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Showing posts from June 2, 2019

World Music

Women of World Music

When it comes to music outside of my usual purview, generally that being for the most part Canada, the U.S. and the British Isles, this is what I'll refer to as 'World Music'. Vague definitions aside it is easy for me to decide where to begin.

In 1915 in Belleville, Paris, France, a little girl named Édith Giovanna Gassion was abandoned by her mother at birth and dropped off by her father on his way to fight in WW1 to be raised by his mother in her brothel in Bernay, Normandy. There is a story she (and others) had told that she was blind from the ages of 3 to 7 when she was miraculously cured after a religious pilgrimage. By age 14 she had left the brothel and rejoined her father who was a street performing acrobat. She soon met her half sister Simone "Mômone" Berteaut and in 1930 the two began singing and performing together, earning enough to rent their own room at the Grand Hôtel de Clermont. Soon after Édith's boyfriend moved in to t…