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The Sound Kitchen

Who was Juliette Gréco’s beloved American jazzman?

Audio 21:19
Sound Kitchen Podcast
Sound Kitchen Podcast RFI
28 min

This week on The Sound Kitchen, you’ll hear the answer to the question about Juliette Gréco and her love affair with an American jazzman. There’s “On This Day”, Halloween greetings, “Ollia’s Happy Moment”, great music, and of course, the new quiz question. Just click on the “Audio” arrow above and enjoy!


Hello everyone! Welcome to The Sound Kitchen weekly podcast, published every Saturday – here on our website, or wherever you get your podcasts. You’ll hear the winners' names announced and the week’s quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you’ve grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and listen every week.

During the French lockdown to fight the Coronavirus last spring, we were constrained to stop broadcasting Paris Live, our afternoon news broadcast.

In the meanwhile, we are focusing on our digital presence, and making our website the best! You can read breaking news articles on our site, as well as in-depth analysis of current affairs, both in France and across the globe.

We are also developing new and exciting podcasts for you. Laura Angela Bagnetto’s Africa Calling has just made its debut, and more are on the way!

We already have several very good podcasts which you can listen to right now: there is the weekly World Music Matters, The Sound Kitchen, and the bi-weekly Spotlight on France. We have a new bilingual series if you would like to learn French – it’s called Les voisins du 12 bis.  And there is the excellent International Report, too.

As you see, sound is still quite present from the RFI English service!  Keep checking our website for updates on the latest from our excellent staff of journalists.

Send me your music requests! I’ll make programs of your favourite music when I can’t be in the kitchen to cook up something new for you … write to me at

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RFI Clubs: Be sure to always include Audrey Iattoni ( from our Listener Relations department on all your RFI Club correspondence. Remember to copy me ( when you write them so that I know what is going on, too. N.B. You do not need to send her your quiz answers! Email overload!

And don't forget, there is a Facebook page just for you, the RFI English Clubs. It is a closed group, so when you apply to join, be sure you include the name of your RFI Club and your membership number. Everyone can look at it, but only members of the group can post on it. If you haven’t yet asked to join the group, and you are a member of an independent, officially recognised RFI English Club, go to the Facebook link above and fill out the questionnaire!!!!! (if you do not answer the questions, I click “decline”).

There’s a Facebook page for members of the general RFI Listeners Club, too. Just click on the link and fill out the questionnaire, and you can connect with your fellow Club members around the world. Be sure you include your RFI Listeners Club membership number (most of them begin with an A, followed by a number) in the questionnaire, or I will have to click “Decline”, which I don’t like to do!

To join the RFI Listeners Club, just write to me at and tell me you want to join, and I’ll send you a membership number. It’s that easy. When you win a Sound Kitchen quiz as an RFI Listeners Club member, you receive a premium prize.

Welcome to our new RFI Listeners Club member: Mouad Belgrid from Taroudant, Morocco.

So glad you have joined us, Mouad !

You too can be a member of the RFI Listeners Club – just write to me at and tell me you want to join, and I’ll send you a membership number. It’s that easy. When you win a Sound Kitchen quiz as an RFI Listeners Club member, you receive a premium prize.

This week’s quiz: On 3 October, I asked you a question about Juliette Gréco, the famous French singer. She had a passionate love affair with an American jazzman, and I asked you to write in with his name.

The answer is: Miles Davis, the great jazz composer and trumpeter.

The tale of the affair is a sad one: Miles Davis was Black, and Juliette Gréco was white. They met in 1949, when racism in the US was even more appalling than it is now.

As RFI English journalist Alison Hird wrote in her article “Remembering Juliette Gréco, Grand Dame of la chanson française”:

“When Jean-Paul Sartre asked Davis why he didn’t propose to her, the musician replied: ‘Because I love her too much to make her unhappy’.

He considered she'd be seen as a "negro's whore" in the US and her career would be destroyed.

His point was proven some years later when Gréco invited Davis to dine at a posh hotel in New York.

Service was shameful and the staff visibly shocked to see a sophisticated white woman with a Black man.

At the end, Gréco took the waiter’s hand as if to kiss it, then spat in his palm.”

The winners are: Ms Fatematuj Zahra, the co-secretary of the Shetu RFI Listeners Club in Naogaon, Bangladesh; Shahzad Shabbir, the president of the RFI Pak France International Listeners Club in Sahiwal, Pakistan; Mrs Nafisa Khatun, the president of the RFI Mahila Shrota Sangha Club and Miss Mousumi Khatun, a member of the RFI International DX Radio Listeners Club, both from West Bengal, India, and RFI Listeners Club member Mr Arne Timm from Harjumaa, Estonia.

Congratulations winners!

Here’s the music you heard on this week’s program: The prelude to the soundtrack for the film Farenheit 451, composed by Bernard Hermann and performed by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra conducted by William Stromberg; "Déshabillez moi" by Gaby Verlor and Robert Nyel, sung by Juliette Gréco; “Flamenco Sketches” by Miles Davis and Bill Erwan, performed by Miles Davis and the Miles Davis Quintet; “The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov; “Alma del sol” composed by Enrico Macias and Bruno Bongarçon, performed by the composers, and “Autumn Leaves” written by Joseph Kosma, Jacques Prévert, and Johnny Mercer, and sung by Edith Piaf.

Do you have a musical request? Send it to

This week’s question ... You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 30 November to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 5 December podcast. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answers to:


Susan Owensby

RFI – The Sound Kitchen

80, rue Camille Desmoulins

92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux



By text … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen mobile phone. Dial your country’s international access code, or “ + ”, then 33 6 31 12 96 82. Don’t forget to include your mailing address in your text – and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

To find out how you can win a special Sound Kitchen prize, click here

To find out how you can become a member of the RFI Listeners Club, or to form your own official RFI Club, click here


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