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Sounds FrenchGlobalization, Cultural Communities, and Pop Music in France, 1958–1980$
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Jonathyne Briggs

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199377060

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199377060.001.0001

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Sounds Young

Sounds Young

Copains and Communities of Youth

(p.14) Chapter 1 Sounds Young
Sounds French

Jonathyne Briggs

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the arrival of rock and roll in France during the late 1950s, highlighting the connection between the social changes wrought by the French “economic miracle” and the ascent of youth culture in French society. Young French pop stars such as Johnny Hallyday, Françoise Hardy, and Sylvie Vartan—the copains—created a new cultural form, a social relationship that they imagined to be a new type of community for all of France. In the early 1960s, both the communists and the Catholics responded to the challenge by trying to integrate the copains’ image into their own concepts of community. Ultimately, the ideal of the copain could not bridge the divides in French society. Through an examination of rock and roll songs, published interviews, listeners’ letters, and editorials, this chapter reveals how young people, both performers and audiences, attempted to construct a new society through rock and roll.

Keywords:   youth culture, rock and roll, yé-yé, youth media, cover music

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