Italian brunette Caterina Valente isn’t very famous for her movies, though she appeared in a good dozen, her first one being the prostitution melodrama Party Girls for Sale a.k.a. They Were So Young – released in 1954, the same year she hit it grand with her German version of Cole Porter’s I Love Paris, re-titled Ganz Paris träumt von der Liebe (The Whole of Paris Dreams of Love) and selling more than half a million copies.
Most of Valente’s hits came from the German Schlager alley, a back street of pop most people rightly fear to tread. However, Bonjour Kathrin from the same-titled 1956 Valente movie is a charming example of how to fuse a German language song with French flair. No wonder: Actually La Signora had started out à Paris, and in the late 50s came back with some recordings in French, among them the irresistible Un p’tit Béguine – supremely seductive stuff, easily on a par with the divine Connie Francis who also took her turn at Gallic sentiments in 1965.
Caterina Valente – Bonjour Kathrin
Bonus speziale: Caterina’s French language version of the all-time classic Fever, written in 1955 by Otis Blackwell, first recorded by bluesman Little Willie John a year later and immortalized by Peggy Lee in 1958. When Caterina is talking trente-neuf, it sounds like a position Peggy never knew.
Caterina Valente – 39 de fièvre
Bonus extra speziale: La Valente’s French version of Paul Anka’s Put Your Head on my Shoulder. Sighing sighs, holding hands.