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About Disc-O-Logue

What is Disc-O-Logue and the Disc-O-Logue Archive?

Disc-O-Logue was a music publication created by Louise Lamothe that lists French-language songs from Canada, France and other parts of the French-speaking world, which were available in Canada on LPs and 45-rpm discs from 1962 to 1979. Madame Lamothe saw the need for a French-language music catalogue not only for her own record store, but for other stores, companies and customers as well. Because of her professional interest in copyright and copyright agencies, Louise Lamothe also used Disc-O-Logue to document the copyrights applicable to each song. Disc-O-Logue proved to be an invaluable reference source used by music companies, record store owners and customers alike to locate performers, labels or titles of various songs on recordings.

The Disc-O-Logue Archive was acquired by the National Library of Canada from Madame Lamothe in 1986 to complement the Library's holdings of Canadian music and sound recordings. The Archive consists of copies of the Disc-O-Logue publication, the master card catalogue, and the record release information. In addition, the National Library has also been given copies of Disc-O-Logue Best Sellers lists which were also produced by Madame Lamothe.

The database that is part of this Web site contains information which was compiled by Madame Lamothe until February 1985, after Disc-O-Logue ceased publication. The Disc-O-Logue Web site will now make this information on what has been referred to as "The Golden Age" of French-language popular music available to researchers anywhere in the world.

The Disc-O-Logue Archive

The Disc-O-Logue archive has four main features:

  • Published Disc-O-Logue Catalogues
    The Disc-O-Logue catalogues were issued annually from 1962 to 1979. Each annual catalogue was a comprehensive list by song title, and included such data as performer, format, label name and issue number for each recording available in Canada at the time the catalogue was produced. The annual catalogues were supplemented by quarterly updates containing data under the same headings.
  • Disc-O-Logue Best Sellers Lists (Top 50 lists)
    These lists of popular songs were published separately from the Disc-O-Logue catalogues once or twice a month from approximately 1963 to 1966. The National Library of Canada has photocopies of a few of these charts which were donated by a researcher.

  • Master Card Catalogue
    This card catalogue was used by Louise Lamothe to keep track of the status of each song. There are approximately 90,000 cards which detail the title, composer, performer, label, issue number, release date, deletion date and often information on copyrights and other details about the record, such as the verso for many of the 45s. The card catalogue was started in 1958, before Disc-O-Logue started publication in 1962, and includes many recordings initially released in the 1950s. It also includes many cards detailing recordings released until February 1985, as Madame Lamothe continued to maintain her card catalogue after ceasing to publish the annual Disc-O-Logue catalogues.

    The card index was created before the days of personal computers. Each card was painstakingly typed by Louise Lamothe and many have hand-written annotations. At the time the National Library of Canada received this collection, the cards were divided into two alphabetically arranged sections - recorded songs available at the time Madame Lamothe ceased compiling the information, and recorded song-titles not available when Madame Lamothe ceased her work. It is this card catalogue which was used to create the Web site's Disc-O-Logue database.

  • Record Release Information
    Louise Lamothe first collected information on new record releases before she prepared each card. This information, collected from the record companies, is stored in binders on special "record release sheets" and organized by label and issue number. Included with these release sheets are thousands of Madame Lamothe's "Formule No.100" information sheets, a special form she created to aid in documenting titles, composers and copyright information.

    To amass and organize this steady stream of information, Madame Lamothe required a systematic approach. For more information on the process of creating Disc-O-Logue see Disc-O-Logue in the Making below.

The Scope of Disc-O-Logue

Louise Lamothe sought to be as inclusive as possible with Disc-O-Logue. French-language songs on different labels, both LPs and 45s, which were available in Canada are all included in her catalogue. She sought out information from record companies, solicited information on items that she saw in music stores but for which she had not received release information, and was as thorough as possible in her research. In an interview with Richard Baillargeon published in Rendez-vous 92 magazine, Madame Lamothe recalls surprising Monique Leyrac by showing her a 45-rpm version of the song «Le petit bonheur» that Leyrac didn't know existed. While Madame Lamothe tried to be comprehensive, as with most projects of this nature it is likely that some releases slipped through the process. It is also possible that some of the cards may have been misfiled or lost before the Library acquired the Disc-O-Logue Archive.

Where is Disc-O-Logue now?

Acquired from Louise Lamothe in 1986, Disc-O-Logue is now located in the Music Division of the National Library of Canada in Ottawa. Madame Lamothe's preliminary data, the data bank of 90,000 cards, and the published Disc-O-Logue are available to interested researchers. With the emergence of the Internet and database technology, it is now possible to search the Disc-O-Logue card catalogue on-line using a variety of search fields and search strategies. See Sample Searches for a variety of creative ways to search the Disc-O-Logue. Some Disc-O-Logue information can be matched with sound recordings held by the National Library of Canada (Connect to AMICUS Web for access to the National Library of Canada's online catalogue). These recordings are available for consultation at the National Library during regular business hours.