Charles Aznavour: The Chansonnier Whose Songs Will Make Your Girlfriend Happy

The media recently reported the sad news: the famous French chansonnier Charles Aznavour passed away at the age of 94, on October 1st, 2018. The news of the singer’s death has already been confirmed by his press attaché. He said that Aznavour died in his house in the south of France. There are not many details released, apart from his death said to be caused by a cardiac arrest.

During his musical career, Charles Aznavour released more than a thousand songs and also starred in several dozen films.

We suggest you go on a short journey through the biography pages of this great man. The best musical accompaniment for this will be the songs of Aznavour. If you are dating a Russian girl, tell her that you like Aznavour – he is extremely popular in Russia.

Biography of Charles Aznavour

Charles Aznavour was a French chansonnier and actor of Armenian origin. He was recognized as the best pop performer of the 20th century by Time magazine and CNN, beating Elvis and Bob Dylan.

The birthplace of Aznavour is Paris. The full name given to the boy at birth is Shahnur Vakhinak Aznavourian. He was born in an Armenian family, who, before his birth, moved to France from Armenia. His parents were engaged in art: his father was an operetta-artist, and his mother played in the so-called “tabloid” theatres for the general public.

Source: BBC

Creativity did not bring the family enough money to make a living, so the parents eventually left their attempts to break into the bohemian circles and opened a small restaurant of Armenian cuisine. The head of the family sometimes spoke to the visitors, which added a special flavor to the institution. Together with his elder sister Aida, the boy obediently helped the family business. When the crisis in the 1930’s began, the restaurant had to be closed.

The children of the Aznavour couple grew up as creative personalities. Since the early years, Aida had been demonstrating outstanding piano skills, and Charles mastered the violin by the age of five. Then his parents took him to a theatre school, as a result of his talent. He was a timid, nondescript little boy, but he managed to open up among like-minded people. Charles first began to engage as an extra in urban theatres. Then he later began receiving bigger roles, like the young King Henry IV from the production of Margoby in the Odeon theatre.

Source: PastDaily

First Songs

In the early 1940’s, in one of the nightclubs in Paris, a fateful meeting of Aznavour and a young composer and pianist Pierre Roche happened. Together, they formed the duo named Rosh and Aznavour. It all happened by chance: instead of Rosh alone, the entertainer announced a performance in tandem with Aznavour. This seemed amusing to his friends, and they came on the stage, performing a couple of songs previously written by Charles for other performers.

In 1946, Edith Piaf drew attention to the duo. At this time, being very popular in Europe, she was preparing for a lengthy tour in America. The singer invited Charles and Pierre to come along with her. After successful performances in the US, and then in Canada, a young man became a recognizable singer. Thus, this began the career of Charles as a chansonnier.

In 1952, Charles continued independent performances in France but had little success, so he decided to work as a composer and songwriter. He made a name for himself because he worked with Patachou, Mistinkvet, and Greco. Being in good relations with Piaf, Charles wrote for her too. They reworked the American song Jezebel, which became an instant hit.


Movies with Charles Aznavour

Charles Aznavour appeared in 80 movies throughout his successful career, with his most notable roles in films such as The Womanizer and The Head Against the Wall. In 1960, after starring in the movie Shoot the Pianist in the film’s leading role, Carnegie Hall’s doors opened in America for Aznavour. Charles triumphed in this prestigious music hall and even his former critics applauded him.

Going on tour around the world, which lasted more than one year, Aznavour became a world-class star. He visited Turkey, USSR, Libya, Africa, and Greece. The legendary singer sold 180 million records worldwide throughout a 70 year musical career. 


Story by The Narrator

Featured Photo Credit: GettyImages

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.