Edith Piaf: English-language biographies

Edith Piaf remains quite possibly the greatest female singer of the twentieth century: a tiny, black-clad figure with a scorchingly powerful voice who dominated stages around the world for almost thirty years, and who—fifty years after her death—has never been replaced.

 

The Piaf Legend

The Piaf Legend, David Bret’s first work on the woman known as ‘The Little Sparrow’, was published to great critical acclaim in 1988, and was followed ten years later by Piaf: A Passionate Life, a more in-depth study generally regarded as the definitive biography of the singer. In Edith Piaf: Find Me A New Way To Die, David Bret reproduces the interviews—candid, and some published for the first time, and all brimming with honesty and compassion—granted to him by friends, composers, lovers, colleagues, and the father of Piaf’s only child. Richly illustrated with photographs from the author’s private collection, this represents a brief but moving tribute to the great artist who left us, way too early, half a century ago—and whose sublime artistry continues to enthral each new generation. 

 

Piaf: A Passionate Life

Edith Piaf remains quite possibly the greatest female entertainer of this century: a tiny, black-clad figure with a scorchingly powerful voice who dominated stages around the world for almost thirty years, and who, more than four decades after her death, has never been replaced.
David Bret - Britain's foremost authority on the French music-hall - tells Piaf's amazing rags-to-riches story with unprecedented detail, honesty and compassion. Friends, composers, lovers, colleagues and the father of Piaf's only child have confided in him. Skilfully analysing every aspect of this great artiste's life, he paints a vivid portrait of the celebrated chanteuse whose triumphs and tragedies were shared by an adoring public.
Richly illustrated with photographs from the author's collection and containing a complete discography, Piaf also features detailed appendices of her films, stage-plays and all stage and screen tributes to date, making this the most comprehensive and up-to-date biography available.

 

Find Me A New Way To Die: Edith Piaf's Untold Story

Edith Piaf remains quite possibly the greatest female entertainer of this century: a tiny, black-clad figure with a scorchingly powerful voice who dominated stages around the world for almost thirty years, and who, more than four decades after her death, has never been replaced.
David Bret - Britain's foremost authority on the French music-hall - tells Piaf's amazing rags-to-riches story with unprecedented detail, honesty and compassion. Friends, composers, lovers, colleagues and the father of Piaf's only child have confided in him. Skilfully analysing every aspect of this great artiste's life, he paints a vivid portrait of the celebrated chanteuse whose triumphs and tragedies were shared by an adoring public.
Richly illustrated with photographs from the author's collection and containing a complete discography, Piaf also features detailed appendices of her films, stage-plays and all stage and screen tributes to date, making this the most comprehensive and up-to-date biography available.

 

 

Edith Piaf: Her Songs & The Stories Behind Them Translated Into English: Volume One: The Polydor Years 1935-1945

During a career spanning almost thirty years, Edith Piaf was contracted to three record companies: Polydor, Decca and Pathé-Marconi. In all, she performed over 400 songs which were put down on shellac, vinyl, and tape, along with a large number of songs which were performed on the stage but not commercially released during her lifetime. Some may have been lost for ever, while others are sitting in the vaults, waiting to be discovered.
Volume One: The Polydor Years 1935 – 1945 covers all the songs that Piaf recorded for this company—all of them sung in French, as she was yet to become known well enough in the English-speaking world to be asked to record in this language. Many of them were performed in a curious Parisian argot which even some French-speaking fans find difficult to comprehend. These have all been translated into English by David Bret, known for his previous best-selling biographies of The Little Sparrow: The Piaf LegendPiaf: A Passionate Life, and Edith Piaf: Find Me A New Way To Die!
In addition to the translations, David Bret has included a potted biography of Piaf which links the songs, along with notes on their history, and full details of the composers, lyricists, orchestras and musicians associated with each song. There are also interviews which Bret conducted with some of the friends and associates that he shared with Piaf. These include Louis Dupont, the father of her first child; Fernand Lombruso, her first manager; friends Sylvie Galthier (the companion of the 
fantaisiste Marie Dubas) and Manouche (the former gangster’s moll); the composer Michel Émer; and the singers Damia and Serge Reggiani.