Marcel Amont died at the age of 93 on Wednesday afternoon at his home in Saint-Cloud, in the west of Paris, surrounded by his family, his wife Marlène and his children, announced to Figaro Jean-Pierre Pasqualini, director of programs for
“With Line Renaud and Hugues Auffray, he was one of the last representatives of the music hall”,
testified this close friend of the artist who honors the memory of this
“complete artist, able to make people smile and laugh, to make them think. or cry"
How much longer will this last?
he asked with a sparkling eye before being joined on the stage of the Alhambra by Christophe, Serge Lama, Nicoletta, Michèle Torr and François Morel.
It was April 1, 2019 and Marcel Amont celebrated his 90th birthday with a one-and-a-half-hour singing tour where, in front of a conquered room, he took up his hits from
Bleu, Blanc, Blond
de Mireille .
Read alsoMarcel Amont, return of tenderness
giant of the music hall will have exercised his profession to the end.
Thanks to a healthy lifestyle – he took care of his figure and didn't smoke – nothing betrayed his age.
On stage, he had just dropped a third and slowed down a few tempos.
The pleasure of entertaining his audience was intact and even stronger in recent years.
Having known a quarter of a century of crossing the desert from the mid-1970s to the beginning of the 2000s had marked him.
He, the fanciful, needed the stage with his sung sketches like
to exchange face-to-face with the public.
Not being on the bill anymore, because of changing fashions but also because of errors in artistic choices that he was happy to acknowledge, had been very hard.
It's like a part of ourselves that we miss, the amputation of a limb, a parasite that slowly insinuates itself into the smallest corners of existence, into every moment of life, covering it with a fog thick that nothing dissipates
”, he writes in
Les Coulisses de ma vie
had only been tastier.
A life dedicated to song
In the early 2000s, the trend was for the return of talented veterans.
The phenomenon began with the Cuban grandpas of the Buena Vista Social Club, followed by his eldest, Henri Salvador, and finally it was his turn.
A successful jazzy record with Agnès Jaoui, François Morel, Gérard Darmon, Didier Lockwood.
His name shone again in red letters on the front of the Olympia where he received ovations accompanied by Maxime Le Forestier on guitar.
Then, at the age of 80, it was the
tours with his great friend Annie Cordy and his lodge mates Gérard Lenorman and Hugues Aufray.
The icing on the cake in 2018: a last album nicely titled Over the shoulder where he sings
in duet with Charles Aznavour, a title that this friend had offered him sixty years earlier.
If Aznavour came from Armenia, Marcel Amont has always considered himself an “
immigrant from within
In his autobiography
Il a neige
(ed. Didier Carpentier, 2012), he recounts his life by systematically placing it in a historical and musical context.
An exciting story.
The people of Béarn have a ringside seat because his family comes from the Vallée d'Asp.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the life of these mountain shepherds strongly resembled Zola.
The only leisure is to sing.
Jean-Pierre and Balthazar, the two grandfathers of Marcel Amont, died of a cold snap around the age of 40, leaving widows and children, the oldest of whom is 9 years old.
Children who therefore have to work on the farm rather than study.
In 1925, Modeste Miramon and Romélie Lamazou, the future parents of little Marcel, emigrated to the working-class suburbs of Bordeaux.
Dad will be a railway worker at the Saint-Jean station, Mum will be a caregiver.
He is a communist.
She is Catholic.
He likes the comic trooper.
She prefers sentimental songs.
In 1929 their only son, Marcel, was born.
He is almost the same age as Line Renaud, Serge Gainsbourg, Juliette Gréco, Charles Aznavour and Gilbert Bécaud.
Piaf and jazz
At home, which was not the case in all workers' homes, newspapers are omnipresent.
Among the Miramons, the school of the Republic is essential.
Modeste and Romélie speak to each other in Béarnais, but with Marcel, it's the French that counts.
He will have the education of which they have been deprived.
Good at school, the little one is a leader who loves to make his friends laugh.
When the song enters the home thanks to the radio, he learns by heart the repertoires of Lucienne Boyer, Jean Lumière, Charles Trenet.
In 1940, he was 10 years old when the Germans occupied Bordeaux.
To bear the cold and the hunger, he listens to Edith Piaf, Tino Rossi, Maurice Chevalier and jazz which he adores.
At the end of the war, he built up a first repertoire from Yves Montand to Ray Ventura that
Marcel Amont and Hugues Aufray congratulate Jacques Brel after his premiere at the Olympia, on October 6, 1966, in Paris.
Beginnings on the radio with Georges Chauvier the father of Serge Lama, conservatory of dramatic art… He takes the name of Amont which he thinks more chic than Miramon and works on his gestures and his facial expressions.
The very particular way of walking of Aldo Maccione?
A find by Marcel Amont copied by the actor.
The first part of Piaf at the Olympia
The beginnings in cabarets where you have to be heard in the hubbub will help him when, at 22, he tries his luck in Paris.
For seven years, this talkative skinny guy performed at Patachou with Jacques Brel, at the Graff brewery with Raymond Devos, at Liberty's where he met Jacqueline Maillan, Gilbert Bécaud but also Jackie and Fernand Sardou who brought their chubby kid, little Michel, behind the scenes. .
Marcel Amont is also on the poster for La Fontaine des Quatre-Saisons held by Pierre Prévert, Jacques' brother.
At the Villa d'Este on the Champs-Élysées, he meets his great friend with whom he shares the love of cats, Georges Brassens.
He works like a madman, lives in slums, is often hungry and nearly loses his skin there.
Fortunately in 1956, Marcel Amont became famous overnight.
At 27, he shines in the first part of Edith Piaf at the Olympia.
On the floor, Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, Maurice Chevalier, Yves Montand are amazed.
, Paul Carrière mentions: “
At the Olympia, Edith Piaf and Marcel Amont.
” Records, film with Brigitte Bardot, tours in Europe, Canada, Africa, Japan, the USSR… Globetrotter, he is the number 1 star of the music hall who sings in several languages.
Brassens, Nougaro, Aznavour write him songs.
Anne Sylvestre, surrounded by Catherine Sauvage and Marcel Amont in February 1962 in Paris.
Five years later, it's the tsunami of yéyés.
He is soon in his forties.
Little by little, and also because he decided to write his texts under a pseudonym, he lost these great authors.
He refuses to sing songs he deems too popular, preferring stage songs to radio songs.
No tube no radio.
He finances a musical that will be a flop.
A monumental flop during a premiere at Bobino in 1976 made him lose confidence in himself.
In the 1980s, he refocused on his Bearn roots.
The successes of his show in Béarnais
, like his book
Les plus Belles Chansons de Gascogne
(Éd Sud Ouest, 2006), warmed his heart.
At the same time, he takes care of his own.
He leaves behind his dear Marlène, married in 1978, four children, Katia, Alexis, Romélie and Mathias, and several grandchildren.