Retro Dee is a regular contributor to The Grooveyard’s website, writing about music, fashion and other trends of the 1950s. Check out her blog, Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era Ever here, and her column here every Wednesday.
Hello Retro Music Lovers! It’s Retro Dee here with another post on music from The Best Era Ever.
The last post I wrote labeled “Musical Misconceptions” was posted on my blog on May 7, 2018. At that point, I couldn’t even tell Don and Phil Everly apart by looking at them, let alone tell you much about their songs. I like to think I’ve come a long way since then in my music research and as a fan of music from that era in general.
Learning about music has made me appreciate it more and has fueled my excitement to pass on my knowledge to YOU. Of course, many of you out there know far more than I do about music from the 50’s and 60’s, in which case if you’re reading this, I hope you’ll at least be mildly amused.
Today’s topic is a tale of two songs. One song is titled “Claudette” and the other is “Colette”. These songs can be mistaken for the same song, if you’re not paying full attention. Not only are they both French girls names, they also sound similar (again, if you’re not paying full attention) and they both came out within one year of each other.
“Claudette” by The Everly Brothers
“Claudette” was released in 1958 as the “B” side of The Everly Brother’s Number One hit single “All I Have to do is Dream”.
“Claudette” was written by Roy Orbison for his wife. I don’t know why Roy didn’t just record it himself, but I’m glad he didn’t. Don and Phil do an amazing job on it. It peaked at #30 on the charts in the US, I’m surprised it didn’t go higher.
“Claudette/ Pretty little babe Claudette/ Oh, oh Claudette…”
Alright, I know, it’s better when you’re actually listening to the song. But just bear with me…
“Colette” by Billy Fury
“Colette” is similar to “Claudette”, and I mistook it for the same song the first time I heard it (needless to say at that point I was not very familiar with The Everly Brothers or Billy Fury)
“Colette” was both performed and written by Billy Fury and was released in 1959. It peaked at #9 on the UK charts.
“Colette Colette/ Don’t forget Colette/ I need you so don’t ever go Colette…”
An interesting thing to note is if you look up the full lyrics to each song, you’ll see that “Claudette” sings the praises of her punctuality, loyalty and his happiness in loving her. While in “Colette”, it’s just the opposite: she’s kept him waiting and has broken her vows.
Now, finally, is the part I’m sure you’ve already skipped to, a video of each of the songs side by side:
Okay, you got that now? The difference between the two songs? I think they’re both good, but “Claudette” is fantastic. The Everly Brothers doing a song penned by Roy Orbison is pretty tough to beat.
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I loved the music of the 50s & 60s… it was the BEST OF TIMES.. I still have my 45 records.. I got older but not in my mind.. still “movin & groovin”.. LOL!!! I listen to 88.1 on my car radio.. I sure wish I could get it on my house radio.
I have the same problem at home. Check out the live stream at wcwp.org for better reception. The WCWP app (for iPhones or Android) is also excellent. Glad you enjoy the show!