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Gilbert Becaud


Toulon, France


October 24, 1927

About Gilbert Becaud

Referred to as “Monsieur 100,000 Volts” for his dynamic stage presence, Gilbert Bécaud was considered one of France’s hottest singers through the 1950s and ’60s, and loved a profession of greater than 4 many years in present enterprise. Bécaud is greatest identified for his 1961 smash “Et Maintenant,” which grew to become a pop customary within the English-speaking world after it was translated as “What Now My Love.” He was additionally an occasional movie actor, a extremely profitable songwriter with over 150 credit, and an bold composer who accomplished a Christmas cantata, an opera, and a Broadway stage musical. However his main impression got here as a singer. In an period when cabaret vocalists remained largely stationary on-stage, Bécaud’s energetic showmanship drove his audiences right into a frenzy, as they strove to match his boundless enthusiasm. He grew to become a daily presence at Paris’ legendary Olympia live performance theater, the place he carried out over 30 instances — greater than every other artist. A notoriously heavy smoker, Bécaud succumbed to lung most cancers in 2001, however stored performing virtually proper as much as the top.nnBécaud was born François Gilbert Léopold Foolish on October 24, 1927, within the Mediterranean port metropolis of Toulon, France. He developed shortly as a pianist, and by age 9, he was already learning on the Conservatoire de Good. His schooling was interrupted by World Conflict II, and he left faculty in 1942 to hitch his household in Albertville and work for the French Resistance motion. After the battle, the household settled in Paris, and the 20-year-old François started enjoying piano in cabarets and nightclubs. Across the identical time, he additionally began composing music for movies below the identify François Bécaud, and likewise met songwriter Maurice Vidalin, who sparked his curiosity in writing pop songs within the conventional chanson fashion. In 1948, Bécaud began penning materials for singer Marie Bizet; by her, he met songwriter Pierre Delanoé, who would be part of Bécaud and Vidalin to forge a extremely profitable inventive partnership. In 1950, Bécaud took a job as touring pianist for singer Jacques Tablets, one other connection made by Bizet. Whereas on tour in America, the 2 met legendary singer Edith Piaf, and wrote her a success music, “Je T’Ai Dans la Peau.” Tablets and Piaf married, and Bécaud served as Piaf’s accompanist and supervisor for a short while. In 1952, he modified his stage identify to Gilbert Bécaud, made his performing debut as a singer, received married, and made essential songwriting connections with Louis Amade and the younger Charles Aznavour. Thanks partially to Piaf’s advocacy, Bécaud received the possibility to document as a singer, and minimize his first two singles — “Mes Mains” and “Les Croix” — in 1953; the songs had been written by Delanoé and Amade, respectively, and helped set up Bécaud as an up-and-coming expertise. In early 1954, Bécaud made his first look on the Olympia live performance corridor, serving as a supporting act on the evening of its reopening. He returned as a headliner in February 1955 and delivered an thrilling, star-making efficiency at which the teenage crowd went wild and began ripping the seats out of the theater. The stir captured the creativeness of the French press, who nicknamed Bécaud “Monsieur 100,000 Volts”; all of the publicity successfully catapulted him into the entrance rank of French singers. Bécaud scored quite a few hits over the rest of the ’50s, together with “La Corrida” (1956), “Les Marchés de Provence” (1957), “Le Jour où la Pluie Viendra” (1957; written with Delanoé), and “C’est Merveilleux l’Amour” (1958), amongst others. Moreover, “Le Jour où la Pluie Viendra” was tailored into “The Day the Rains Got here,” and recorded for a chart-topping U.Ok. hit by Jane Morgan in 1958. It was the primary of a number of Bécaud numbers that may discover wider success by way of English translations, and he consolidated his rising popularity with intensive worldwide touring. Bécaud additionally dabbled in movie performing throughout this era, making his first look in 1956’s Le Pays d’où Je Viens and persevering with in 1957’s On line casino de Paris and 1959’s Croquemitoufle. In 1960, Bécaud received the distinguished Grand Prix du Disque award, and composed an prolonged vacation work, a cantata titled “L’enfant à l’Étoile,” which was broadcast on reside tv from a Paris church on Christmas Eve. He additionally scored one other enormous hit with “Je T’Appartiens,” which grew to become a U.S. Prime Ten hit for the Everly Brothers as “Let It Be Me”; the music was later recorded by soul singers James Brown and Jerry Butler, nation star Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, and lots of extra. Bécaud scored the most important hit of his profession in 1961 with “Et Maintenant,” a music he co-wrote with Pierre Delanoé that wound up rating amongst French pop’s all-time classics. Translated into English as “What Now My Love,” it grew to become an ordinary in America and Britain as effectively, recorded by Shirley Bassey, Sonny u0026 Cher (a U.S. Prime 20 hit in 1966), Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Andy Williams, and numerous others. In 1962, Bécaud accomplished work on a full-fledged opera, L’Opéra d’Aran, which premiered in Paris that October with Georges Prêtre conducting; he spent a great a part of 1964 touring Europe with it. In the meantime, the pop hits stored coming: “Un Dimanche à Orly” (1963), the large hit “Nathalie” (1964; most likely his second best-known music), “Quand Il Est Mort le Poète” (1965), the controversial pro-de Gaulle anthem “Tu le Regretteras” (1965), and “L’Vital C’est le Rose” (1967). Additionally, “Seul Sur Son Étoile” was tailored into the English-language hit “It Should Be Him,” which Vikki Carr took into the U.S. Prime 5 in 1967. Bécaud continued his intensive worldwide touring, and appeared ceaselessly on French tv through the late ’60s. Bécaud targeted much more on touring than recording through the ’70s, however continued to hit the charts periodically, and maintained a wholesome share of his reputation regardless of altering musical tastes in France. He had one other main hit with 1970’s “La Solitude, Ça N’Existe Pas,” and briefly returned to performing over 1972-1973, with appearances in Roberto Muller’s Un Homme Libre and Claude Lelouch’s Toute Une Vie. He was compelled to take a while off in late 1973 resulting from exhaustion, and by this level in his profession, his continual smoking was starting to precise a toll on his voice. Nonetheless, he managed to maintain up a busy touring schedule, and returned to motion in early 1974 to be named Chevalier within the Legion d’Honneur; the distinction was introduced by his previous songwriting associate Louis Amade, who was additionally a outstanding civil servant. In 1975, Bécaud scored his solely U.Ok. hit with the Prime Ten “A Little Love and Understanding,” the English-language model of “Un Peu d’Amour et d’Amitie.” He started writing with Pierre Grosz in 1976, together with the hit “Mais où Sont-Ils les Jours Heureux?,” and had one other success with 1977’s “L’Indifférence,” written with longtime collaborator Maurice Vidalin. After a break within the late ’70s, Bécaud co-wrote Neil Diamond’s grownup up to date smashes “September Morn” (1980) and “Love on the Rocks” (1981), and revitalized his personal recording profession with the 1982 hit “Desirée.” In 1986, his stage musical Madame Roza — written with lyricist/librettist Julian Extra — opened in America to a lot larger success than it had loved in France, and moved on to Broadway the next yr. Bécaud switched from EMI to BMG in 1988, and issued his first album for the label, Fais-Moi Signe, later that yr. Following his mom’s loss of life in 1991, he launched into a whirlwind tour of the world, after which he contemplated retirement. First, although, he launched the autobiographical album Un Vie Comme un Roman (A Life Like a Novel) in early 1993. He spent the following few years stress-free and nursing his well being at his numerous houses, together with a houseboat he stored on the Seine River in Paris. He continued to put in writing, nonetheless, and returned in late 1996 with the album Ensemble. The next yr, he celebrated his 70th birthday with yet one more sequence of concert events on the Olympia, and in 1999 launched the low-key acoustic album Faut Faire Avec…. By the top of that yr, Bécaud knew he was affected by lung most cancers, and placed on one other sequence of reveals on the Olympia that proved to be his farewell to the venue. He gave his remaining reside efficiency in Switzerland in July 2000, and subsequently entered the studio to document his remaining album, Le Cap. He handed away in his Seine River houseboat on December 18, 2001. ~ Steve Huey

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