Paris, France - 1963
Here is a really good photograph of the legendary French rocker Johnny Hallyday and my favorite singer Sylvie Vartan. On this very day, they announced that they were engaged. They even etched out a heart on one of the trees nearby (in a secret location!). Johnny was only 19 years old and Sylvie was 18 when this happy picture was taken. Back then, I was 7 years old and lived in Bois-Colombes, a city that is on the outskirts of Paris. It is also right around that period that I started listening to French pop music including songs from singers like Françoise Hardy, Sheila, Dalida and especially Sylvie Vartan and Johnny Hallyday. Needless to say, I became a very big fan of them! On April 12, 1965, Johnny Hallyday and Sylvie Vartan were married and would become the King and Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll in France. Their son David Hallyday was born on August 14, 1966 (his birthday is just one day before his mother’s!) and would follow his parents’ footsteps by becoming an accomplished musician, singer and songwriter. This picture was taken at the Bois de Boulogne in Paris, which was one of my favorite places back then: There was (and still is) an amusement park there called Le Jardin d’Acclimatation. It was the perfect place for kids like me and I went there often. Back in 1962, Sylvie Vartan did a Scopitone film (which is on You Tube) with her hit song Le Locomotion (a French version of The Locomotion) and it was filmed on Le Petit Train (The Little Train) at Le Jardin d’Acclimatation. I had been on that cute little train quite a few times and and it was always a fun ride. Interestingly, I heard Sylvie Vartan’s version of Le Locomotion long before I heard the original one by Little Eva (which was in English) and this was one of my favorite songs back then.
(Photo courtesy of Paris-Match)