Joe DassinL'Amerique
(J Christie/P Delanoe)

While Yellow River became a worldwide hit, its French version, L'Amerique, also became somewhat of a standard in its own right, particularly in countries where French was spoken. The song has been covered by many singers from France and Canada, where French of course is a main language.
   The song was conceived as an original number for French crooner superstar Joe Dassin, who had a mixed heritage: born in New York, grandson of a Russian Jew and a Hungarian, son of a film director father and a violinist mother, and raised in France. Joe was often described as having an American passport, a French heart and a cosmopolitan soul.
   Joe already had a number of French hits when he teamed up with Pierre Delanoe, the most successful French composer of the 20th century. It was Pierre who took Jeff Christie's melody and created French lyrics, which tell of Joe's love for his native USA.
   Not sure if Joe would like the song, his manager made Joe listen to the L'Amerique demo, teasing him that he would give the song to his French rival Johnny Hallyday. Joe recognised the potential immediately, recorded L'Amerique, and it became one of his most successful hits: so successful in fact, that it spawned several covers, and Joe himself used it to close his stage shows. Joe even recorded an Italian version of L'Amerique.
   The same team also later produced a French version of Iron Horse.

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