In association with

French singers

France has produced many great singers, like Edith Piaf and Charles Aznavour. Here are some choice selections to introduce you to the likes of these famous singers.
 

Charles Aznavour


He was born Varenagh Aznavourian, on May 22, 1924, in Paris as the son of Armenian immigrants who had fled to France. They settled down in Paris. His artist parents introduced him early into the world of theatre. At the age of three, Charles made his stage debut reciting an Armenian poem in front of a 600 people audience. His uncle said: "He will be a great artist!" At the age of nine he announced that he wanted to be a chansonnier. 
That same year he began playing and singing and soon toured through France and Belgium eight months a year. Grewing up he took the stage name Aznavour, met Pierre Roche, with whom he formed a partnership. They went everwhere, performing their songs in the whole country. 
Hazardly Edith Piaf heard about him and this became the most important relationship of Aznavour's professional life. She took him with her on tour in France and to the United States. 
Writing various successful songs for other singers, Aznavour finally triumphed singing in 1954 at the Olympia Music Hall. 
He is a populist, was never self-conscious. The variety of his songs is impressive, he wrote over 1000, made 100 records and played in 60 films and still doesn't stop. 
He is often called the "Frank Sinatra of France".

Now chose between these great CDs that show his wonderful work.


Greatest Golden Hits

Greatest Golden Hits 
Charles Aznavour 

20 of his greatest songs in English. Enjoy this wonderful songs of the balladeer of this century, Charles Aznavour. Very interesting arrangements. ("La Boheme", "Ave Maria", "I'll be there" and many others) 

1 Audio CD (April 23, 1996) 
 Buy now!

20 Chansons D'Or [IMPORT] 
Charles Aznavour 

Enjoy this wonderful lyrics by Charles Aznavour. 20 chansons that make you feel the French ambiance! ("Le Temps", "Je M'Voyais Déjà", "Les Deux Guitares", ...) 

1 Audio CD (March 16, 1999) 
 Buy now!

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Maurice Chevalier



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Gigi (1958)

"Paris has two monuments: the Eiffel tower and Maurice Chevalier" 
(Jean Cocteau) 

Maurice Chevalier - a real Frenchman and gentleman! 

Born in 1888 in Paris, Chevalier started his professional career in 1901 as a singer and comedian. 
His first musical "Innocents of Paris" started  in Hollywood in 1929. Two times (for "The Love Parade" (1929/1930) and "The Big Pond" (1929/1930)) he was nominated for Academy Awards. He often played the roles of lovers in his movies and became famous, also with his songs, such as "Mimi", "Louise", and "Valentine". 
In the late 1950's he appeared in the movie "Gigi" and received in 1959 a special Academy Award for his contributions to the world of entertainment.  He continued his one-man shows around the world until 1968, when he retired from the stage. His last work was the title song in "The Aristocats", the Disney movie of 1970. 

His private life was not so lucky. His only "true" love was his mother who died in the 1930s and his audience that adored him. 

Enjoy now his unforgetable songs and films! On this page you will find a fine selection of his work. 

Encore Maurice! 
Maurice Chevalier 
A great CD with 19 famous Chevalier songs: Enjoy "Sweepin' the clouds away", "Mama Inez", "Toi et moi" and "Mon coeur"! 
1 Audio CD (November 17, 1992) 
 Buy now!

 Fleur De Paris 
Maurice Chevalier 
Here are his great songs in French: "Fleur de Paris", "Partout c'est l'amour", "Mon vieux Paris" and other wonderful chansons! 
1 Audio CD (April 30, 1997) 
 Buy now!

Gigi (1958) 
Starring: Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier and others. 
Director: Vincente Minnelli 
Playing in Paris at the turn of the century, this wonderful musical film, based on a book by Collette, tells the story of a little French girl becoming a stunning woman. Chevalier in one of his best roles! 
The songs "Gigi," "Thank Heaven for Little Girls," and "Ah, Yes, I Remember It Well." are included. 9 Academy Award Nominations, 9 Academy Awards. 
Edition details: NTSC format (US and Canada only), Color, Closed-captioned, HiFi Sound, NTSC 
 Buy now!
 

 Maurice Chevalier : Up on Top of a Rainbow 
by David Bret 
A great biography about life and work of Maurice Chevalier. David Bret is known for his wonderful biographies of famous artists. 
Hardcover - 241 pages (October 1993) 
 Buy now!

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Edith Piaf


Edith Giovanna Gassion, known as Edith Piaf, was born on 19th December 1915 on the streets of Paris. Her parents, both artists, did not take much care of her. She spent most of her life in Paris. 
In 1932 she met and fell in love with Louis Dupont from whom she got a child in 1933. Singing on the Parisian streets to earn some money she was discovered in September 1935 by Louis Leplée, a man that changed her life. He invited her to meet him at his club Gerny's. Her name was changed into Piaf, the French argot word for "sparrow". 
From the beginning she was loved by her audience, though her private life was very troubled. 
In 1939 she met Jean Cocteau who became a good friend of her presenting her to many artists and intellectuals of the day. 
"Le Bel Indifferent", Cocteau's play written for and starring Edith, had an enormous succes in 1940. During WW2, as the Germans occupied Paris, she was in great demand and very successful. Now her association with the French Resistance is well known and many owed their lives to her as a result. 

She stared in some films and had these world famous songs like "Je ne regrette rien" or "La vie en rose". Though her life was not too long (she died in 1963) she will never be forgotten and her songs will always be remembered! 

On this page we have listed a biography that tells more about her troubled life and a great CD that presents the best of her work. Enjoy!


The Voice Of The Sparrow: Very Best Of Edith Piaf 
Edith Piaf 
The Little Sparrow, Edith Piaf, was one of the great singers. A strong, bold, and passionate voice. Songs as "Milord," "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien," “La vie en rose” and "La Vie, L'Amour," are included here together with other classics. 
1 Audio CD (July 30, 1991) 
Buy now!

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Jacques Brel


 

Jacques Brel - A legendary poet, performer, musician, actor and director 

He was born April 8 1929 in Shaarbeek, a small city north of Brussels in Belgium. 

Arno once said "Brel is the biggest singer-songwriter of all times. A wonderful human being : a loner, a brilliant story-teller, an excellent singer, a very good actor. And the energy on stage, and the things he was telling there ... that's pure rock'n'roll." 
In 1953 he tries it : he records a 78-tour with two songs ("La foire" and "Il y a"). The record is discovered in Paris and he decides to go there. Singing in cabarets and music-halls he earns some money, but remains unnoticed until 1957 with the song "Quand on a que l'amour". 
In his texts he speaks about  friendship, love, the belief in God, also anti-clericalism, death, generosity and various other topics. For him the words were always more important than the music itself. A message should be sent across. His texts tell the real life, his experiences and those of others. He plays with the words, loves neologisms. The best was to see him live on stage where he expressed his songs with wide gestures. 
Some songs were recorded also in Flemish, he never denied his Belgian roots, sang about his life in Bruxelles 
In 1967, he says goodbye to the stage after the musical "L'homme de La Mancha". In 1973, he goes to the Iles Marquises and stays there until 1977 when he returns to Paris and records another album. 
He dies October 9 in 1978, diagnose lung cancer. He is buried on the cemetery of Atuone on the island of Hiva-Oa on Tahiti. 

Brel is one of the most covered artists. Among the interprets of his music are Neil Diamond, Shirley Bassey, Frank Sinatra, Petula Clark, Ray Charles, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen,... 
Terry Jacks once said: " Brel's language was universal and the intensity of the performance overflowed the boundary of such a limiting definition as 'singer'." 
Now 20 years after his death, almost nothing of that impact of Jacques Brel has been lost. 

Enjoy his famous songs!


Master Series

Master Series 
Jacques Brel 
In this collection of Jacques Brel, one of the best writers of lyrics ever and a famous Belgian singer, are some of his best songs like “Ne me quitte pas” or “Vesoul". A must for French music amateurs! 
1 Audio CD (October 17, 1988) 
 Buy now!

Jaques Brel 
Jacques Brel 
Also on this CD you can find the best songs of Jaques Brel. Discover his unique voice! 
Audio CD (April 9, 1999) 
 Buy now!

 

Serge Gainsbourg



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Evguenie Sokolov

Serge Gainsbourg's fast paced and scandalous lifestyle made him famous in France. He took advantage of the spotlight at every opportunity. 
Being the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, he tried as a painter before turning to music and working as a pianist in some bars and cabarets. He released his first record "Du Chant A La Une!" in 1958 at the age of thirty and spent the next years in a very productive way. His big ears and prominent nose even helped him to play little roles in a few early 1960's Italian movies. 
Gainsbourg wanted to break free from old-fashioned chanson and explore new musical grounds, influenced by British and American pop. In 1958, he was artistically enamored with Miles Davis. Gainsbourg adored jazz and all the various jazzmen who he invited to record with him, agreed that Gainsbourg's jazz work was very good. 
Collaborating with Serge Gainsbourg meant more than just a studio relationship between the singer and his musicians. He took part in their lives. 
Gainsbourg did never sell his soul or talent. He did what he wanted to do, not paying attention to what the others said. 
His most famous song, "Je t'aime ... moi non plus", vocally very erotical and originally recorded with Brigitte Bardot, came at least on the market with the voice of Jane Birkin, because Bardot hesitated. It was too "hot".  The song was censored in various countries and in France the reprint was even supressed. 
Gainsbourg died in 1991.

Three compilations by Serge Gainsbourg: Du Jazz Dans Le Ravin
Serge Gainsbourg 
The first CD shows his work of the years 1958-64 with Gainsbourg's adoration of jazz. ("Ce Mortel Ennui", "Coco And Co", "Negative Blues", ...) 
1 Audio CD (February 11, 1997) 
 Buy now!

Comic Strip 
Serge Gainsbourg 
This CD runs only three years, 1966-69, where he follows the pop trends of the time ("Bonnie and Clyde", the famous "Je t'aime... moi non plus" with Jane Birkin, ...) 
1 Audio CD (February 11, 1997) 
Buy now!

Couleur Cafe 
Serge Gainsbourg 
Couleur Cafe, the third CD, features material from 1958 through 1975 and explores Latin and bossa nova rhythms. ("Cha Cha Cha Du Loup", "Laissez Moi Tranquille", "Marabout", ...) 
1 Audio CD (February 11, 1997) 
 Buy now!

 Evguenie Sokolov 
by Serge Gainsbourg, Russell Mael (Afterword), John Weightman (Translator), Doreen Weightman 
The only novel Gainsbourg wrote. Enjoy his special language! 
Paperback - 84 pages 1 edition (September 28, 1998) 
 Buy now!


 

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