The Chairfather: Père Lachaise Part I

    Js headshot 180x180
    31 Jan 2018
    Clock 60min      Length1mi
    24 ratings

    Henri Salvador

    Pay wave

    Henri Salvador was a contemporary of Edith Piaf, but lived nearly twice as long. I don't know if he enjoyed himself twice as much, but he certainly spread as much good feeling as was possible in one lifetime.

    He was born in French Guyana in the Caribbean, and was brought by his family to Paris at 12. He left school at 15 to pursue playing guitar. At 18, Django Reinhardt invited Henri to join he and Stéphane Grappelli in the Hot Club, the swingingest jazz band around. While performing, he always made his bandmates laugh, and carried on to the delight of the crowd. After the war, he set off on his own as a 'Creole Singer.'

    His biggest original hit was a child's lullaby known by every French mother and child, 'Une chanson douce'. He introduced audiences to French-language covers of popular American songs like 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight.' He was attracted to Rock'n'roll for its dancing fast pace, but too happy to sing the rebellious anti-establishment tunes. His style was softer, carefree and funny.

    He'd do anything to bring a smile, including silly costumes, and clown-like expressions. He camped as a woman in Juanita Banana. He dressed as a baby in 'Work is healthy.' He was impossible to humiliate, and could imitate with ease. Replicating any sound he heard, whether from an instrument, or a foreign voice, was child's play for Henri, who spoke several languages.

    He remained active and popular into his 70s, when he sang the French version of 'Under the Sea' from the Little Mermaid, and his 80s, when he released his final album.

    Henri was the personification of 'joie de vivre,' the joy of living. You are now invited to whistle as we leave Henri's island for our next encounter.

    Just opposite Henri Salvador, there is a small path between the tombs of the families Yacoel Ziegel on the right and Duchatelet De Meunynck on the left. Take this shortcut.

Similar Audio Tours in Paris

by Philippa Campsie in Paris
04 Feb 2015
Hepburn pic 2

Through fashionable Paris in the footsteps of Audrey Hepburn

Distance 2mi
Duration 80min
3 ratings

Audrey Hepburn owed her inimitable style to a lifelong love affair with Paris and its designers. She made five films here, starting with Funny Face in 1957. Love in the Afternoon came next, and after that there was Charade, Paris When It Sizzles,... More»

Locicon 7 Place de l...
by Philippa Campsie in Paris
30 Apr 2015
Coco chanel tuilleries

Coco Chanel's Paris

Distance 1mi
Duration 30min
8 ratings

Coco Chanel has been the subject of biographies, movies, television programs, and even books like “The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World’s Most Elegant Woman.”

Born Gabrielle Chanel, she defied humble origins to... More»

Locicon Terrasse des...
by Philippa Campsie in Paris
29 May 2015

Finding the Lost Generation in Montparnasse

Distance 2mi
Duration 75min
11 ratings

This tour takes you through the haunts of writers and artists in 1920s Paris, including Ernest and Hadley Hemingway, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Amedeo Modigliani and Jeanne Hebuterne, Kiki de Montparnasse, the... More»