Wednesday, December 9, 2015

“The Singing Nun,” remember?

My barely scientific guess is that 10-20 million Americans remember “The Singing Nun.”

If you were old enough to be interested in popular music in 1963, you know what I’m talking about.

A few years earlier, a young Belgian woman named Jeanne-Paule Marie Deckers (1933-1985) had entered the order of the Missionary Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of Fichermont. As Sister Luc-Gabrielle, she played her guitar, sang songs, and wrote and recorded “Dominique” in 1961. It was a smash hit in Belgium.

The single “Dominique”—sung in French—crossed the Atlantic and was No. 1 on the American charts in December 1963. Sister Luc-Gabrielle, as “Soeur Sourire” (Smiling Nun) quickly became "The Singing Nun" in America and ritually crossed over to stardom by appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in January 1964.

For the purist discophile, I’ll mention that “Dominique” was at the top of the charts for four weeks, and it blocked "Louie, Louie" by The Kingsmen from getting to No. 1.

I’ll also throw in this one, because it popped up next on YouTube after I checked out that Kingsmen classic:

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2015 All rights reserved.

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