Thursday, August 23, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Leo Ferre

Artist:Leo Ferre
Song:La Vie d'Artiste
Album:La Vie d'Artiste

Though he was unknown elsewhere, Leo Ferre is a legend of French music on a level with Jacques Brel and Georges Brassens. His career spanned 60 years and he recorded all kinds of music Probably his prime was in the late 60s when he wrote protest songs. He was born Aug. 24, 1916 in Monaco. His father was chief of staff at Casino de Monte Carlo. Ferre was interested in music at an early age but his father steered him in a different direction. In 1935, he was sent to Paris to attend law school. He took piano lessons while earning a degree in political science. He was in the Algerian infantry in WWII. After the war, he moved to Paris and started performing in clubs. Several of his songs were performed by others including Edith Piaf who was helpful to Ferre in his early days. He also hosted radio shows. He signed his first record deal with Odeon in 1953. He recorded five albums and left Odeon in 1958. He signed with Barclay Records in 1960 and remained there until he retired from popular music in 1976. He became part of the Anarchist movement in 1968 and his recordings during this period are probably the height of his career. He even went to New York to record with jazz musicians John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham and Miroslav Vitous. This comp originally released by the British reissue label Proper covers this period Ferre moved to Italy and left popular music. He spent the remainder of his life writing and conducting classical music. After a final tour in 1987, Ferre's health declined until he died on July 14, 1993 at age 76. Here's Leo Ferre performing La Vie d'Artiste 1975.

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