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My French Music: Cora Vaucaire

 Cora Vaucaire

Cora Vaucaire was born Genevieve Collin on 22 July 1918 in Marseille and enjoyed a successful singing career in France particularly in the 1950s.

The 1950s in France seems to have been a time of great richness musically with many great artists finding their niche during this decade  – Jeanne Moreau, Dario Mareno and Juliet Greco for instance spring to mind.

Cora Vaucaire was married to famous songwriter Michel Vaucaire – he co-wrote “Je ne regrette rien” which the legendary Edith Piaf made into a worldwide enduring hit.

Cora Vaucaire’s music was wide ranging – from the middle ages to contemporary poetry, her mellow voice at times haunting other times lilting with a sometimes eclectic and wide repertoire of songs.  Her fans  gave her the name , “la dame blanche de Saint-Germain-des-Prés” – the White Lady of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, fellow singer Juliette Greco was called the Lady in Black –  both were ambassadors of the “left bank” style of music which was enormously popular in the 1950s.

One of her most well-known songs is from the film “French Cancan” of the 1950s made by Jean Renoir, son of the famous painter Renoir, the actress playing the role of Esther George is heard to sing “La Complainte de la butte” – but the voice belongs to Cora Vaucaire.

Paris Chanson, the French music experts say “She is a legend” and picked this video clip to illustrate her style. Though no moving pictures the voice holds your attention with its wistful but strong quality.

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