The macadam flowers have withered throughout the French-speaking world; the little king, giant of Quebec song, is no more.

The singer wears a scarf around his neck and looks into the distance.

An immense author, composer and performer, Jean-Pierre Ferland bequeathed more than 450 songs to an entire Francophonie in mourning.

Photo: Radio-United States / Ivanoh Demers

Singer-songwriter Jean-Pierre Ferland has died at the age of 89, leaving behind a vast musical legacy and hundreds of songs to hum.

When we love, we are always twenty years old, The little king, You are my love, you are my mistress And A little higher, a little further are so many earworms that will remain forever in the memory of music lovers.

During his impressive career, Ferland wrote more than 450 songs and published around thirty albums.

This great story begins in the announcers’ office at Radio-United States, where he was a schedule clerk at the end of the 1950s.

THE schedules”,”text”:”schedule makers”}}”>do schedulesas his colleagues call him, writes poems and sings.

He entertained Pierre Paquette, Pierre Nadeau and Richard Garneau as well as the great Jean-Paul Nolet, who helped him buy a guitar, and Henri Bergeron (Beautiful Sundays), who offers to record a record.

Radio interview by journalist Janine Paquet with Jean-Pierre Ferland, illustrated with visual archives. Audio source: On our waves, December 9, 1958. Graphic design: Marie-France Leroux. Production of the capsule: Jean-Pierre Petel.

We will also strongly suggest that he take singing lessons.

But that will not prevent him from winning his first competition, on the show Custom songswith The immortals in 1961.

In 1962, his play mistletoe leaves wins the grand prize at the Brussels International Song Gala.

Five people pose on a bench.

Claude Léveillée, Jacques Blanchet, Clémence DesRochers, Hervé Brousseau and Jean-Pierre Ferland on October 16, 1961.

Photo: Radio-United States / Henri Paul

In Montreal, singers struggle to be heard.

Ferland, with his colleagues Hervé Brousseau, Raymond Lévesque, Jacques Blanchet, Claude Léveillée and Clémence DesRochers, forms The Bozos.

On Crescent Street, in Montreal, they set up a small room which they named, aptly, Chez Bozo, in homage to Félix Leclerc.

This song box will mark the era. Jean-Pierre particularly remembers his moments with Clémence, who works to correct his texts. She taught me to writesaid the singer about his great friend.

A childhood on the Plateau

Jean-Pierre Ferland was born on a working-class Plateau-Mont-Royal, in Montreal, where his father ran a gas station. The household, five boys and two girls, lives in a small apartment on rue Chambord.

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There are few records and no books in the singer’s childhood memories, except for a small Adagio by Félix Leclerc, who will leave his mark.

Jean-Pierre Ferland revisits his childhood neighborhood with journalist Martine Lanctôt.

At seven years old, he can’t wait to be an adult to associate with women, the great affair of his life. Finding himself ugly, he looks for a way to interest the ladies. He loves music, he loves writing; his songs and his velvet gaze will do the rest.

Jean-Pierre Ferland gets married early and repeats the experience. He will have a boy and a girl.

If it’s sunny in Paris

At the beginning of the 1960s, like several of his colleagues, he took a ticket to Paris.

He will stay there for five years, while he completes his studies. He already has several successes to his credit, including mistletoe leaves, The immortals And Macadam flowers.

And there is also Your faceon the album Meet at the Coda, released in 1961.

When he heard his song performed by Félix Leclerc, his model, Jean-Pierre Ferland felt dubbed.

In an interview with journalist Michèle Tisseyre, Jean-Pierre Ferland talks about his stay in Paris, his difficulties and the successes achieved.

In 1968 he wrote I’m coming back home, a spleen which earned him the Charles-Cros Academy prize. The author is also proud to hear Nana Mouskouri sing it in several languages.

This will also have the advantage to pay all [s]your debtshe will say, laughing.

Both the song and the author will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007, as will Your face, The little king, You are my love, you are my mistress And A little higher, a little further.

An “Osstid’choc”

I’m coming back home will also bring Jean-Pierre Ferland back to Quebec. The landscape has changed, and not just a little.

In this year 1968, he received an electric shock when he saw The Osstidcho by Robert Charlebois. I was devastated with envy.

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This is where he foments his revolution: YELLOW.

Jean-Pierre Ferland pulls out all the stops.

He doesn’t count the hours and spends a lot of time in the studio with his accomplice, the guitarist Michel Robidoux, and American musicians whose names are Tony Levin, David Spinozza and Jim Young, in addition to the arrangers Ant Phillips and Buddy Fasano.

He brings instruments from Los Angeles.

Director André Perry orchestrates everything in his studio, in the basement of his bungalow in Brossard. He was the George Martin of the albumsays musicology professor Danick Trottier in reference to the gray eminence of the Beatles, who had released the album a few years earlier Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Bandwith psychedelic accents.

Interview with Jean-Pierre Ferland at the release of his album “Jaune”. The interview is conducted by singer and host Isabelle Pierre. Jean-Pierre Ferland talks about his creative approach, the choice of title, etc.

New admirers

YELLOW quickly became a must-have and sold tens of thousands of copies. Jean-Pierre Ferland, despite his doubts, embraces the shift.

The artist gains new admirers, but he also loses several. They feel betrayed. Indeed, The cat from the artists’ café lives far from the musical universe of I’m coming back home.

Cat will also be covered in 2009 by Charlotte Gainsbourg on her album MRI. The original song is great, really great […]it’s not us who wrote the lyrics, it’s a gentleman called Jean-Pierre Ferland, who is Canadian. And the “gentleman” enjoys listening to what Serge’s daughter did with his song.

In 2018, YELLOW receives the Polaris Heritage Prize for his artistic merit.

A decade of success

HAS YELLOW take over from Sun and a whole decade of success as Show business, A heartbreak, what does it matter? And You are my love, you are my mistress, this legendary duet with Ginette Reno published in 1974.

In 1975, he will be 1 times 5 outdoors, in Quebec and Montreal, alongside Claude Léveillée, Gilles Vigneault, Robert Charlebois and Yvon Deschamps. The album will receive the Académie Charles-Cros prize the next year.

During the 1980s, Jean-Pierre Ferland devoted himself more to animation with Sun station at Télé-Québec, Red carpet And The showbusiness bus on Radio-United States. Félix Leclerc will send him a little note to tell him to return to writing.

A failure

In 1989, Jean-Pierre Ferland suffered a failure with his musical comedy Gala.

He admits to having learned several lessons which he tries to put to good use with The king’s wifeanother love story, the one that made King Edward VII abdicate for the divorced American Wallis Simpson.

The 1990s are full of classics Your beautiful, don’t listen to that And Send to home.

The artist was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 1996 and a knight of the National Order of Quebec in 2003.

Retirement

From 2005, Jean-Pierre Ferland talks about retirement. Every show is a farewell. In 2006, during rehearsals for the final at the Bell Center, he suffered a small stroke. He still completed his tour a few months later, the first of many farewells he would say to his audience.

The singer quickly realizes, despite his projects, despite his horses, despite his magnificent estate in Saint-Norbert, that he is bored. A lot.

Céline Dion and Ginette Reno make him smile by inviting him to the Plains of Abraham.

Jean-Pierre Ferland answers questions from Tanya Lapointe during his shows with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra to mark his 80th birthday.

He recorded an album of duets in 2009, Family jewels.

In the summer of 2011, he performed in Ottawa during the Festival franco-ontarien, at the FrancoFolies de Montréal and at the Festival d’été de Québec.

He takes part in the special Celine Dion… without waiting at the end of 2012, it transformed into coach For There Voice in 2013 and released the disc of his musical The king’s wife the next year.

In 2015, he celebrated his 80th birthday with theOSM at the Maison symphonique.

Jean-Pierre Ferland with his arms open in a cross in his house.

Jean-Pierre Ferland, May 7, 2021, during an interview with host Patrice Roy

Photo: Radio-United States / Ivanoh Demers

In 2020, despite the pandemic, he launched Going into the wind and promises a country album.

Clearly, we must be wary of a man who writes: Before calming down, before dropping anchor, taking care of my heart, taking care of my health…

And we must thank the artist who leaves so many songs to hum.

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