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Videos: Sacha Distel Duets


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Sacha Distel
In the 1960s, one of France's biggest heartthrobs was Sacha Distel. A TV variety-show host with movie-star looks and a gentle, romantic persona, Distel seemed to melt the hearts of female singers who appeared with him. As one French singer from that era told me recently, “Sacha was impossibly handsome," which she followed with a sigh.

Like Andy Williams, Distel was at ease in front of the camera and had a deep, warm voice to match. In the 1950s, Distel was a jazz guitarist who played with American expats and touring artists. In Paris, he recorded with Lee Konitz in 1955 and with John Lewis for Atlantic in 1956.

In the late 1950s, he began to sing and had an impact on France much the way Nat King Cole did with his singing voice in the States. Romantically involved with film actress Brigitte Bardot in the late '50s, Distel married French skier Francine Bréaud in 1963. [Photo above of Distel with Brigitte Bardot in the late 1950s]

Sacha Distel died in 2004 at age 71.

To give you a sense of just how suave and talented Distel was, here are seven videos from The Sacha Distel Show in the 1960s and '70s:

Here's Distel with Johanna Shimkus singing Something Stupid in 1966...

Here's Distel with one of France's great '60s singers, Mireille Mathieu, singing the theme to A Man and a Woman in 1966...

Here's Distel in the early '60s singing Oh Yeah, Yeah Yeah with Dionne Warwick...

Here's Distel in 1968 with Brazil's Elis Regina singing One Note Samba and So Danca Samba...

Here's Distel with Brazil's Eliana Pitman singing The Girl From Ipanema, O Pato and Mas Que Nada...

Here's Distel with Greek pop singer Nana Mouskouri singing Guantanamera in 1974...

And here's Distel with Liza Minelli in 1971...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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