Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Henry Cording with Big Mike and his Parisian Rockets: Hiccough Rock (Rock-Hoquel)/Rock and Roll Mops (Columbia 4-40762)

Talk about a record from another planet! The first clue is given on the label: "Recorded in France." That's right, friends, it's French rockabilly! One has to wonder what Columbia saw in this to give it a U.S. release, particularly with noted rock hater Mitch Miller as their A&R guy. (Miller also made all those geriatric "Sing Along" LPs that made your dead grandparents happy.) But then again, they also had The Collins Kids and Ronnie Self around this time. Even so, you give listen to this and have to wonder what they were thinking. Not that it's bad, mind you. In fact, it's hot. The band gets to busness right away on "Hiccough Rock" and then Mr. Cording comes on and starts singing in French. But he doesn't just sing. He shrieks, he spits, he shouts and he rips it out in machine-gun delivery. Add to this hic-cup noises and then the whole thing goes into the stratosphere. His band keeps up with him and shakes up the grooves throughout. There's more of this madness on the flip side in which the only words in English are "Rock and Roll Mops," whatever those are. But Mr. Cording just lets go with more of that rapid-fire French delivery. So, even though you can't understand the words unless you know French, you can definitely feel this record's energy. Maybe they thought that Cording would be France's answer to Elvis (or at least Bill Haley), but the result is a 45 so out there it's in a world all its own.

Oh, by the way, does anyone know where I can get some info in this guy that's actually written in English? Didn't think it'd hurt to ask.


Stuart Shea said...

I can't believe anyone else has heard this record. A friend of mine picked it up and digitized it for me recently...it's as absurd as you say. I'm assuming "Rock and Roll Mops" are supposed to be haircuts, but who knows?

Anonymous said...

Henry Cording is Henry Salvador and Big Mike is Michel Legrand.
Michel Legrand composed numerous movie soundtracks.

Anonymous said...

For bio in english, use google search engine, search "henri salvador", then
at the following result
www.rfimusique.com/siteFr/ biographie/biographie_8862.asp
use the translate this page option

Brian Marshall said...

Thanks a bunch for the info on Mr. Cording. Who would've known that Michel Legrand actually had some rock 'n' roll in 'im? Especially after "Brian's Song." (He also composed a lot of scores for Jean-Luc Goddard's films, too.)