Charles Trenet , born May 18, 1913 in Narbonne (Aude) and died February 19, 2001 in Créteil (Val-de-Marne), is a French singer-songwriter.
Nicknamed "the madman singing", he is the author of nearly a thousand songs with often poetic inspiration, some of which, like La Mer, Y'a d'joie, The soul of poets, Ménilmontant or Douce France , remain timeless popular successes, even beyond the Francophonie.
Charles Trenet was born in 1913 in Narbonne, three years after his brother Antoine, in the house of his parents, Lucien Trenet (1882-1966) and Marie-Louise Caussat (1889-1979), at 2 rue Anatole-France (at the era) - today the Charles Trenet Museum, 13 avenue Charles-Trenet. His father was mobilized during the First World War, but his family kept the standard of living of the provincial bourgeoisie thanks to his maternal grandfather Auguste, a lumber merchant who opportunely converted into a cooper and supplies the soldiers with wine. war>.
In 1920, his parents divorced. Charles shares his childhood between Narbonne where his mother lives, and Saint-Chinian where lives his father, Lucien, notary and amateur violinist. Later, Trenet will evoke his vision of femininity in Narbonne as that of masculinity for Perpignan. He develops his sensitivity to music and rhythm thanks to his mother, who plays Hindustan on the piano and listens on the family phonograph of George Gershwin's jazz standards, and also thanks to his father who discovered these rhythms by the soldiers. Americans during the war of 14-18.