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Wow... it seems I pushed the CDs that contain long, LONG titles from the titles I downloaded at Ernie (not Bert)'s blog last December deep down the stack!

Looking at the average titles remaining in my stack of CDs from Ernie's blog, this very well could be the LONGEST title not only from Ernie but the longest in general for this very blog!

I googled "The Les Djinns Singers" and the first reference that came up was this one. Well done, Ernie! The second link or links were to an ABC-Paramount discography and shows that the Les Djinns Singers released several albums on that label between 1960-1964.

The remainder of the links were for various albums for sale, Musicstack, eBay, and WFMU's artist list.

I googled "Paul Bonneau", the arranger and director of this album and a number of web sites appeared, most in French. Bonneau was a composer and conductor of orchestras for many years with the French goverment radio station Radiodiffusion Française (RDF). This led to a posting with their television station, Radiodiffusion Télévision Française (RTF).

Back in 1959, the Malpasset Dam in France broke, killing 500 people. A group of 15 female choral singers from RTF were invited to an official reception for the families of victims to sing. Under the directorship of Bonneau (and subsequently the French government), this group of singers were rechristened "The Djinns" and began a quick recording career. They were expanded to "60 French Girls", were immensely popular throughout France, Belgium, and Canada, and ABC-Paramount began releasing their albums in the US.

This album was released at Christmas, 1961 and features the "60 French Girls" singing standard Christmas songs entirely in French. Also featured are the Christmas Bell Ringers on several of the tracks clanging out standard Christmas songs on bells, chimes, etc.

Overall, this is a pretty standard album. A few tracks catch your attention: "Noël Trois Anges Son Venus Ce Noir (Christmas, Three Angels We've Seen This Night)", and "Noël Blanc (White Christmas)" to name but two.

The standout track is "Pour Noël (For Christmas)". The song begins with a soft string arrangement, the melody is quite catchy and hooks you by mid-song. Suddenly, the track changes gears and we hear a driving piano and drum beat (think of the piano/drums from Dean Martin's "Everybody Loves Somebody") and it carries you home! WOW! This one just might make it onto my Christmas comp this year!

By the end of 1963, the Les Djinns Singers were at the height of their popularity and fame. Only one thing stood in their way: the French Government. In 1964, RDF and RTF were consolidated into one office - Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française (ORTF) and the cost cutting began.

The Djinns were considered "too expensive" to manage and by July 1964, the once popular group was officially disbanded. Paul Bonneau continued his career with the ORTF for many more years, composing hundreds of hours of music.

A Christmas album released by the French government, sort to speak. Who would have thunk it?

On to the next new Christmas CD in my collection...