Music

Claude Nougaro

Born 9 September 1929. Died 4 March 2004.

Biography

Claude Nougaro (9 September 1929 – 4 March 2004) was a French songwriter and singer.

Claude Nougaro was born in Toulouse to a respected French opera singer, Pierre Nougaro, and an Italian piano teacher, Liette Tellini. He was raised by his grandparents in Toulouse where he heard Glenn Miller, Édith Piaf and Louis Armstrong (among others) on the radio. In 1947 he failed his baccalaureat and began a career in journalism, writing for various journals including Le Journal des Curistes at Vichy and L'Echo d'Alger. At the same time he wrote songs for Marcel Amont ("Le barbier de Belleville", "Le balayeur du roi") and Philippe Clay ("Joseph", "La sentinelle"). He met Georges Brassens, who became his friend and mentor.

In 1949, he performed his military service in the Foreign Legion at Rabat, Morocco.

He sent his lyrics to Marguerite Monnot, Édith Piaf's songwriter, who put them to music. ("Méphisto", "Le Sentier de la guerre"). He started to sing for a livelihood in 1959 in a Parisian cabaret in Montmartre, the Lapin Agile.

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