Let me introduce you to Dave. Dave was born Wouter Otto Levenbach in the Netherlands, but has remained relatively unknown in his home country despite having a few chart hits in France. One of his first big hits in the 70s was Vavina, which you may recognise this clip to the left.
For those of you who don’t recall the song, including my French friend who until last week thought it was a Dave original, it’s actually a Frenchified (yes, I made that word up) version of “Runaway” by Del Shannon, recorded in the 60s (also to the left).
Okay, the 70s seemed to be the peak decade for musicians to switch song languages, with The Four Seasons’ “December 1963 (Oh What a Night)” being covered by Claude François as “Cette Année-Là” (“That Year Then”), while his song “Comme d’Habitude” is more famously known as the the translated-into-English “My Way”, sung, but not written, by Frank Sinatra, and good old Johnny Hallyday covered all sorts of songs including “Long Tall Sally” as “Oh! Sally” with French lyrics. The list goes on. Again, I promise to write about Claude François one day: his story is a good one.
So back to Dave. Good on him for taking a hit song from the US and turning his translation into a hit in France. But you may ask why on earth I’m bringing this up now. This is why:
Dave has done a cover of his cover. He’s really taking recycling to new levels. Apparently, it’s a surefire hit, with French TV and radio stations picking it up, and Dave starring as a panelist on France’s talent show “La France a un Incroyable Talent” (“France has an Incredible Talent”). So as we say in Australia, “good onya, Dave”: you’ve done well. And you haven’t aged badly either.