“Pour toi” and “Feelings” (Sentimientos, Dime, Dis-lui)

1975 Feelings-Morris Albert (LP) RCA Victor APL1-1018 (back)-d30

Morris Albert’s 1973 recording of a song that he wrote called “Feelings” was a big hit in 1974. Yet after a lengthy 1980s copyright infringement suit by French composer Louis Gasté was eventually decided in favor of the plaintiff, Gasté was legally named as co-songwriter of “Feelings.” Although there was only flimsy conjectural evidence to support the infringement claims (according to my reading of the case), a 1987 jury verdict in Federal District Court in Manhattan decided that the song had been adapted by Albert from the song “Pour toi,” composed in 1956 by Gasté, with lyrics by Albert Simonin and his wife Marie-Hélène Bourquin.

The claim made by the plaintiff Gasté that Albert “gained access” to the virtually unknown song “Pour toi” through his publisher Fermata, which “had had some dealings with Gasté’s publishing company, Les Editions Louis Gasté, in the 1950s” was unaccompanied by evidence that such access was ever obtained.

“Pour toi” had been recorded by the singer and actress Line Renaud, wife of Gasté, in 1956, and performed by Dario Moreno in the 1957 film Le feu aux poudres. The arrangements of the song used by Moreno in the film and in a separate studio recording with an orchestra sound very little like Morris Albert’s 1973 recording of “Feelings,” though portions of the melody are similar. Parts of the 1956 recording by Line Renaud have slightly greater resemblance to “Feelings,” melodically and in tone, but not enough to leap to the conclusion that the melody of “Feelings” was copied or stolen from the French song.

Morris Albert released an alternate version of “Feelings” with a Spanish-language lyric, titled “Sentimentos,” in 1974. The same single was released in some countries under the title “Dime. In 1975, Israeli-born French pop star Mike Brant recorded a version of “Feelings” titled “Dis-lui” (“Tell him”), with the French lyric written by Michel Jourdan.

Line Renaud and Loulou Gasté (1)Line Renaud (1)

Pour toi (m. Louis Gasté, w. Albert Simonin, Marie-Hélène Bourquin)

Line Renaud — title song from the 1956 EP Pathé ‎(France) 45 EG 232

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Dario Moreno — in the 1957 film Le feu aux poudres

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1957 Imploration (EP) Dario Moreno- Philips 432.182 NE

Dario Moreno — from the 1957 EP Imploration, Philips 432.182 NE

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Feelings-Morris Albert (LP) RCA Victor APL1-1018, released in 1974

Feelings (m. Louis Gasté, Morris Albert, w. Morris Albert)

Morris Albert

Feelings — issued in 1974 on the single RCA Victor PB-10279, b/w “This World Today is a Mess” — US chart success: #6, Hot 100; #2, Adult Contemporary; also later released on the 1975 LP Feelings, RCA Victor ‎APL1-1018

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1974 Sentimientos-Morris Albert-(Brazil) Beverly 45-13.508

Sentimientos  — issued in 1974 on the singles Beverly ‎ 45-13.508 (Venezuela), Charger Records DF 510 (Argentina), Disfal QS-19 (Chile), and in 1975 on Padisco P-533 (Panama) — This recording was released in some countries (including the US, Mexico, and Columbia) under the title “Dime.” The songwriting is credited solely to Morris Albert on the label in each case. However, a recording of the song under the title “Sentimientos” released by Mexican singer José José in 1974 has a different lyric.

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