Italian brunette Caterina Valente isn’t especially 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 (And So in Danger!) – 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, effortlessly on a par with the divine Connie Francis who also took her turn at Gallic sentiments in 1965.
Caterina Valente – Bonjour Kathrin
Caterina Valente - Un p'tit Béguine
Connie Francis - La vie en rose
Merci à the indispensable Roy Black for providing the Béguine. Film extra speziale: Roy Budd’s groovefest Plaything from 1971’s British hardboiler Get Carter, easily among the coolest soundtracks of them all. A year later, he married Valente. Indeed. What a match.
Roy Budd - Plaything