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'Love Is Blue' Hitmaker Paul Mauriat


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'Love Is Blue' French Conductor Paul Mauriat

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Paul Mauriat

PARIS, France -- Paul Mauriat, a French conductor whose arrangement of "Love is Blue" topped U.S. charts in the 1960s and who garnered a large following in Japan, died on Friday, November 3 in Perpignan in southeast France, according to a cousin, Laurent Mauriat. The cause of death was not reported. He was 81.

Paul Mauriat was born on March 4, 1925 in Marseille and grew up in Paris. He began studying music at age 4 and eventually studied at the Conservatoire in Paris. He began leading his own band during World War II.

According to the Encyclopedia of Popular Music, his big break came when he began arranging and conducting recordings as musical director for Charles Aznavour. Mauriat also orchestrated songs for well-known French singers Maurice Chevalier and Mireille Mathieu as well as touring with them.

His 1968 arrangement of "L'Amour est bleu" written by Andre Popp and originally recorded by Vicky Leandros, was a No. 1 hit in the United States as "Love is Blue." He was the co-writer of the French song, "Chariot," which later became the English-language hit, "I Will Follow Him" for Little Peggy March.

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Paul Mauriat

In 1957, Mauriat released his first EP, "Paul Mauriat," a four track RGM release. He often used pseudonyms for his recordings, which were largely light music with an international thrust. Between 1959-1964 Mauriat recorded several albums on the Bel-Air Record label under the name, Paul Mauriat et Son Orchestre.

Mauriat used various pseudonyms including Richard Audrey, Nico Papadopoulos, Eduardo Ruo and Willy Twist, to better reflect the international flavor of his recordings. During this period, Mauriat also released several recordings with Les Satellites, where he creatively arranged vocal backing harmony for such albums as 1961's "Slow Rock and Twist," 1962's "A Malypense" and 1964's "Les Satellites Chantent Noel."

Mauriat composed the music for several French soundtracks, also released on Bel-Air, including 1961's "Un Taxi Pour Tobrouk," 1962's "Horace 62" and 1964's "Faits Sauter La Banque." He wrote his first song with Andr

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