Raymond Lefèvre

Born: November 20th, 1929, Calais (France)
Died: June 27th, 2008, Seine-Port (France)
Nationality: French

Raymond Lefèvre studied piano and flute in Paris, graduating with first prizes for both instruments. In the early 1950s, he played the piano in the orchestras of Hubert Rostaing, Bobby Jaspar, and Franck Pourcel. In 1953, he worked in the Hilton Hotel, Los Angeles, as a bar pianist. After he had been signed by the Barclay label in ’56, he recorded the first instrumental album with his own orchestra. Many were to follow, selling millions of records world-wide – especially in Japan – and scoring hits with his re-arranged versions of well-known hits, such as ‘The day that the rains came’ in 1956, ‘Ame Câline (Soul coaxin’)’ in 1968, and ‘La reine de Saba’ (1972). Lefèvre’s orchestrations were characterized by the sweeping strings which were the trademark of his tutor Pourcel, but, as a rule, contained more brass and were slightly more up-beat.

With his orchestra, he performed in many French TV shows, amongst which ‘Musicorama’ (in the 1950s) and ‘Palmarès des Chansons’ (1965-’67), accompanying the likes of Dalida, Claude François, and Richard Anthony. Lefèvre was an energetic composer and arranger, penning the soundtracks of countless films, including most of the comedies starring Louis de Funès, as well as the hit single ‘I will follow him’ by Peggy March (co-written by his friends Paul Mauriat and Franck Pourcel). Lefèvre made world-tours, continuing up to a high age. His last concerts were in Japan in the early 2000s.

Hired by Monaco’s TV station, Lefèvre conducted the Monegasque entries of 1960, 1961, 1962, and 1963, accompanying François Deguelt (twice), Colette Deréal, and ye-ye star Françoise Hardy. Several years later, in 1970, he returned to the contest as the arranger and conductor of the Luxembourg entry ‘Je suis tombé du ciel’, which, in the rendition of David Alexandre Winter, did not manage to score a single point.

In due course, a more extensive biography of Raymond Lefèvre will be published on this website


Songs conducted
1960: Ce soir-là
1961: Allons, allons les enfants
1962: Dis rien
1963: L'amour s'en va
1970: Je suis tombé du ciel