Jean Ferrat, author, poet and singer, born December 26 1930, as Jean Tenenbaum, in Vaucresson a suburb of Paris.
The youngest of 4 children from a modest Jewish family which moved to Versailles in 1935, he studied at the Jules Ferry College. His father was deported to Auschwitz during the war, and died there. Ferrat dropped out to help the family survive.
In the early 1950s he started in Parisian cabaret, and since then has not attempted to adhere to any particular musical style but remain faithful to himself, his friends and public.
In 1956, he sets music to Les yeux d'Elsa (Elsaâ€™s eyes), a poem of Louis Aragon which Ferrat loved. Its interpretation by the popular artist, AndrÃ© Claveau, brought Ferrat some initial recognition as songwriter.
His first 45 RPM single was released in 1958, without success. It was not until 1959, with publisher GÃ©rard Meys, who became also his close friend and associate, that his career started to flourish. He then signed with Decca, and released his second single, Ma MÃ´me, in 1960 under the musical direction of Meys.