“Darling, je vous aime beaucoup” was a song which I associate with one of my favorite crooners ever, Nat King Cole.
I’d always assumed it was written for Nat in the 50′s, but it turns out it was written for a cabaret singer named Hildegarde in the 30s.
Then, 50 years ago, Dean Martin, looking rather silly, donned a beret and chomped a cigarette holder and produced this album, “French Style,” which included “Darling” and a variety of other French-ish tunes.
My question is: why? Was America’s francophilia at such a fever pitch in the early 60′s that any popular singer could cash in just by making a French album?
I’ve often pondered over the influence of francophilia in American culture and its ebbs and flows over the course of the decades. From Dean to Soeur Sourire the Beatles’ “Michelle, Ma Belle,” to Morticia and Gomez to Freedom Fries to French Women Don’t Get Fat. It’s a socio-cultural roller coaster ride. I’m in it for the long haul.
How about you?
image via wikipedia