Johnny Hallyday, We Hardly Knew You!


The “French Elvis” loved the U.S., and lived there on and off for years. But the only country that every truly loved his music was France. His death marks the end of an era.

PARIS—“Oh, you weak, beautiful people who give up with such grace. What you need is someone to take hold of you—gently, with love, and hand your life back to you,” a woman’s voice intones at the beginning of the song that many in France consider the very best in the very long repertoire of Johnny Hallyday.

And if you listen to it, and especially if you watch the 1985 video, as the singer rides the rails and hitchhikes through rural America, you might think “Quelque chose de Tennessee” (“Something of Tennessee”) is about a state where Nashville’s the capital. But, no. The song’s not a tribute to country, but to literature. The lines at the beginning are from the play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” and the title refers to the author, Tennessee Williams.[ . . . ] More at: Johnny Hallyday, We Hardly Knew You!

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