Joseph Ira Dassin (5 November 1938 – 20 August 1980) was an American-born French singer-songwriter.
Dassin was born in New York City to American film director Jules Dassin (1911–2008) and Béatrice Launer (1913–1994), a New York-born violinist, who after graduating from a Hebrew High School in the Bronx studied with the British violinist Harold Berkely at the Juilliard School of Music. His father was of Ukrainian-Jewish and Polish-Jewish extraction, his maternal grandfather was an Austrian-Jewish immigrant, who arrived in New York with his family at age 11.
He began his childhood first in New York City and Los Angeles. However, after his father fell victim to the Hollywood blacklist in 1950, he and his family moved from place to place across Europe.
Dassin studied at the International School of Geneva and the Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland, and graduated in Grenoble. Dassin moved back to the United States, where he attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan from 1957 to 1963, winning an undergraduate Hopwood Award for fiction in 1958 and earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1961 and a Master of Arts in 1963, both in Anthropology.
Moving to France, Dassin worked as a technician for his father and appeared as an actor in supporting roles, among others in a number of movies (three) directed by his father, including Topkapı (1964) in which he played the role of Josef. He met Valentin Teboul in Paris writing the famous Champs-Elysées Song in 1964.
On 26 December 1964, Dassin signed with CBS Records, making him the first French singer to be signed with an American record label.
By the early 1970s, Dassin’s songs were at the top of the charts in France, and he became immensely popular there. He recorded songs in German, Spanish, Italian, and Greek, as well as French and English. Amongst his most popular songs are “Les Champs-Élysées” (Originally “Waterloo Road”) (1969), “Salut les amoureux” (originally “City of New Orleans”) (1973), “L’Été indien” (1975), and “Et si tu n’existais pas” (1975).
Joe Dassin has appeared in the following movies:
1957 : He Who Must Die, by Jules Dassin : Benos
1958 : The Law (1959 film), by Jules Dassin : Nico
1964 : Topkapi (film), by Jules Dassin : Joseph
1965 : Lady L, by Peter Ustinov : police inspector
1965 : Nick Carter and Red Club, by Jean-Paul Savignac : Janos Adler
Joe Dassin with his parents, Jules Dassin and Béatrice Launer, in Paris in 1970.
Dassin married Maryse Massiéra in Paris on 18 January 1966. Their son Joshua was born two and a half months early on 12 September 1973, and died five days later. Overcome by grief, Joe became deeply depressed. Despite all their efforts, their marriage did not survive. In 1977, one year after their move to their newly built home in Feucherolles, just outside Paris, they divorced.
Joe Dassin with Maryse Massiéra
On 14 January 1978, Dassin married Christine Delvaux in Cotignac. Their first son, Jonathan, was born on 14 September 1978; and their second son, Julien, arrived on 22 March 1980. Christine died in December 1995.
Dassin died from a heart attack during a vacation to Tahiti on 20 August 1980. He was survived by his two sons, both living in France, as well as his two younger sisters, Richelle (b. 1940) and Julie (b. 1945) and his parents Jules Dassin (1911–2008) and Béatrice Launer (1913–2005). His body is interred in the Beth Olam section of Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, CA. (wikipedia)
Joe Dassin with Christine Delvaux
Where Serge Gainsbourg was Paris to the core and would export his work in many different styles, Joe Dassin was imported from Brooklyn, New York and focused on bright French pop.
This third album was his commercial breakthrough on the strength of the title track—a Continental reworking of the Jason Crest tune “Waterloo Road”—that would pop up years later on the soundtrack to The Darjeeling Limited and as a drinking song in Russian nightclubs. Some compositions nod to his Jewish heritage via the onomatopoeia (“Siffler sur la colline”) and orchestration (“Le Chemin de papa”) of klezmer and Yiddish theater.
We also hear hints of the early rustic arrangements of The Kinks (“La Bande à Bonnot”), Brill Building songsmithing (“Sunday Times”), even the Parisian jazz legacy (“La Violette africaine”).
Sure, your modern sensibilities might detect kitsch on the surface of this LP, but trust us when we say this is no mere novelty (by Adam Blyweiss)
Joe Dassin (vocals)
Orchestra conducted by Johmmy Arthey
Orchestra conducted by John Musy (on 04.)
01. Le Chemin De Papa (Dassin/Delanoë) 2.31
02. Le Petit Pain Au Chocolat (Bigazzi/Delanoë/Del Turco) 3.26
03. Les Champs-Elysées (Deighan/Wilsh/Delanoë) 2.40
04. Siffler Sur La Colline (Pace/Thomas/Rivat/Pilat/Panzeri) 2.40
05. Mon Village Du Bout Du Monde (Dassin/Delanoë/Traditional) 3.21
06. Me Que – Me Que (Aznavour/Bécaud) 2.39
07. Ma Bonne Etoile (Pace/Panzeri/Delanoë) 2.40
08. Un Peu Comme Toi (Nash/Dassin) 3.00
09. La Bande A Bonnot (Thomas/Rivat/Dassin) 2.52
10. La Violette Africaine (J. Dassin/R. Dassin) 3.28
11. Le Temps Des Oeufs Au Plat (Lemesle/J. Dassin/R. Dassin) 2.54
12. Sunday Times (J. Dassin/R. Dassin) 2.22