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French Music: Lucienne Boyer

Lucienne Boyer

Olivier Jauffrit of radio station Paris Chanson says of Lucienne Boyer’s performance of  ‘Parlez-moi d’Amour’ “… it is one of the best French love songs ever made. More than a classic, it is an essential.  A song that HAS to be part of the soundtrack of your life if you like French music.

Lucienne Boyer was born as Émilienne-Henriette Boyer in the Montparnasse Quarter of Paris on 18th August, 1903.

As a young woman she worked as a part-time model and made extra money singing in the local cabarets of Montparnasse.  She graduated to singing in a popular Parisian theatre of the day, changed her name to Lucienne Boyer and started to gain fans who loved her melodious voice.

She was “discovered” whilst singing at a concert with Félix Mayol. Mayol was the star, he sang the famous song “Viens poupoule, viens poupoule, viens…” and later himself helped Maurice Chevalier on the route to fame but it was Luicenne who was spotted that day.

For Lucienne Boyer, being discovered by an American impresario meant a contract in America where she gained popularity through the 1930s.  Her most well-known and popular recording was ” Parlez-moi d’amour”. Written by Jean Lenoir, the song won the first-ever Grand Prix du Disque of the Académie Charles-Cros, a group of independent critics and experts of French music.

She died in December 1983 but her music lives on.

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