Freak beat, loungecore, 60's French chicks, exotica funk, Bollywood, big band, ye ye, psychedelic bubblegum, kooky Japanese, spy themes, bossa nova, blaxploitation, hipster grooves, sunshine pop, Euro beats, Chinatowns. As well as contemporary artists who delve retro. Music & film related.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Les Surfs - The Youngest Ye Ye Family

I have had to translate the translation of this story, hopefully it reads ok (Oof!)...

Les Surfs
were four brothers and two sisters, the eldest of the Rabaraona family of twelve children, born in Madagascar.

The group, known initially under the name of Rabaraona Brothers and Sisters, gained First Prize at an amatuer song contest organized by the national station "Tananarive", by interpreting two hits of the well known US vocal group the Platters, "Only You" and "The Great Pretender".

Following this success, the group, now going under the name The Beryls, made several rounds through Madagascar with the popular Malagasy singer Henry Ratsimbazafy and the CCC Guitars. They recorded their first 45 accompanied by De Commarmond from the afore mentionedTananarive

At the request of the French government, the six brothers and sisters were selected to represent Madagascar with the inauguration of a chain of television stations in Paris (Door of Versailles) in September 1963. With their first appearance, they immediately conquered the French public. Record label Festival, with the assistance of the motor mouthed organizer of Radio Madagascar, Jean-Louis Rafidy, who accompanied them during their stay in Paris, landed them their first European contract and became their manager. The group was then baptized Surfings (Les Surf).

Their first album was released in December 1963 during their first round to France with Sheila and Frank Alamo. Their song "My Baby", remained for three months at the top of the charts in France, Spain and in Mexico (Spanish version). In 1964, after their shows at the Olympia in Paris , Surfings were heralded as "the revelation of the year" in France.

During the following years, Surfings made several tours to France, Spain, Italy (including four participations in the International Festival of the Song Italian of San Rémo), Switzerland (three festivals of Montreux), but also in several French-speaking countries and of Europe (Romania, Bulgaria, etc...), Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Algeria, Zaire, etc... Their success caught the world's attention because the group had managed to cause so much interest and passion wherever they went.

They took part in many television appearances and showcases with large artists of world repute like Jacques Brel, Enrico Macias, Alain Barière, Petula Clark, Tom Jones, the Supremes, Betty Grable, Oscar Peterson, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, etc... Not only did Surfings record all their songs in French, Italian, Spanish, English and German, but they also seemed to appeal to ye ye music fans of all ages.

The press, the radio and television covered their career with interest, and Surfings remained, during their existence, among the best selling groups in the world. During their career, they made an appearance in two films: Seek The Idol with Charles Aznavour, Johnny Halliday and Sylvie Vartan, and Last Tiercé with Dario Moreno and Odile Versois. Several heads of State came to attend their premieres.

In 1971, after a lengthy tour to Guadeloupe, Martinique and in Quebec, Surfings separated amicably to take time to reflect on a wonderous career in pop.


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