Thursday, May 30, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Berthe Sylva

Artist:Berthe Sylva
Song:Frou Frou
Album:Les Roses Blanches

Berthe Sylva was a popular depression era chanteuse who popularized the French standard Frou Frou among other songs. She is forgotten today because she died prematurely due to alcoholism. She was born Berthe Faquet Feb. 7, 1885 in Brest, France. As a teen, she worked as a maid and had a child at age 16. She gave the child to her parents and never saw it. Though it is known that Berthe performed in South America during the 20s, very few details are known. In 1928, she was offered the song Les Roses Blanches by the song's composer Leon Raiter. She performed it on radio and this led to a contract with Odeon Records. She had more success in 1929 with songs like Le Raccommodeur De Faience and Adieu Paris and in 1930 with Frou Frou and C'est Mon Gigolo. Frou Frou was written by Hector Monreal and Henri Blondeau and was first performed on the stage in 1897. So the song was popular when Berthe recorded it. Frou Frou was also used in Jean Renoir's 1937 film Grand Illusion. Berthe Sylva continued to have success in the 30s including some duets with Fred Gouin. They were lovers and when they split up, both went into a decline. As popular as Berthe Sylva was in the mid-30s, she was forgotten by the end of the decade. You can get all her hits on this Sony Europe comp. Berthe Sylva sank into alcoholism and blew all her money. She died in poverty on May 24, 1941 at age 56. Here's a video for Frou Frou by Berthe Sylva.

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