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About Disc-O-Logue

Interview with Louise Lamothe

Who remembers Disc-O-Logue?

Translation of an interview taken from Rendez-vous 92, the second annual joint bulletin of Yé-Yé Publications and SARMA (Société pour l'avancement de la recherche en musique d'agrément), conducted by Richard Baillargeon. It is reproduced with the kind permission of Richard Baillargeon.

Richard Baillargeon - Madame Lamothe has not said much until now. However, she has been very active too in a domain that is very close to music. I would like you to tell me about Disc-O-Logue; it's an activity that lasted many years!

Louise Lamothe - It began in '61. It was the only catalogue that listed all the records of French-language music from France or from Quebec. I did that until 1985.

RB - It was published for record stores?
LL - It was distributed in record stores and radio stations for record producers. This allowed record dealers, if someone asked them a title -- let's take for example La vie en rose - to find all the artists that had performed La vie en rose, the name of their company, the number of the record, and the date when it was put on the market.

Sometimes, the artists themselves didn't know that their record was on the market. For example, Monique Leyrac said to me 'That can't be. I didn't record Le petit bonheur on a 45 rpm.' I said 'Madame, I have it in my hands. It has the number 0814 on RCA.'

RB - It's kept somewhere today?
LL - It's at the National Library in Ottawa. They call it a gift to her majesty!

RB - How was the compilation carried out? Did every production house send you its lists or were there other steps that had to be taken?
LL - At the beginning, all the record companies gave me an annual fee to compile this information. But when I became involved in copyright, there were some companies that ceased to cooperate, perceiving me almost like an enemy for the use I could make of this information. At that juncture, I had to procure every new release that arrived on the market.

RB - Was this compilation called Disc-O-Logue up until 85?
LL - Yes. But I'm not talking here about the Best Sellers lists, it was really a catalogue.

RB - How many copies were published?
LL - I had about 550 subscribers throughout Quebec.

RB - So there were people who regularly received all these catalogues?
LL - Exactly.

RB - I had the impression, from the few examples I saw briefly, that Disc-O-Logue was a Best Sellers list distributed by Laval Records. What was the link between the company Laval and Disc-O-Logue?
LL - From the catalogue that I was publishing and which was in alphabetical order, I made a Best Sellers list at the request of certain stores and certain producers, one of which was Tony Choma from Laval Records. It was a double sheet with French and American Best Sellers list, and in the inside there were the new releases of the month. The Best Sellers list was established from research done through radio stations and record dealers. I would make 50 000 samples of them and I would send them to all the stores for free. Laval paid me for an advertisement that was printed on the pamphlet.

RB - How long did the Best Sellers lists last?
LL - Those lists lasted from 1962 to 1970, probably... until I began working with copyright.

RB - When you were working with copyright, was it through SODRAC?
LL - SODRAC appeared in 1985, after I had retired. It was called SDRM Canada. I founded it in 1969. From '69 to '85, I managed it. In '85, there was a desire to found a Canadian organization for mechanical rights. This was an amalgamation where the people of Quebec had 51% of the shares; SACEM and SDE shared the financial costs. SDE pulled out after two years and now SODRAC is financed 100% by SACEM and SDRM Paris, but it's a Canadian organization

RB - Since '85, have you continued to be interested in music?
LL - Not at all. I made a complete break. Whenever a variety show was on, I turned off the TV. For me, it was like a heartache. I had put so much heart into it. That ending was worse than a divorce! You see, I have a lot more enthusiasm to speak about the careers of others than to speak about myself.