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Thursday March 1, 2018 at 2:46pm Age: 292 days
Category: High School


Getting by as a singer, under the shadow of her brother Taj Mahal, was not what Carole Fredericks had in mind, growing up musical in Springfield, MA. Determined to make her own mark somewhere else, she bought a one-way ticket to Paris, France.

Fredericks' very successful singing career in France was the focus of a Black History celebration in Mr. Gunn’s French 4 and 5 classes. Through music videos, students were introduced to the music of the "Fredericks Goldman Jones" trio, a collaboration between Carole Fredericks, the hugely popular French singer-songwriter Jean-Jacques Goldman, and the Welsh musician Michael Jones. They wrote songs and toured together for about six years in the 1990s. Students followed the song lyrics printed in their Carole Fredericks packet. 

Student reflections
(translated from French)...

“I like history, music, and French, a lot, of course! I am very impressed and happy that Mr.Gunn was able to link the three subjects into a pleasant and informational lesson. I appreciated listening to Carole Fredericks' music and message.” -- Brandon Bell, French 5.

"My reaction to today's lesson is that no matter your race, sex, age, language, political opinions, or anything else that may differ from others, we are all the same. Carole Fredericks was different from the majority but she followed her dreams by becoming a singer and she changed the world with her music and the message behind her music." -- Emma Krish, French 5.

"My favorite song was ‘Respire’ because it had a good beat, but I also really liked “Un, Deux,Trois” for its inclusion of different instruments from other cultures." -- Danielle Bellettiere, French 5

As a songwriter, Carole Fredericks was inspired by such diverse themes as missed opportunities, environmental issues, stress, the Holocaust, and the birth of rock and roll.

In spite of the generational distance between Fredericks’ music and the students, they related to the themes and found the genre both familiar and enduring.