The French singer of New Zealand origin Graeme Allwright, known in particular for having adapted many songs of American folk artists in French, died Sunday at the age of 93, announced his family to AFP.
"He died last night in the retirement home where he has been living for a year" in Seine-et-Marne, said his daughter Jeanne Allwright.
"He was a singer committed to social justice, a singer a bit hipster on the fringes of show business who refused TV. He sang until the end, he loved being on stage," said one of his sons Christophe Allwright
Born in New Zealand in 1926, Graeme Allwright began his career as an actor in England after the 2nd World War, before settling in France in 1948. He did not start a singing career until almost 40 years old, with a first record in French in 1965 called "Le trimardeur", adapted from "protest singer" Pete Seeger.
His contested, anti-militarist and deeply humanist repertoire resonates with the aspirations of French youth at the time.
"Little Boxes" (adaptation of Malvina Reynolds), "Up to the Belt" (Pete Seeger), "Who Killed Davy Moore?" (Bob Dylan), "Johnny (original text) and especially" Le jour de clarté "(Peter, Paul & Mary), his greatest success, became hymns of May 68.
In the 1970s, he adapted many songs by the Canadian Leonard Cohen, including "Suzanne".
He is also known for having written in 1968 the Christmas song for children "Petit Garçon", French version of "Old Toy Trains" by Roger Miller, or "Sacrée Bouteille" (after "Bottle of Wine" by Tom Paxton).
He then alternates trips and returns on stage, where he continues to perform until 2015.
In 2010, the Charles Cros Academy awarded him a "grand prize in honorem" for his entire career.
He was the father of four children, Nicolas, Christophe, Jacques and Jeanne.
© 2020 AFP