Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dionne Warwick Returns to the Olympia Theater

Dionne Warwick
Photo from Dionne Warwick Web site photo gallery

Dionne Warwick will perform at the legendary Olympia Theater in May 2012. She is no stranger to this stage, having been introduced to Paris by Marlene Dietrich during a concert there in 1963. This performance catapulted Warwick to international stardom.

Warwick returned to the Olympia’s stage in 1965/1966, where she performed with French music idol Sacha Distel:

She recorded her Top Ten hit “Message to Michael” at this time. The story (from YouTube) about this song goes as follows:

Warwick's association with the song began when she recommended it as a concert number to Sacha Distel, with whom she was headlining at the Paris Olympia Theatre in 1966. Jacques Denjean prepped a backing track to which Distel was to sing the song in concert; when Distel decided against performing the song, Warwick considered availing herself of the prepped instrumental track to record the song herself. Both Burt Bacharach and Hal David, when contacted by Warwick, were opposed to her singing what they maintained in its English version was a man's song. David also mentioned to Warwick that the only male name that could be subbed for "Martha" was "Michael", a name David disliked. Warwick took David's comment as a suggestion, recorded "Message to Michael" in a Paris recording studio, and added her vocals to the track prepped for Distel. Warwick would say that the most difficult part of the recording session was getting the French background vocalists to pronounce 'Michael' correctly.

Although originally relegated to B-side status for Warwick's recording of a new Bacharach-David song "Here Where There is Love", "Message to Michael" was promoted to A-side status upon the single's March 1966 release, and Warwick introduced the single to American audiences on the 9 March 1966 broadcast of Hullabaloo.

Here is a YouTube video of Dionne Warwick singing at the Olympia in Paris in 1966:

This year's performance will be held on Wednesday 23 May 2012 at 8:00 PM:

Olympia Bruno Coquatrix
28, boulevard des Capucines
75009 Paris
Metro: Opéra (Lines 3, 7, 8)
Ticket prices: 67.50 euros to 117 euros

Purchase tickets on site from 12 noon until 7 PM or reserve on line by clicking here.


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