The French Song - Lucille Starr
“The French Song” or “Quand le soleil dit bonjour aux étoiles” sold over a million copies in 1964, at a time when the Beatles dominated the music charts. Lucille Marie Raymonde Savoie (later taking the stage name “Lucille Starr”) was born in 1938 and raised in Saint-Boniface, mere streets away from the El Toro diner, moving to the West coast with her family and later to LA for her music career. The song has both French and English in it, a nod to the francophone DeGagné family and to the era, when assimilation to the majority English speaking Winnipeg, was a question of survival.
“Histoire d’antan”, commonly referred to as the Franco-Manitoban anthem, was written and composed by local Franco-Manitoban musical artist Gérard “Ziz” Jean in 1970. It has been performed and recorded by various artists, choirs, and even by the carillon of the Canadian Parliment Peace Tower in Ottawa (organized by Josée Roy). Here it is sweetly interpreted by Andrina Turenne in an album produced in 2012 by Le 100 Nons, Manitoba’s francophone music organization that has fostered French language music industry for over 50 years, and Le Conseil jeunesse provincial.