Sunday, July 15, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Mistinguett

Song:Ca! C'est Paris
Album:Mistinguette La Vedette

The French cabaret performer Mistinguett was the highest paid female performer in the world in the early 1900s. She performed in all the big Paris shows and was in plenty of silent films. But by the late 20s, she was superceded by the more risque image of Josephine Baker. Mistinguett faded into the background until her 1956 death. She was born Jeanne Bourgeois Apr. 5, 1875 in the Paris suburb Enghien-les-Bains, France and grew up in the nearby town Soucy-sous-Montmorency. Her parents were mattress makers. Jeanne wanted to be an entertainer at an early age and took theatre and singing lessons. While on a train to Paris for a violin lesson, she met Casino de Paris director Saint-Marcel. He hired her first as a stage hand and then she performed under different names before settling on Mistinguett. She debuted at Casino de Paris in 1895 and also appeared at Follies Bergere and Moulin Rouge. Though she doesn't have a great singing voice, Mistinguett was viewed at the time as the voice of the streets of Paris. Her risque dancing made her the most popular entertainer in France. In 1919, her legs were insured for 500,000 Francs. She was also in a lot of silent films. Ca! C'est Paris (That's Paris) was one of her most popular songs. She never married but she had a ten year relationship with Maurice Chevalier. By the late 20s, Josephine Baker had arrived in Paris Mistinguett simply could not compete with Josephine's sex appeal. Mistinguett performed occasionally but her stardom was over until she died on Jan. 5, 1956 at age 80. You can get her recordings on this budget CD on Arkadia Chanson. You might think Arkadia is a European label but they are based in upstate New York. The primarily release jazz CDs but Arkadia Chanson is a series of classic French music CDs. Here's a video for Ca! C'est Paris by Mistinguett.

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