Nana Mouskouri
June 12, 2010 7:46 PM   Subscribe

It's nice to remember -- the ethereally angelic voice of Nana Mouskouri, here in red, with Harry Belafonte, doing a sizzling, personal, tremulous Au Coeur de Septembre, looking for all the world like a 1960's version Tina Fey. Here singing a spine-tingling version of Les Jours Meilleurs "Aspri Mera" 1972, and here, Puisque Tu M'aimes.
posted by puny human (20 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Wow. Her duet with Belafonte was riveting. I'd never heard of her before, but I'll go look for her now. Thank you Puny Human. That was unexpected and wonderful.
posted by anitanita at 8:03 PM on June 12, 2010

Thank goodness this isn't the obit thread I momentarily thought it was. And thanks for the "Au Coeur de Septembre" link, puny human. That goes down smooth.
posted by EvaDestruction at 8:10 PM on June 12, 2010

Nana Mouskouri--man, back in the day, she would have been the best minimalist Halloween outfit evar, had she been a celebrity. Which no doubt was why she was not a celebrity here. No one wore those frames save her. For decades. In the USA, that is. Europe was a different story, I suspect. Nowadays, of course, she would be a face in the hipster crowd.
posted by y2karl at 8:12 PM on June 12, 2010

I don't know if I can stand to watch that. My late mother was a HUGE fan, and, when young, a dead ringer for Nana Mouskouri too. The LP I remember us having featured White Rose of Athens or something like that. Takes me back to the 70s and having a gramophone and settling down to actually listen to it, not just using it as a background. And my mum.

posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:13 PM on June 12, 2010 [4 favorites]

In another style, but about as famous for her glasses: Angèle Arseneault.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 8:20 PM on June 12, 2010

(okay, maybe not)
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 8:20 PM on June 12, 2010

Father Beese was a Nana fan too. Thanks for the post.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:40 PM on June 12, 2010

Oh Jesus no. My youth was all Nana Miskouri, Roger Whittaker, goddamned Zamfir, John Denver, and Kenny Rogers (I'm not complaining about all of those -- that's simply the list). Until one day my brother caught me listening to the stuff, turned it off, and popped an unfamiliar 8-track into the machine. The giant headphones swallowing my tiny head, I was suddenly greeted with the MOST AMAZING SOUND. It was the beginning of Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys, and I never looked back...

Love is a rose, but you better not pick it, it only grows when it's on the vine...
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:26 PM on June 12, 2010

You're welcome Joe:) Glad it jogged so many fond memories for people.

Here she is, in the same red dress, but even better -- Nana Mouskouri & Les Athéniens - Enas Mythos
posted by puny human at 9:27 PM on June 12, 2010

Back when I had a turntable that worked, I used to spend some time raiding the dusty-vinyl section of Salvation Army opportunity shops to see what kitch crap I could pick up for 50c a piece. I ended up with a load of Acker Bilk, Beloved Songs of Scotland/Wales/Wherever, and, of course, Nana. She was by far the most listenable.
posted by Jimbob at 10:01 PM on June 12, 2010

My mom had every Nana LP.
posted by maxwelton at 10:30 PM on June 12, 2010

Once upon a time in a land long since forgotten (well, Michigan), my now ex-girlfriend and I went to a Halloween party as Buddy Holly and Nana Mouskouri. Everyone who saw us immediately recognized who I was supposed to be, but almost no one knew who she was supposed to be. She was crushed. The next year we went as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and she was immensely gratified that no one knew who either of us was.
posted by motown missile at 12:00 AM on June 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

Durn Bronzefist, you forgot Ace Cannon and Slim Whitman!
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:09 AM on June 13, 2010

This woman's voice was the only beautiful thing in my childhood. My father played her albums in the evenings, and I would listen from my bedroom while I tried to forget everthing else about my life.
posted by DWRoelands at 12:53 AM on June 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

"Try to Remember" is a song that has an almost archetypal chord progression and lyrical structure. It's been covered many times, especially by crooners from the 1950s: Roy Orbison, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Andy Williams, The Kingston Trio, Julie Andrews, even Gladys Knight,

It always struck me that "callow fellow" was a bit of a lyrical kludge.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:42 AM on June 13, 2010

My favourite is "Ses baisers me grisaient" (watch in 480, sound is better).

She might not be a household name anymore but she was huge extremely popular, worldwide, from the late 60's to the 80's. She sold around 200 million albums (Universal says 300) of not necessarily good music but the woman herself has always been an example of humility and all round cheerfulness.
posted by surrendering monkey at 4:25 AM on June 13, 2010

Aw, my dad had a bunch of her albums too. And I use the past tense because, although Dad is still with us, his record collection is not.
posted by evilcolonel at 8:45 AM on June 13, 2010

Oh wow puny human, you're posting a *lot* of interesting links these days. Glad you're here. Thanks for the post.

The undeniably fascinating thing about Nana Mouskouri was, to me, her wearing glasses and wearing virginal fortress dresses. What cojones to do that in the gogo boots and mini dress Barbarella era. She was not going to made to kneel at the God Of Sexual Attractiveness. What defiance! It was outrageous. She was just going to sing AND WEAR HER GLASSES, as if she sang for herself, for those who enjoyed her voice. It was radical, as if she sung naked. I was embarassed for her and yet proud.

As a child who grew up in tortoise shell glasses, was constantly told, "Take off those awful glasses and let me see how you look." Or endlessly told, "Boys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses." Up on my cork board with the posters of Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan and Brando in his biker boy outfit, rebels all, should have been Nana Mouskouri.
posted by nickyskye at 10:30 AM on June 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Hell yeah, nickyskye. I was just thinking last night that pretty much her whole thing was simple songs beautifully sung, no irony, no gimmick, no nothing; the purity was the thing. Very, very different from what was going on at the time, or what has come after.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:42 PM on June 13, 2010

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