French popular music in the 1960s and 70s.
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