In 1949 or 1950 I first became aware of Edith Piaf.
I was introduced by a college friend who owned two LPs of her songs.
One was a ten-inch and the other was a twelve-inch.
My recollection is that they were Columbia recordings,
each with a pale blue jacket and the outline of a white Ionic
column toward the left side of the jacket.
I have never located in the Edith's discography any mention of her
recording for Columbia. Yet, that is how I recall the records.
I do remember also that "Un Petite Homme" was one of the songs
on the smaller disk.
At the time Edith was regularly coming to the United States to perform.
My friend had seen and heard her at the Versailles in New York.
Because at the time I did not own either a record player or records,
I rarely, if ever, heard of Edith Piaf again for several years.
My next exposure was the day after Christmas (or possibly Christmas
day itself) in 1954, while when walking along a street in Marseilles
I noticed that Edith was performing that evening in a local theater.
I succeeded in getting a ticket, and was treated to a memorable evening.
For openers there was a trained dog act. Then followed a male singer,
whose identity I do not know. Finally, the main act arrived. There were many
students in the upper balconies, who yelled and screamed out song requests
at every opportunity. Next to me was an older man, who cried throughout the
performance and sniffled "formidable" at the completion of each song.
When I arrived home, most of my friends doubted that I had actually
attended a Piaf performance. What they found most incredible was the fact
that her show was preceded by a trained dog act. But I swear that is the
way it was!
Again for a few years I heard or saw little about Piaf. At the time of her death
it seems to me that recordings of her work began to appear, eventually becoming
rather abundant. By this time I had a sound system and was collecting every
Piaf record I could find.
Now, roughly thirty-five years after her death, it seems that Edith Piaf has
more fans than ever. I am delighted to find so much material about her on the WWW.
Links to some of the sites I have found are listed below: