Mr. Claude François: remembering his talent 45 years after his tragic death

A singer-songwriter, composer, musician, dancer, and producer, Mr. Claude François was born in Ismailia (Egypt) to an Italian mother and to a French father. His family, which was expelled from Egypt in 1956 following the Suez war, moved to France where he had a stellar career until his premature death at age 39 (

Bambi was only 6 years old when Mr. Claude François died. You may think she was too young to recall how, but she does. Indeed, he was about to travel to the United States at the time. Just before his dream trip, he accidentally lost his life. How you may wonder? Well, “while taking a bath, he noticed that a light fixture was not straight on the wall, tried to straighten it (while being wet) and died of electrocution…” (

March 11, 1978, was the day Mr. François took his last breath. This same year happened to also be a tragic one for Bambi’s family who lost her maternal aunt Ramona, at age 40, during the heavy shelling, which preceded Beirut’s occupation by the Syrian army. This painful family loss was actually what motivated Bambi to begin writing her diary. The latter was a daily coping strategy, which she continued during the remainder of the Lebanese civil war, that is until migrating to Canada with her family.

To come back to Mr. Claude François (called “Clo Clo” by his fans), Bambi was shocked by the unfortunate cause of death of this famous singer whose songs played on the radio and on the TV channels her mom used to watch. It was not because of war like her aunt. It was not due to an illness. It was not a suicide. It was just a silly accident. In the end, as the Arabic saying goes: “Potential causes of death are numerous, but death remains the same“.

Of note, Mr. François sang not only in French, but also in English. His songs were also translated into Spanish and Italian, among other languages. “He co-wrote the lyrics and composed the music of several famous songs, including “Comme d’habitude” (composed by Jacques Revaux and himself [shared below]), which is none other than the original version of “My way” by Frank Sinatra, and “Parce que je t’aime mon enfant”, the original version of “My Boy” by Elvis Presley”, which is the last song shared below (

This being said, perhaps Mr. François’ most famous melody remains “Le téléphone pleure” [The Phone is Crying], shared below in French and in English, respectively. In this moving song, a separated father chats with his little daughter on the phone. However, the latter is fully unaware that this man is her dad. We can hear her mom telling her to tell him that she is not there (when he asked to speak with her).

Thank you Mr. François for your talent and sensitivity. May your memory be eternal!

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