As you may know, gentle reader, I have a growing collection of Spanish songbirds, including classic artists like Rocío Jurado, Rocío Dúrcal, Claudia Acuña, and others as well as pop equivalents Shakira and Paulina Rubio. I’ve also picked up a small collection of singers in Portuguese, such as Astrud Gilberto, Beth Carvalho, and Gal Costa, amongst others.
So, Brian J., you ask, what about women who sing in French? Who is your favorite French songstress?
Well, gentle reader, you know I like the breathy styling of Erin Bode, and I’m also a big fan of Herb Alpert. What about Claudine Longet, whom Alpert signed to his A&M Records back in the day and who married Andy Williams in the 1960s?
Well, not really. French is a breathy language, and the breathy singing amplifies it instead of complementing it.
What about the new hotness Alizée?
Well, it’s the same breathy vocals atop a breathy language, but this time laid over more modern pop vocals.
No, friends, my current favorite French artist is Mireille Mathieu, who can be breathy at times but mostly sounds folk rockish, like a 70s era Linda Ronstadt or Olivia Newton John, but in French.
Which is a good thing, since I bought a bunch of her records two weeks ago. Also, she is the last French singer I have purchased, and I tend to regard the most recent shiny object most highly.
All right, you probably never wondered who my favorite French singer is, but there you go.
What, I’m leaving you hanging on the Spanish and Brazilian singers? It’s because I cannot decide.