Biography All Music Guide
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.