Henri Salvador: Google remembers French comedian, singer, cabaret artist with doodleDevdiscourse News Desk | Paris | Updated: 28-11-2020 10:57 IST | Created: 28-11-2020 10:57 IST
Google today releases a stunning doodle in honor of Henri Salvador, a French Caribbean comedian, singer and cabaret artist. He established himself as a beloved French figure across a seven-decade career and is widely credited with helping to introduce rock 'n' roll to France.
Henri Salvador was born on July 18, 1917 in Cayenne in French Guiana. His parents were both from Guadeloupe, French West Indies. He moved to Paris with his family when he was just 12.
Inspired by the music of Belgian jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, Henri Salvador soon took up the guitar and began to perform in Parisian cafes. Before long he caught the attention of Reinhardt himself, who invited Salvador to join his band.
Henri Salvador also appeared in movies including Nous irons à Monte-Carlo (1950), Nous irons à Paris (Jean Boyer's film of 1949 with the Peters Sisters) and Mademoiselle s'amuse (1948). He recorded the first French rock and roll songs in 1957 written by Boris Vian and Michel Legrand — "Rock'n Roll Mops", "Rock hoquet, Va t'faire cuire un oeuf, man" and "Dis-moi qu'tu m'aimes rock" — under the artist name of Henry Cording (a play on the word "Recording"). Despite this historical aspect, he never ceased to claim that he disliked rock and roll and even refused to talk about this subject later on.
After several years in the French Army during World War II, Salvador joined French bandleader Ray Ventura on a years-long South American tour, and upon his return to Paris, he saw success from his very first recording in 1947. Salvador was invited twice in 1956 to perform on the famous television showcase "The Ed Sullivan Show" in New York.
Henri Salvador hosted several popular TV shows in 60s on French TV. In 1964, he scored a hit with "Zorro est arrivé", which was adapted from The Coasters' U.S. hit "Along Came Jones". He is also famous for his rich, catchy laugh, which is a theme in many of his humorous songs. He recorded a variation of "Mah Nà Mah Nà" entitled "Mais non, mais non" ("But No, But No" or "Of Course Not, Of Course Not"), with lyrics he had written in French to Piero Umiliani's music.
Among many accolades, Henri Salvador was named Commander of the Legion of Honour in 2004. He released his final album in 2006. He was also a commander of the French Légion d'honneur and of the French National Order of Merit.
Henri Salvador died at the age of 90 on February 13, 2008. He died of a ruptured aneurysm at his home. Google today remembers such a famous comedian, singer and cabaret artist who entertained millions for years.