Piaf
5 April, 2005
9.30-10.00pm
BBC RADIO 2

LA VIE EN ROSE - Petula Clark spotlights the lives, loves and lyrics of French vocal star Edith Piaf

      Petula Clark tells the story of the life, the loves, the lies and the lyrics that have become the myth of Edith Piaf, who was born 90 years ago.
      More than 40 years after her tragic death from cancer on 11 October 1963, Piaf remains a worldwide musical phenomenon - and sometimes the legend has got in the way of the facts of her life and work. In the past 10 years alone, her sales have passed five million albums. And the phenomenon simply keeps growing with every generation. In France today, she is idolised by the kids on the streets who are making hip-hop records. In South Korea, she is a No. 1 selling artist.
      The series features rare archive material of Piaf herself, plus exclusive interviews with Charles Aznavour, who wrote nine songs for her; Danielle Bonnel, her personal assistant of over 30 years, who was with her the day she died; Charles Dumont, who wrote Non, Je Ne Regrette; Francis Lai, who played accordion and wrote her last hits; and Mireille Mathieu, who idolised Piaf and followed in her footsteps.
      Petula herself explains how she saw Piaf at L'Olympia in Paris, and was deeply affected by her honesty and simplicity, so much so that she brought elements into her own style of interpreting a song. The first programme looks at Piaf's early years - singing with her father on the streets and performing cabaret at the age of 17.
Presenter/Petula Clark
Producer/David Roper

BBC Radio 2 Publicity