In 1962 Ferland's song 'Feuilles de gui' (music by Pierre Brabant) won the CBC competition ''Chansons sur mesure'' and the grand prize at the Gala internationale de la chanson in Brussels. That year, Ferland sang at the cabaret La Tête de l'art in Paris and was co-host for 'L'Été des Bozos,' broadcast on the CBC. The following year he represented Canada at the third International Song Festival, Sopot, Poland, and won the prize as best singer at Cracow. He starred in 'Jeunesse oblige' on CBC, a program which introduced young Quebec chansonniers and toured Quebec in 1964. In 1965 and 1968, he won the grand prize in the Festival du disque de Montréal.
In 1966, Ferland co-starred with Les Feux-Follets in a gala performance at the PDA (Place des Arts) and toured Quebec, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. He sang for a month in Paris, where his reputation was growing. "Je reviens chez nous" announced his return to Montreal (1968), where he was heard at the Comédie-Canadienne and at Man and His World. That year his LP Jean-Pierre Ferland (Barclay B-80006) won the Grand Prix du Disque de l'Académie Charles-Cros. His career in Paris continued that year when he performed with Marie Laforêt at the Olympia and at La Tête de l'art. During this period, Ferland also published a collection of the texts of 75 of his songs in a book entitled Chansons and, in 1970, he sang at the International Exposition at Osaka.
The 1970s and 1980s
In 1970 he launched his LP Jaune, which marked a turning point in the Quebec chanson as much for his decidedly modern music as for the quality of the recording produced at André Perry's studio. He sold 60,000 copies of the LP in one year and there followed a number of larger performances at the PDA (including one with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra). In 1974 he gained considerable success with 'T'es mon amour, t'es ma maîtresse,' recorded with Ginette Reno.
Another facet of Ferland's talent was revealed in 1976 when he became writer, actor, and musician for Jacques Vallé's film Chanson pour Julie. In the same period he co-starred in 'Show des cinq grands' with Claude Léveillée, Gilles Vigneault, Robert Charlebois, and Yvon Deschamps in Quebec City as part of the province's Heritage Week (Semaine du patrimoine) and in Montreal for the St-Jean-Baptiste celebrations. After a Quebec tour, he taped four programs for the CBC series Faut voir ca, in 1978, which was seen nationally on a CBC TV 'Superspecial' entitled Between Chopin and William Tell, presented on the English network that year.
During the 1980s, without abandoning composition, Ferland resumed hosting TV programs with Station Soleil (Radio Québec, 1981-7), Tapis rouge (CBC, 1986), L'Autobus du showbusiness (CBC, 1987) and Ferland/Nadeau (Télé-Métropole, 1990). In 1984, he participated in the tour of the show Du gramophone au laser, a pot-pourri of the best Quebec songs of the last 50 years. In 1989, Ferland set lyrics to Paul Baillargeon's music for the Place des Arts opera Gala, in which he also performed. This huge production, inspired by the life of the lover and muse of Salvator Dali and Paul Éluard, performed by Sylvie Tremblay, only lasted a few days at the box office and was a financial disaster.
Awards and Songs
Having released over 30 albums and composed over 450 songs, Jean-Pierre Ferland was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1996, and named a Chevalier of the Ordre national du Québec in 2003. He has been celebrated as one of the best songwriters, singers and composers in Quebec and the entire French-speaking world. In 2007, he performed his last concert in Montreal and was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. Notable among Ferland's greatest hits are 'Les Immortelles,' 'Fleurs de macadam,' 'Ton visage,' 'Rue Sanguinet,' 'Avant de m'assagir,' 'Le Petit roi,' 'Ste-Adèle P.Q.,' 'Un peu plus haut, un peu plus loin,' 'Marie-Claire,' 'Quand on aime on a toujours 20 ans,' 'Androgyne,' 'T'es mon amour, t'es ma maîtresse,' and 'Je reviens chez nous.' His past musical directors have included Claude Danjean, Franck Dervieux, Gilbert 'Buck' Lacombe, Paul de Margerie, and Lucien Merer.
A romantic singer par excellence, Ferland always chose the best performers - for the most part, women. Ferland's songs 'talk of love and women but also memories, anguish, hopes and dreams, always with the familiar irresistible warmth. He surrenders himself to his audience in a musical show of great quality, charged with emotions that range from tender to tempestuous,' wrote Claude Lacombe in Ici Radio Canada (25-31 Mar 1978),
Author Hélène Plouffe, Christian Rioux, Corinna Prior
Jean-Pierre chante ses compositions. 1959. Music Hall 33-106/Maisonneuve 17003
Rendez-vous à la coda. 1961. Sel SSP-24-085
J'estime, j'aime, j'amoure. 1962. Sel SSP-24-090
Jean-Pierre Ferland à Bobino. 1963. Sel S-398-053
M'aimeras-tu ou ne m'aimeras-tu pas. 1963. Sel SSP-24-106
Jean-Pierre Ferland, vol 4. 1965. Sel SSP-24-132
Avant de m'assagir/Les noces d'or/Les journalistes... 1966. Barclay 45511
Le Disque d'or. (1966). Sel S-398-149
Jean-Pierre Ferland, vol 5. 1966. Sel SSP-24-149
Jean-Pierre Ferland. 1968. Barclay B-80006
Un peu plus loin. 1969. Barclay 80050
Jaune. 1970. Barclay 80090/Jaune PJC-1002 (CD)
Soleil . 1971. 2-Barclay 80114-15/Jaune PJC-1003 (CD)
Les Grands Succès Barclay, vol 5. (1972). 2-Barclay 75005
Les Vierges du Québec. 1973. Jaune JF-7300
Le Showbusiness. 1974. Barclay 80208
Les 20 premiers succès de Jean-Pierre Ferland. (1974?). Select SQ-20-001
Quand on aime on a toujours 20 ans. 1975. Barclay 80228
La Pleine Lune. 1977. Telson AE 1510
L'album Jean-Pierre Ferland. (1979?). Promoson JPA-7514
Jean-Pierre Ferland. 1980. Telson AE-1524
Dix ans trop tôt. 1981. Pro-Culture PPC-6001
Y'a deux chansons pareilles. 1981. Pro-Culture PPC-6011
Androgyne. 1984. Jaune PJ-1001
Master Serie. (1989). Barclay 839-671-2 (CD)
Bleu Blanc Blues. 1992. Jaune, PJC-1004 (CD)
Jean-Pierre Ferland, Premier Coffret, Disque 1. 1993. Jaune PJC-2-1007 (CD)
Écoute pas ça. 1995. Jaune PJC-1008 (CD)
Jean-Pierre Ferland, Premier Coffret, Disque 2. 1997. Jaune PJC-2-1011 (CD)
Une fois deux, tome I. 1997. Jaune PJC-2-1012
Une fois deux, tome 2. 1998. Jaune PJC-2-1013
L'amour c'est d'l'ouvrage, 1999. Jaune PJC-1030
Troisième coffret. 2000. GSI Musique PJC-2-1031
Tournée 2000. 2001. Jaune PJC-2-1032
Le petit roi. 2004. GSI musique PJC-1133
See also Discography for Chansonniers.
Rudel-Tessier, J. 'Jean-Pierre Ferland: great Canadian success story,' Canadian Composer, 13, Dec 1966
Jasmin, Hélène. 'Interview! Jean-Pierre Ferland,' Canadian Composer, 109, Mar 1976
Tremblay, Roger. Visages de la Chanson Québécoise, (Montreal 1976)
Vallières, Carole. 'Ferland toujours 20 ans,' Chansons, vol 18, no. 5, Sept-Oct 1995
Brouillard, Marcel. Visages de la Chanson : Un siècle chanté--mes coups de cœurs! (Mont-Royal 2000)