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Searching Guide


This rich source of information about French-language popular music available in Canada is based upon a card catalogue of 90,000 song titles compiled between 1958 and February 1985 by Louise Lamothe. While every attempt has been made to standardize the entries in the database, allowances should be made for errors that originated with the card catalogue or in our interpretation of the data on the cards.

The information on each card can vary depending on the year the card was created, the amount of detail available to Madame Lamothe, and the natural evolution of a project of this magnitude. For example, the earliest cards cover the recordings that were available in 1962. While many of these were probably released in the 1950s, Madame Lamothe did not include specific "release dates" for any of these recordings. On some cards, although the release date may be missing, there may be a "deletion date" which will help the researcher in identifying the era of the recording. The style of entries on the cards also tended to vary somewhat over the years, lending further difficulties for data entry. Some of the information is hand-written and hard to decipher. Many of these handwritten notes dealt with the copyright ownership of a particular song at the time the card was created. These details are not included in this database. In the date field, if information is missing or unclear, we have inserted an "x" or a "00." If there was no information relevant to a particular field on a card, that field is left blank in the database.

Because her interest was primarily in song titles, the copyrights to those titles and the recording artists who had to pay for those rights, Madame Lamothe did not include album titles in her card catalogue. Therefore the album titles do not appear in this database. All the songs on a particular LP are noted along with the issue number of the recording. If you know one song on an LP, you can make the connection to all the other songs through the "issue number" but the title of the LP must be found through other sources.

This database is a re-creation of the card catalogue. The information has not been verified against any other source. Researchers may want to consult other print and electronic sources of information on French-language popular music, many of which are available through the inter-library loan service offered by local public libraries. See the National Library of Canada's
 Canadian Information by Subject and
 Canadian Libraries and Library Catalogues.

To obtain the most complete search, we suggest taking the time to read some database insights, searching tips, and sample searches unique to Disc-O-Logue.

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Database Insights

TITLE: Includes the names of songs. An additional song title line will appear when a translation or alternate version of the first song title exists. For example, the Italian song titled "Nel blu dipinto di blu" is accompanied by the French-language version, "Dans le bleu du ciel bleu." NOTE: Only song titles are catalogued in Disc-O-Logue, not album titles. To find all the song titles on an album, search using the album number.

COMPOSER: This field includes the composer(s) and lyricist(s) of a given song. Most record companies only credit the composer by the last name or sometimes by an initial and a last name. Thus Gilles Vigneault may be credited simply as "Vigneault" or "G. Vigneault" as well as "Gilles Vigneault." This field may also include descriptions of the current version of a song, e.g., 'Transcription,' 'Traditionnel,' 'Adaptation,' 'Traduction,' 'Harmonisation,' et 'Folklore.' The author of a spoken-word recording sometimes appears in the "artist" field, e.g., Émile Nelligan. Some composers' names do not appear in the database since Madame Lamothe had omitted them on the original index cards.

PERFORMER: This field includes the names of individuals and groups. When there are several artists for a given song title, these are listed on separate lines.

LABEL: The label names are the record companies noted on each card. The companies may be Canadian, French or from other francophone countries. One can trace the history of a recording as issued and subsequently re-issued on different labels. The names of the companies themselves have also changed in some cases: e.g., RCA Victor becomes Victor, Apex became MCA, and so on. Many of the smaller companies listed are no longer in business.

ISSUE NUMBER: Each issue number identifies a unique recording. Generally, record companies use an alpha-numeric format but this does tend to vary from company to company and from year to year. Sometimes a hyphen is used to separate sections of the issue number, sometimes a period, sometimes a space. When searching this field, researchers are advised to experiment with different styles of issue numbers (see Searching tips). This field may also include information about release on different formats such as 8-track and cassette. It also includes any annotation that is on the card relating to the issue number, such as references to the record "master," possibly indicating the matrix number, and references to "1X12" and "1X15," indicating, for copyright purposes, 1 song of 12; 1 song of 15.

FORMAT: This indicates the speed of the record: 33.3 or 45-rpm.

DATE RECEIVED: The "Received Date" represents the date the information was received for a given record from a record company, or the date Madame Lamothe prepared the record information from her own personal research. Usually this date will correspond to the release date by the record company.

DATE DELETED: The "Deleted Date" is the approximate date that the record company advised Madame Lamothe, or that she became aware, that a particular disc was being withdrawn from the catalogue. There are no deletion dates for recordings that were still available when maintenance of the card file was stopped in 1985.

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Searching Tips:

1. Decide exactly what you want to find, e.g., composer, title of song. With a specific goal in mind, you may find several ways to get there.

2. Once at the 'Search Screen,' enter the search term(s) in the query box. To narrow your search, choose one of the pull-down menu field options. For example: 'title,' 'composer,' 'performer'.

3. Complete entries that include all the information on an individual card can be viewed by clicking on any item on the list.

4. Terms which are 'highlighted' in any entry will link you to other entries with the same term in the same field. These terms are useful for determining other songs on a 33.3-rpm disc, for finding the title on the verso of a 45-rpm disc, for finding recordings performed or composed by a particular individual or group, or for finding all the recordings issued by a particular label. NOTE: all the terms must be entered the same way for this function to work.

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Sample Searches

'Sample Searches' are intended to introduce researchers to some of the complexities of the database. Making creative searches will result in more comprehensive results.

A. To see titles of songs composed by Félix Leclerc.
B. To see all the song titles recorded by the performers, Les Classels.
C. To see the recordings issued by the labels Victor and RCA Victor.
D. To see all the song titles on the album Starmania.

A. Titles of songs composed by Félix Leclerc:

  1. Select 'composer' from the pull-down menu.
  2. Type "Félix Leclerc or Felix Leclerc or Leclerc or Félix or Felix" in the 'Query Box' and press 'Search.'
  3. See the list of entries.

B. All song titles recorded by the group, Les Classels:

  1. Select 'performer' from the pull-down menu.
  2. Type "Les Classels" in the 'Query Box' and press 'Search.' This will retrieve all the songs recorded by Les Classels. A search using the term "Classels" will retrieve all the recordings by Les Classels, those by Les Super Classels, and any that have been entered simply as "Classels."
  3. See the list of entries.

C. All the releases issued on Victor and RCA Victor:

  1. Select 'label' from the pull-down menu.
  2. Type "Victor" in the 'Query Box' and press 'Search.' This will retrieve the complete list of entries attributed to Victor or RCA Victor.
  3. See the list of entries. Note that for each 45-rpm disc there will usually be two entries, and that for an LP there will be a separate entry for each song on the LP.

D. All the song titles on the album Starmania:

  1. Select 'title' from the pull-down menu.
  2. Type key words of a familiar 'Starmania' song-title in the 'Query Box' such as "danse à Naziland."
  3. Look at the individual entries. The original recording of Starmania is on Kébec-Frog and the number is KF.8001.
  4. Click on the "Issue Number" and the other twenty-one songs on this recording will appear.