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
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.
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)
CD (April 23, 1996)
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", ...)
CD (March 16, 1999)
has two monuments: the Eiffel tower and Maurice Chevalier"
Maurice Chevalier - a real Frenchman and gentleman!
in 1888 in Paris, Chevalier started his professional career in 1901 as
a singer and comedian.
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.
Chevalier : Up on Top of a Rainbow
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!
Voice Of The Sparrow: Very Best Of 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)
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.
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."
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,...
Enjoy his famous songs!
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)
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.
compilations by Serge Gainsbourg: Du
Jazz Dans Le Ravin
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