Gélinas, Marc

(Joseph Édouard Yves André) Marc Gélinas. Songwriter, singer, actor, b Montreal 28 Nov 1937, d Sainte-Agathe, Que, 2 Oct 2001. Marc Gélinas began writing songs at 14 but at first sang those of Francis Lemarque and Joseph Kosma. After studying singing 1954-5 at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal with Roger Filiatrault and Martial Singher, he performed the role of a student chansonnier in the series "Beau temps, mauvais temps" on CBC TV 1955-8, which allowed him to introduce his songs "Aide-toi et le ciel t'aidera," "Boucles blondes," "Le Bossu," "La Route," and "Je ne veux pas."

In 1965, his song "De vie à éternité" earned Gélinas the Festival du disque award for best chansonnier. He founded the firm Editions Marco and also recorded young singers. In 1966 Gélinas was awarded the Prix Léo-Le Sieur for best Canadian pop song ("Tu te souviendras de moi") and the Festival du disque prize for best male singer. He also won prizes for songs written to mark Expo 67: "La Ronde," "Rendez-vous à Montréal," and "Lorsque le rideau tombe."

In 1970, Gélinas won the Silver Key award with "Un amour" in the CBC national competition "La Clé de la chanson," as well as a Méritas trophy at the Gala des artistes. He was host of the program "Le Rideau s'ouvre" on CFTM TV 1970-1 and directed a school for singers until 1974. He composed the music for "Du feu s'il vous plaît," "Bye bye '73," and "Rosa" for CBC TV; theme songs for the Montreal Expos baseball team, for the Quebec Games, and for the Festival de St-Tite; and the music for the films Red (by Gilles Carle) and Tiens-toi bien après les oreilles à Papa (by Gilles Richer). Though he released a single in 1983 ("Le Centenaire de 40 ans"), Gélinas abandoned song for the theatre at the end of the 1970s. In 1988, in Montreal, he published a novel with autobiographical overtones, Je voudrais bien être pute... mais j'ai pas de clients. In the late 1990s, he gave occasional concerts.

From sadness to humour, tenderness to passion, Marc Gélinas's songs explored the varieties of love, using syncopated rhythms as readily as the more straightforward means of the sentimental ballad. His songs have been performed by Daniel Guérard, Michel Louvain, and Ginette Ravel. Lucien Hétu recorded organ arrangements of several Gélinas hits. Among Gélinas's songs, "Le Bateau de minuit," "Tu te souviendras de moi," "T'en vas pas," and "Les Nouveaux Amants" stand out in particular for the quality of the lyrics and the simplicity of the music.

His father was the bass Gérard Gélinas.

Selected Discography

Marc Gélinas chante pour toi. Ca 1957. RCA LCP-1015

Une Soirée au Cochon borgne. 1960. Libération (no number)

Aide-toi. 1962. RCA Victor Gala CGP 114

Ça c'est du Gélinas. 1965. Jupiter JDY-7003

Trois Fois bravo Marc Gélinas. 1966. Jupiter JDY-7006

Lorsque le rideau tombe. 1967. Jupiter JDY-7013 / 2002 Disques Mérite 22-1153

J'ai du bon feu. 1969. Jupiter JPL-11018

Mes Premières Chansons. 1969? RCA Victor Gala CGPS-300

Les Grands Succès de Marc Gélinas. 1973. Col FS-90013

Les Grandes Chansons Vol 1. 1998. CCD-3236 Citation

Marc Gélinas. 1992. Mérite 22-1006