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 In the studio with Rythme éclectique and a bit of history

In "Rythme éclectique" there is a unique story to share about the track "Pour Toi / Dime (Feelings)." It's about its history and how the derivative hit song "Feelings" evolved.

The original song "Pour Toi" was written by Louis Gasté in 1956 for a French film. Louis (Loulou was his nickname) Gasté was the husband of singer Line Renaud. (He had discovered her when she was very young and made her a star.) Loulou already had many French hits to his credit when he wrote "Pour Toi."

When Loulou Gasté died in January 1995, the New York Times included the following in his obituary:
"In 1956, Mr. Gasté wrote "Pour Toi" ("For You") with his wife, the singer and actress Line Renaud. It had no particular success, but in 1975 Morris Albert adapted it as "Feelings" and it became a pop staple. Mr. Gaste sued Mr. Albert and won $500,000 in damages in 1987."

When "Feelings" became a huge international hit for Morris Albert in 1975-76, Loulou Gasté heard it and recognized it as too similar to his song "Pour Toi" to be coincidental and began a quest to seek the truth about its origins.

His lawyers traced a business connection between Morris Albert, a Brazilian songwriter-musician, and a movie distributor in Brazil who had distributed the French film that "Pour Toi" was used in: "Le Feu aux Poudres" (1957).

He had experts analyze the chord progressions from the two songs and found there were solid grounds to file a suit against Morris Albert for plagiarism. As the above quote shows, he won the case.

Don Sheppard and his music director, Khris Dodge, have created a unique version which includes both treatments of the song. i.e. the original French version with the original French lyrics, followed by the Morris Albert adaptation that became so popular as "Feelings." Don segues from the French version into the Spanish adaptation of "Feelings", whose lyrics (by Tomás Fundora) mirror the English lyrics written by Morris Albert.

Most of the songs in "Rythme eclectique" are sung in English and French. The exceptions are "Volare" (Italian and French), the above-discussed "Pour Toi / Dime (Feelings)" (French and Spanish), "Copacabana" (English), and a bonus track of "Copacabana" (French). There are five (5) all-in-French tracks: Matin de Carnaval; Petite Fleur; Belle-Ile-en-Mer, Marie-Galante; Grimaud; and Rockollection.

In the bonus track "I Don't Care Much / Je m'en fou"... if you listen very carefully, there is a notable saxophone playing the background. It plays a busy pattern of sixteenth notes which are relentless, persistent, and demanding of the player. It was deliberately composed that way to give an edgy quality to the feel of the piece.
We were fortunate to have our saxophonist from our first cd "éclectique", Michael Keepe, re-join us for three tracks ("Matin de Carnaval" and "Tie a Yellow Ribbon / Accroche un ruban" are the other two tracks). Michael is one of few saxophonists who is able to call upon his ability to use "circular breathing" in playing these unrelenting passages which don't provide logical places to take a breath. Musical director Khris Dodge offered to rewrite his original patterns to provide breathing spots, but Michael said "let me give the circular breathing a shot." Consequently, you will not hear a breath being taken when Michael is playing(!) Bravo, Michael!

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