Saturday, 7 May 1977


Born: September 9th, 1942, Aulnay-sous-Bois, Greater Paris (France)
Died: March 7th, 2019, Paris (France)
Nationality: French

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


Raymond Donnez (often credited under his pseudonym: Don Ray) was discovered as an arranger at a young age; in the 1970s, Donnez worked in the studio with famous francophone artists including Michel Sardou, Linda De Suza, Claude François, and Patricia Lavila. He arranged Jeane Manson’s 1976 international success ‘Avant de nous dire adieu’. Donnez was best known, however, for his work on disco music: amongst other things, he produced Santa Esmeralda’s new version to ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ as well as their LP ‘House Of The Rising Sun’. Moreover, Donnez himself recorded a solo album with disco tracks, including the hit single ‘Standing In The Rain’. He was the keyboardist on several recordings by Cerrone. In the 1980s, Donnez seems to have left his work in the recording studio altogether, and apparently he later worked as a singer/pianist in a piano bar in Paris.


Raymond Donnez has quite an impressive track record in the Eurovision Song Contest, having arranged four entries, amongst which two winners and two other top four contenders. In 1973, he wrote the arrangement to Anne-Marie David’s Luxembourg entry ‘Tu te reconnaîtras’, which won the contest; because of the fact that the contest was held in Luxembourg, RTL's resident conductor Pierre Cao led the orchestra for David’s performance. 

One year later, in 1974, Donnez made his debut as a conductor in the festival with ‘Celui qui reste et celui qui s’en va’; this Monegasque entry, a typical French chanson, sung by Romuald, came fourth. In 1976, Donnez again was involved in arranging and conducting the Monaco entry, ‘Toi, la musique et moi’, a song with clear disco elements in the arrangement; Marie Cristy was the singer and she came third in The Hague. In 1977, Donnez participated in the Eurovision Song Contest for the last time, conducting France’s Marie Myriam to victory in London with her ‘L’oiseau et l’enfant’ – the last French Eurovision victory to date.


1973 Luxembourg
Country – Luxembourg
Song title – "Tu te reconnaîtras"
Rendition – Anne-Marie David
Lyrics – Vline Buggy
Composition – Claude Morgan
Studio arrangement – Raymond Donnez
Live orchestration – Raymond Donnez
Conductor – Pierre Cao (MD)
Score – 1st place (129 votes)

1974 Brighton
Country – Monaco
Song title – "Celui qui reste et celui qui s’en va"
Rendition – Romuald Figuier
Lyrics – Michel Jourdan
Composition – Jean-Pierre Bourtayre
Studio arrangement – Raymond Donnez
Live orchestration – Raymond Donnez
Conductor – Raymond Donnez
Score – 4th place (14 votes)

1976 The Hague
Country – Monaco
Song title – "Toi, la musique et moi"
Rendition – Marie Cristy 
Lyrics – André Barse / Gilbert Sinoué
Composition – Georges Costa
Studio arrangement – Raymond Donnez
Live orchestration – Raymond Donnez
Conductor – Raymond Donnez
Score – 3rd place (93 votes)

1977 London
Country – France
Song title – "L’oiseau et l’enfant"
Rendition – Marie Myriam 
Lyrics – Joe Gracy
Composition – Jean-Paul Cara
Studio arrangement – Raymond Donnez
Live orchestration – Raymond Donnez
Conductor – Raymond Donnez
Score – 1st place (136 votes)

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