French showbiz icon Eddie Barclay dies

13th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 13 (AFP) - Eddie Barclay, the most successful record producer in the French post-war music industry, died overnight of a heart attack at the age of 84, his family said Friday.

PARIS, May 13 (AFP) - Eddie Barclay, the most successful record producer in the French post-war music industry, died overnight of a heart attack at the age of 84, his family said Friday.  

Barclay was credited with discovering and promoting some of the country's best-known singers of the last 50 years, including Jacques Brel, Charles Aznavour, Leo Ferre, Mireille Mathieu and Claude Nougaro.  

"His favourite colour was white - he was the pope of show business," Mathieu told AFP. "He undoubtedly liked artists because he himself was an artist, a great jazz musician."  

Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres called Barclay a "great producer, often a visionary," adding that he had helped "write the history of French 'chanson'".  

Born Edouard Ruault in Paris in 1921, he changed his name to make it sound more American.  

After working as a bar-room piano player, he founded Barclay's club in Saint Germain-des-Pres at the height of the post-war jazz scene and in 1949 set up his first record label "Blue Star."  

Returning from a trip to the United States in 1955, he introduced France to the long-playing record. Over the next two decades his Barclay record company was the home of the most popular names in French "chanson," with a major coup in 1962 when he lured Brel over from the Philips label.  

A famed party-goer, Barclay was a leading light of the Riviera social set in the 1960s with the likes of Brigitte Bardot and Alain Delon. He married nine times.  

"People accused me of having all the parties and marrying all the women to get publicity for my record label. But honestly, I loved the parties and the women," he said in a recent interview.  

In 1978 Barclay sold his label and moved to Saint-Tropez.
 

© AFP

Subject: French News

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