Friday 31 March 2023

Chou-Chou-be-doo, Where Are You?

In the mid-1980s, a young Belgian singer, known only as Baby Chou-Chou (occasionally credited as Baby Chouchou), released a half dozen singles in their own country – all of them awful and all worthy of a place in the World’s Worst Records Archive.


This singing moppet was initially presented to the world as a genderless star of the future - on some of their 45 sleeves Chou-Chou is styled as a girl, on others they look more boyish, possibly subscribing to Eddie Izzard’s maxim that ‘They’re not women’s clothes. They’re my clothes.’ The genderfluid outlook was enhanced somewhat by the choice of material, with songs such as Je Ne Suis Pas Une Fille à Papa (I am Not a Daddy’s Girl).


But she was a young girl, related in some way to Sicilian singer Di Quinto Rocco, born Rocco Befumo in May 1949; apparently, he chose the ‘di Quinto’ prefix as he was fed up with always coming fifth in singing competitions. According to Discogs, Baby Chou-Chou is Rocco’s Goddaughter, but I believe she may actually be his niece: at one point in the 1980s, he was performing with said niece, Christine Befumo, who now appears to be working in Italy and no longer involved in showbusiness. I have not been able to verify yet if Chou-Chou and Christine are one and the same, there is absolutely nothing about her on the ‘net or in any of the press archives I subscribe to, but I suspect as much.


The majority of Baby Chou-Chou’s output appeared on the Little Star label, a company that specialised in singing kiddies and that appears to have been owned by Di Quino Rocco. Other ‘singers’ (and I use that word advisedly) on the label include pre-teen boy Filippo Di Curto, the teeny winner of a kiddie talent show Pamela Chiffi, and Franco Befumo, Di Quino’s son. Most of the songs issued by the company were written (or co-written) by Rocco Befumo.


Rocco’s greatest successes came when he was singing with children. In 1980 his record company, Philips, paired him with a young girl singer called Cardillo Giusy for a ghastly single, the sugary and sentimental Je t’Aime Bien Papa (I Love You, Daddy), that the duo also recorded in Italian as Ti Voglio Molto Bene Papa. In 1981 the pair followed this up with the equally saccharine Bonne Fete Maman, and even to this day, Di Quinto Rocco can often be found performing alongside a pretty, albeit adult, woman. It made perfect sense to him to attempt to turn Baby Chou-Chou into a star. It’s just a shame that she, and the other children on his label, were so hideously untalented.


Anyway, until more detail can be uncovered about the young lady herself, here are a couple of tracks from her discography, namely the A-side of her 1988 single (her last, I believe) La Bière Aux Chocolats and, from 1986, On m’Appelle Belle (They Call Me Pretty).




Download Biere HERE


Download Belle HERE 


  1. Baby Chou-Chou looks a LOT like Jackie Earle Haley as Adore Loomis in The Day of the Locust (1975)!

  2. Oh. My. Ears! So bad it's good, so good it's bad - I don't know which!


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