The Death of Aldo Martinez
By Jean 'Charles' Smaine

His name could sound spanish, but Aldo Martinez was born in Tunisia on September 18, 1940 and died on May 22, 1996. Why a tribute article on that guy? For those (not only french) like me who grew up by first listening Rock 'n' Roll music from their own country and in their own language it's easy to understand that the Black Stockings (Les Chaussettes Roires in french) were one of the most important early influences. I was only 11 (maybe 12!) at that time and through Eddy Mitchell and his band with Aldo Martirez I discovered the greats like Gene Vincent and so many others. Eddy Mitchell and the Chaussettes Roires were together between 1960 and about 1962. Mitchell kept on as a solo singer from autumn 62 but in the meantime a lot of pearls were recorded from Baby Blue (Betty) to Jezebel through the unforgettable Daniela, Be Bop A Lula (fast moving tempo), Unchained melody (Les Enchaines), Peppermint Twist & so many others...

Influenced both by the Shadows & Blue Caps'sounds, Aldo Martinez was the most involved in the Blue Cap vocal style in most part of their great french successes as well of course in their cover versions of Presley, Vincent or even Everly's classics. When Mitchell left the Chaussettes Roires, Martinez joined him before working with other historical names in France like Vic Laurens (another early 60's french rockin' pioneer), Claude Francois & Dick Rivers. He was even a producer for a living-dead country singer, Marilyn who released an album on french Polydor, then worked with the great late Rockin'Rebels, singer-actor Jean Pierre Kalfon and through his long time association (from 1975) with producer / manager-author Paul Lederman he met the late Coluche and worked along with him for years after the creation of Les Restos du Coeur (Heart Restaurants) still giving free food to homeless people by tons since then...

Aldo Martinez returned to earth on June 1. William Benaim & Michel Gaucher (also sax for Vince Taylor & Johnny Hallyday) were among the ones who paid him a tribute on that day: Dick Rivers, actress veronique Genest, Paul Lederman, journalist Maurice Achard, actor Ticky Holgado, singers Joel Dayde & Frankie Jordan (60's stars), Jean Michel Boris (Olympia theater), three original members of the french 60's Pirates, Roger Weber (club Mitchell) & Duvaleix (club Rivers) & Francois Jouffa (Europe I radio/book writer} were among the 100 people there on his grave.

In November '60, Paris, William Benaim (lead guitar), Tony d'Arpa (rhythm guitar), Aldo Martinez (bass guitar), Jean Pierre Chichportich (drums) recorded with Claude Moine (alias Eddy Mitchell) the following songs under their original name of 5 Rocks (les Cinq Rock in french) Be Bop A Lula, Tant pis pour toi (Wild cat); Betty (Baby Blue) and L'ours gris (Running bear) by Big Bopper - Johnny Preston. The later song never was published before. Jacky Chalard who just recreated the famous 80's Big Beat label apologises as he just released those four songs with Eddy Mitchell's agreement on a 10 inch on late '96. This was scheduled for long time before and not a shocking commercial action but that way may be considered as a special tribute. If you're interested in one copy or more information send 2 IRC's to:

Cia Music 3
Rue du Haut Koenigsbourg
67600 Ebersheim / France

This is a very limited edition!!

Thanks to: Jean Louis Rancurel, Jacques Assolen (Eddy Mitchell club), Christian Salset (Club Dick Rivers), Francois Jouffa, Roger Weber, Jean William Thoury (Jukebox Mag. France), Alain Laville (TV 7 Jours mg. France) and all the known & unknown Aldo's friends & fans.