French crooner Henri Salvador, born in Cayenne, French Guiana, in 1917, died this morning in his Paris home of an aneurysm, according to Polydor, his current record company. Born in 1917, the singer was scheduled to inaugurate the reputable La Mar de Músicas world music festival in Cartagena (Spain), which is dedicated to France this year. The 4th of July performance was going to be part of his last tour.
Henri Salvador’s musical career began 74 years ago, in 1933, performing at cabarets as a guitar player. Later, he played with various orchestras, including Ray Ventura’s. In the1950s, Salvador worked with famed songwriter Boris Vian and Jacqueline Garabedian, who became his busines manager and second wife. His association with Vian produced over 400 songs that included blues, beguines and rock ‘n’ roll.Eventually, the recording industry forgot him until an indepedent record label named Exxos brought him back from his early retirement. Salvador was able to record a dream album with some of the best young French composers Keren Ann, Benjamin Biolay, and Art Mengo.
His recent recordings included genres such as bossa nova, blues, swing, rock ‘n’ roll and chanson française. Although many music fans only remember him as the singer of humorous and novelty songs, he reached a new maturity in his later years and became once again one of France’s most popular singers.