Friday, October 06, 2006

Ria Bartok

Real name: Marie-Louise Pleiss
(b. 28/1/43, Einbeck, near Hannover, Germany)

A long biography translated thanks to Alan!:

60's French yé-yé goes beyond F. Hardy, Sheila and S. Vartan. One of these other singers was Ria Bartok. She knew success for two years, then tragedy crossed her way. Such a pity.

She was born in Enben, near Hannover. Her father was an opera singer (not related with composer Bartok, as far as we know). She studied in several european cities, then in the fifties the family established in France and she obtained the title of nurse, but doesn't work in it for much time. In 1963, she signed with the label Ricordi and made her first EP, which included 'Parc'que je revu François', a trepidant version of 'I Saw Linda Yesterday', and her first hit. Then followed a second EP with RCA, and, from the autumn of '63, seven more with Columbia (Emi).

This meant two things: that the records sold well (even if they weren't a big success), and that Columbia had great hopes on the artist, as an alternative to Sylvie Vartan, phisically similar and more energetic.

Jean Paul Guiter, Ria's artistic director, tailored her EP's in the best way of the time: great photo covers and fantastic french versions of Goffin and King ('Chills', 'I'm Into Something Good', 'He's In Town'), Mann and Weil ('Heart'), Leiber and Stoller ('Lucky Lips'), Chris Andrews ('You Can't Blame Him') and other succesful composers. There were also french composers who wrote songs for her. Ria's style developped from American R&B (1963-64) to girl group sound and British pop (1964-65), always with delicious arrangements and with two dancing songs, at least, in every record.

Her best years were 1963 and 1964. Success had eluded her when other artists recorded the same song (this happened two times with Richard Anthony, her label mate). Then in the autumn of '64, 'Et Quelque Chose Me Dit', a version of Herman's Hermits' version of 'I'm Into Something Good', by Goffin and King, went to the hit parade of "Salut Les Copains", and 'Ce Monde' (Cilla Black's 'You Are My World', by Umberto Bindi), released in single by Pathé, a subsidiary label of Emi, was number one in Canada. Then Columbia tried to promote Ria Bartok in the British market, and released 'See If I Care' (an English version of her 'Diggedle Boeing' from '63). It was well received enough for Rita to appear at TV's programme "Thank Your Lucky Stars" (ABC).

There is no happy ending. Columbia was releasing Ria's EPs still in 1965, and all seemed well and promising when she died in a fire which she started accidentally. Although her early death doesn't let us know how would had developped her career, we can enjoy all she made, beacause her complete discography has been beautifully released in CD.

Ria Bartok - Tu peux pas savoir
Ria Bartok - C'est Bien Fait (Yesterday)
Ria Bartok - N'y Touche Pas

13 comments:

Alan said...

Thanks again and again, Lush! Maybe I'll try to translate, with grammar mistakes and some things invented ? Put the blame on Mame.

Lush said...

hehe I was thinking of you ;) It's alright, I'm not perfect in my English skills either. I speak it quite fluenty though..

Alan said...

Here it is then:

60's French yé-yé goes beyond F. Hardy, Sheila and S. Vartan. One of these other singers was Ria Bartok. She knew success for two years, then tragedy crossed her way. Such a pity.

She was born in Enben, near Hannover. Her father was an opera singer (not related with composer Bartok, as far as we know). She studied in several european cities, then in the fifties the family established in France and she obtained the title of nurse, but doesn't work in it for much time. In 1963, she signed with the label Ricordi and made her first EP, which included 'Parc'que je revu François', a trepidant version of 'I Saw Linda Yesterday', and her first hit. Then followed a second EP with RCA, and, from the autumn of '63, seven more with Columbia (Emi).

This meant two things: that the records sold well (even if they weren't a big success), and that Columbia had great hopes on the artist, as an alternative to Sylvie Vartan, phisically similar and more energetic.

Jean Paul Guiter, Ria's artistic director, tailored her EP's in the best way of the time: great photo covers and fantastic french versions of Goffin and King ('Chills', 'I'm Into Something Good', 'He's In Town'), Mann and Weil ('Heart'), Leiber and Stoller ('Lucky Lips'), Chris Andrews ('You Can't Blame Him') and other succesful composers. There were also french composers who wrote songs for her. Ria's style developped from American R&B (1963-64) to girl group sound and British pop (1964-65), always with delicious arrangements and with two dancing songs, at least, in every record.

Her best years were 1963 and 1964. Success had eluded her when other artists recorded the same song (this happened two times with Richard Anthony, her label mate). Then in the autumn of '64, 'Et Quelque Chose Me Dit', a version of Herman's Hermits' version of 'I'm Into Something Good', by Goffin and King, went to the hit parade of "Salut Les Copains", and 'Ce Monde' (Cilla Black's 'You Are My World', by Umberto Bindi), released in single by Pathé, a subsidiary label of Emi, was number one in Canada. Then Columbia tried to promote Ria Bartok in the British market, and released 'See If I Care' (an English version of her 'Diggedle Boeing' from '63). It was well received enough for Rita to appear at TV's programme "Thank Your Lucky Stars" (ABC).

There is no happy ending. Columbia was releasing Ria's EPs still in 1965, and all seemed well and promising when she died in a fire which she started accidentally. Although her early death doesn't let us know how would had developped her career, we can enjoy all she made, beacause her complete discography has been beautifully released in CD.

Bruno said...

HI Sofie,I just see this blog and think wow! Great choices of artists! :)

YEYEOHYEAH said...

Hi Sofie
I really enjoyed the songs even though they end with another sad ye ye story(a sad tale of promise unfulfilled but a fine legacy left behind).
Thanks Alan for translating the info into English.
YEYEOHYEAH

Bruno said...

Just to let you know I've translated you're text on Beatmen on get hip! :)

Bruno said...

I've also found a song by the Batmen "Batman" in English and it is the German group! Just let me know if you want it...

Lush said...

Wow Alan, u are the best!!!!!! Thank you thank you thank you :)
I owe you a favor.. :)
btw, do you have any info on spanish yeye girl Betina?

thanks again again Bruno (!), as you can see I posted the song ;)

Alan said...

It sounds good, Lush, I'll think about it ;) if I need some Danish translation :) You know, I would love to hear this Ria Bartok CD, don't know if you have it...

This is the first time I heard of Betina, I hope you post some songs. There is a compilation in Rama Lama: "Pretty girl from Barcelona, one of our best ye ye girls, she sang many years with the band of Janio Marti and she's still active".

http://www.ramalamamusic.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=30&mode=flat&order=0&thold=0

I looked the blog "I Can't Give You Anything but Love...baby" and they speak of her also, and got some cover:

http://meltorm.blogspot.com/2006/02/chicas-yey-cap02.html

"She won the Benidorm Festival, with Tony Dallara, in 1967. Still continues singing with her band in nigth clubs, casinos and cruise ships."

Lush said...

Thank you Alan! I will post some Betina today :) I also found this site http://a45rpm.en.eresmas.com/BETINA/betina.htm .. pls tell me when u are sick of translating hehe :)

I'm afraid I don't have the Ria album. But I got more songs by her, will post them soon :)

Alan said...

It's OK, glad to make a "cameo" in your blog. Just a little bit more, correct me:

"Mª de las Mercedes Massager Tarragó (Barcelona, 1950) studied at the conservatory in Barcelona and appeared in several radio contests, where she got the name of Betina.

A blonde of blue eyes, joyful and sensual, extrovert and of an overwhelming charm, in real life as well as on stage, she was very popular in the mid 60s, singing with grace and style 'Congratulations', 'Marionetas en la cuerda' ('Puppets on a String'), french and italian successes, and specially ballads.

Her first record was released in 1964. Her first hit came with the song 'Hay tantos chicos en el mundo' ('There Are So Many Boys in the World'), which made her well known all over Spain.

In 1967 she won with Tony Dallara the Benidorm Festival, singing 'Entre los dos' ('Between Both of Us'), and reached the third place in the Festival de la Canción del Mediteráneo, with 'T'estim t'estimaré' ('I Love You I Will Love You'), sung in Catalan.

In 1972 she married the Cantabric pianist Raúl G. Calderón. Then joined the band of Janio Martí, very popular in Catalonia, and has continued singing and travelling round Europe in sea cruises."

Now give me some break, I don't wanna tire... and have to prepare the translation of "Don Quichotte ye-ye" :)

Anonymous said...

We specialize in laptop battery,laptop AC adapters. All our products are brand new, with the excellent service from our laptop battery of customer service team.
the most convenient and cheap replacement battery online shop in uk. We specialize in laptop batteries, laptop AC adapters.
All our laptop AC adapters are brand new, with the excellent service from our customer service team.
the most convenient and cheap battery online shop in uk.
You can find some battery and adapter from here is very cool.

Ingrid said...

Thanks for a good post on a great artist, could you please upload the files again? The links are dead.