Thursday 11 February 1971


Born: January 28th, 1907, Cette / Sète (France)
Died: January 21st, 1977, Louveciennes (France)
Nationality: French

In due course, the short impression below will be replaced with a more extensive career overview


Paul Durand, born in the same community as chansonnier Georges Brassens, studied piano at the Conservatoire Nationale de Musique in Montpellier. He worked as a church organist and conductor of the casino orchestra in his place of birth on the French Riviera. In 1938, he moved to Paris and worked as a pianist in various cabarets and, later on, also as the conductor of the Casino de Paris orchestra. In the late 1940s, he had an orchestra that bore his name. He worked as a producer of radio entertainment programmes.

As a composer, he left an impressive legacy of operettas (Le facteur de Troulebiniou, 1951; La castiglione, 1967), film scores (Scandale aux Champs-Elysées, Deux de l’escadrille, Le fruit défendu, etc.) and chansons; he wrote numerous successful songs, amongst which ‘Je suis seule ce soir’ for André Claveau (1941), ‘Aujourd’hui peut-être’ for Fernand Sardou (1945), and ‘Embrasse-moi bien’ for Jacqueline François (1953). As a studio conductor, he worked with many French artists during the 1950s, most famously Henri Salvador.


Another artist with whom Paul Durand worked in the studios was Paule Desjardins. With her, he recorded ‘La belle amour’, an idyllic melody written by Guy Lafarge with lyrics by Francis Carco. With it, Desjardins represented France in the second-ever held Eurovision Song Contest, in Frankfurt in 1957. Paul Durand conducted the Tanz- und Unterhaltungsorchester des Hessischen Rundfunks for her rendition of the song. Desjardins came second, behind the winner from the Netherlands, Corry Brokken.


Country – France
Song title – "La belle amour"
Rendition – Paule Desjardins
Lyrics – Francis Carco
Composition – Guy Lafarge
Studio arrangement – Paul Durand
(studio orchestra conducted by Paul Durand)
Orchestration – Paul Durand
Conductor – Paul Durand
Score – 2nd place (17 votes)

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