On June 16, 1962, Jeunesse d'aujourd'hui was born, a program that would define an entire generation until 1974. Every Saturday afternoon, studio A at TVA was packed to the gills with young girls swooning in front of the celebrity hosts, Pierre Lalonde and Joël Denis, the two Don Juans of Quebec's pop music scene. Outside the studio, crowds of wildly ecstatic teenagers had to be turned back from the doors to the studio every Saturday night.
In those days, pop music groups were sprouting everywhere, a current of nonconformity and freedom was blowing on young people the world over, and "yé-yé" and miniskirts were all the rage.
The program welcomed the variety artists of the time, who came on the show to lip-sync popular favourites: Michèle Richard, Jenny Rock, Tony Roman, César and the Romains, Donald Lautrec, Les Classels and many others, against a background of vivacious gogo dancers. Indeed, Jeunesse d'aujourd'hui was the unparalleled vehicle for 1960s music. A genuine TV idol, Pierre Lalonde himself would sing about all kinds of trivial subjects to stirring and spirited beats. The "yé-yé" was a means for singing songs in French, somewhat like what was going on in the United States with American teenagers, even though several of these songs were translations of American pieces, at the time.
In 1971, Jeunesse d'aujourd'hui became Jeunesse, and Jacques Salvail took over the helm until the program left the air, in 1974.
Written by Yvon Chouinard - September, 2008