'Mad Men' Music: Megan Draper Revives A 1960 French Fave

Monday, 26 March 2012 05:44 AM Written by 

If you saw the 2-hour season premiere of  Mad Men, you know one of the high points (with some rather odd overtones) was the slightly spoiled 40th birthday party for Don Draper (Jon Hamm) thrown for him by his new, young, French-Canadian wife Megan (Jessica Pare') threw for him on a Saturday night in early June, 1966. 

 

Providing music was a generic mid 60's rock band, actors playing instruments appropriate to the period (even the PA system was period-specific--I know from my own days playing in rock bands a lot worse than this one). The guitarist strums a custom-color Fender Stratocaster from that time that collectors pay five-figure amounts for today.

The first two tunes, background to the action, were "The 'In' Crowd," a 1965 hit vocal for the late Dobie Gray (later known for "Drift Away") and as a smoking jazz piano instrumental by the Ramsey Lewis Trio.

Of course the centerpiece was Megan's hyper-sexy rendition of the light, sugary French tune "Zou Bizou Bizou." Her sultry, grinding performance is routine for network TV in the post-Madonna era, but performing it this way for TV in 1966 would have been banned by any US network, even rock music shows like Hullabaloo and Shindig.   No wonder Harry Crane (Rich Sommer) and Roger (John Slattery) were still slobbering over her performance on Monday!

But the song is not from 1966, but 1960, and reporter Lauren Streib tracked down the song's origins and offers a detailed and nicely-researched history of the song and original vocalist for The Daily Beast.  You can read it here.

Streib did not, however, include video.  As a supplement, here's a 1962 proto-video rendition by Gillian Hills, the French singer who first made the song a hit in 1960. 

Think that's ahead of its time for a music video? It is. Rick Nelson, however, did a similar "video" for his 1961 hit "Travelin' Man" when he sang the song on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.

This is an English recording of "Zou Bizou" by none other than Sophia Loren, sung in the 1960 film The Millionairess.

There.  Now you know.

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