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Lucienne Boyer

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  • Years Active: 1930s

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Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

Lucienne Boyer is a French vocalist who was popular in the 1930s and is best known for the song "Parlez-moi d'Amour." Born Émilienne-Henriette Boyer on August 18, 1903, in Paris, France, she began her performance career as a cabaret singer in the Montparnasse Quarter of Paris where she grew up. In the 1920s she advanced from cabarets to music halls, where she was ultimately discovered by Polish-born American theater owner Lee Shubert, who presented her with the opportunity to perform on Broadway in New York City. After her time in New York City, Boyer returned to France and was a recording star on Columbia Records. Though her recording career began in the mid-'20s, her biggest hit came in 1930 with "Parlez-moi d'Amour," a timeless classic written by Jean Lenoir. Adapted into English by Bruce Sievier, the song was performed overseas as "Speak to Me of Love" and popularized by Bing Crosby, Tony Martin, Ray Conniff, and others over the years. Boyer remained active as a recording artist throughout the 1930s and well into the '40s; however, her career was sidelined greatly during the early '40s by the outbreak of World War II. In 1939, before the war had yet ravaged France, she married fellow cabaret singer Jacques Pills, a Jewish man, which presented problems during the war. On April 23, 1941, they gave birth to their daughter Jacqueline, who, like her mother, would become a successful singer, memorably winning the 1960 Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Tom Pillibi." After the conclusion of World War II, Boyer's career underwent a resurgence of popularity. An assortment of greatest-hits collections were compiled from time to time, and "Parlez-moi d'Amour" was frequently compiled on various-artists collections chronicling the era. Boyer died on September 6, 1983, in Paris.

Wikipedia:

Lucienne Boyer (18 August 1903 – 6 December 1983) was a French diseuse and singer, best known for her song "Parlez-moi d'amour". Her impresario was Bruno Coquatrix.

^ Mansfield News Journal 9 Nov 1934 pg. 20

Early career[edit]

She was born as Émilienne-Henriette Boyer in the Montparnasse Quarter of Paris, France. Her melodious voice gave her the chance, while working as a part-time model, to sing in the cabarets of Montparnasse. An office position at a prominent Parisian theater opened the door for her and within a few years she was cast as Lucienne Boyer, singing in the major Parisian music halls.

Popular success[edit]

In 1927, Boyer sang at a concert by the great star Félix Mayol where she was seen by the American impresario Lee Shubert who immediately offered her a contract to come to Broadway. Boyer spent nine months in New York City, returning to perform there and to South America numerous times throughout the 1930s. By 1933 she had made a large number of recordings for Columbia Records of France including her signature song, " Parlez-moi d'amour". Written by Jean Lenoir, the song won the first-ever Grand Prix du Disque of the Charles Cros Academy.

Personal life[edit]

Boyer lost her soldier father in World War I and had to go to work in a munitions factory to help her family get by.

In 1939, she married the cabaret singer Jacques Pills of the very popular duo Pills et Tabet. Their daughter Jacqueline, born on 23 April 1941, followed in their footsteps, becoming a very successful singer who won the 1960 Eurovision Song Contest.

Throughout World War II, Boyer continued to perform in France, but for her Jewish husband, it was a very difficult time. Following the Allied Forces liberation of France, her cabaret career flourished and for another thirty years, she maintained a loyal following. At the age of 73, she sang with her daughter at the famous Paris Olympia and appeared on several French television shows.

Death[edit]

She died in Paris, and was interred in the Cimetière de Bagneux in Montrouge, near Paris.