Charles Trenet

Knowledge Identifier: +Charles_Trenet


Charles Trenet

French singer and songwriter, most famous for his recordings from the late 1930s until the mid-1950s, though his career continued through the 1990s add

Category: Music

Born in 1913.

Countries: France (31%), United States (19%), Canada (19%)

Education: undef.

Main connections: Maurice Chevalier, Mistinguett, South Australia

Linked to: Radio France Internationale




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Charles Trenet was born in 1913 add something


In 1922, Trenet moved to Perpignan, this time as a day pupil add something


He hated mathematics with a passion but passed his "baccalauréat" with high marks in 1927 add something


Many of his hits from the 1930s and 1940s effectively combine the melodic and verbal nuances of French song with American swing rhythms add something


When Trenet first arrived in Paris in the 1930s, he worked in a movie studio as a props handler and assistant, and later joined up with the artists in the Montparnasse neighbourhood add something


From 1933 to 1936, he worked with the Swiss pianist Johnny Hess as a duo known as "Charles and Johnny" add something


Around 1935, the duo appeared regularly on the radio on a broadcast called "Quart d'heure des enfants terribles" add something


The duo continued until 1936 when Trenet was called up for national service add something


Jean Sablon - In 1937 he won the Grand Prix du Disque for the song "Vous qui passez sans me voir"," written for him by Charles Trenet and Johnny Hess


In his authorized biography of Maurice Chevalier, author David Bret claims that Chevalier and Mistinguett were the ones who first "shopped" Trenet to the police for consorting with underage boys, around 1940 add something


He was in barracks at Salon-de-Provence until he was demobilized in June 1940, when he moved back to Paris add something


His song "La Mer", which according to legend he composed with Léo Chauliac on a train in 1943, was recorded in 1946 add something


On 14 September 1951, Trenet returned to Paris and made a comeback at the "Théâtre de l'Étoile" add something


In 1954 he performed at the "Olympia" music-hall in Paris for the first time add something


In 1958, Trenet was the headlining act at the "Bobino" and the "Alhambra" add something


In 1960 he returned to the "Théâtre de l'Étoile", appearing on stage for the very first time without the famous trilby hat which had for so long been part of his act add something


The song was given unrelated English words and under the title "Beyond the Sea" , was a hit for Bobby Darin in the early 1960s, and George Benson in the mid-1980s add something


In 1963, Trenet spent 28 days in prison in Aix-en-Provence add something


In 1970, Trenet flew to Japan to represent France at the Universal Exhibition in Osaka add something


In 1973, Trenet, who had just celebrated his 60th birthday, recorded a new album, "Chansons en liberté" add something


Trenet made a surprise announcement in 1975, declaring that he was retiring from the music world add something


Following the death of his mother in 1979, he shut himself away from the world for the next two years add something


Nevertheless, in 1981 Trenet made a comeback with a new album, devoted to sentimental memories of his childhood add something


After giving farewell concerts in France, Trenet was persuaded out of retirement by a French Canadian lawyer, Gilbert Rozon, in 1983 for a farewell concert in Montreal add something


Rozon became Trenet's manager thereafter and as a result Trenet performed many more concerts including a series every night for three weeks at the Palais des congrès in Paris in 1986 add something


It was used as the opening title song in Steve Martin's "L.A. Story" in 1991, and in a popular commercial for South Australia, promoting the wine region of Australia add something


On 21 May 1999, he returned to the forefront of the music scene with a brand new album entitled "Les poètes descendent dans la rue" add something


In April 2000 old age began to catch up with Trenet, and he was rushed to hospital after suffering a stroke add something


Manlio Sgalambro - In 2000 he publishes the single "La mer", containing the cover of the famous song by Charles Trenet

Charles Trenet died in 2001 add something


The song was used in the opening credits of the 2007 film, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly", which used the song to highlight the paralyzing effects of a stroke that felled his fellow Frenchman, Jean-Dominique Bauby add something


A Julio Iglesias version plays in the final scene of the 2011 spy film, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy add something


In 2017, a service centre on the A9 autoroute between Narbonne and Béziers was renamed in his honour and contains an exhibition evoking his life and work and sculptures by Pascale et Thierry Delorme add something