Go ahead and listen to this song…. ring a bell? If it doesn’t ring a bell right away fast forward to a minute and a half and I’m sure it will remind you of another very famous song.
No you’re not crazy, the melody is the same as none other than Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”, undoubtedly one of the most famous songs in the world (I might be a little biased but I am willing to bet that most of you would agree with me). What I bet most of you don’t know is that Frank Sinatra actually adapted the song from the French Super Star, Claud François (1939-1978) whose major hit “Comme D’Habitude” was released in 1967. “My Way” was released in 1969.
Claud François or “CloClo” is undoubtedly unknown to many of you but here in France he is a major music icon. Last night I went to see the film CloClo, his biopic, and I just thought I would tell you guys a bit about it.
From what I saw last night, Claud François was quite a character. Don’t worry I’m not going to bore you with a full-blown biography just a little summary.
Claud François was born in Ismailia Egypt in 1939 where his father worked as a traffic controller on the Suez Canal. He lived there until 1956 when the Suez Canal was nationalized by the Egyptian government and he and his family were forced to return to France. His un-defiable determination allowed him to make a name for himself after moving to Paris in 1961. With the goal of becoming the biggest French super star ever he was always one step ahead of the game. Not only did he become a dominate figure in the industry but a successful entrepreneur owning his own magazine and modeling agency and creating his own music label. Despite his sometimes malicious behavior he was absolutely adored by the public and was an undeniable ladies man. His ability to adapte and innovate allowed him to stay on top until his untimely death in 1978 at the age of 39. Today Claud François is far from forgotten.
To be honest I had never heard of Claud François before seeing the trailer for the movie on T.V. I was really interested by it and I was not disappointed. Not only did his songs make me want to get up and dance but I was really touched by the character and I must admit I had tears in my eyes when he died.
Well that’s it for your French culture lesson for today!
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