In memory of Paul Davis

cours-annees-50-60-70Tribute will be paid to Paul Davis (Gagnon real name), singer-songwriter of the song My village in the party framework in the region on 11 June.

The piece that marked a whole generation celebrates its 50th anniversary. The occasion was beautiful to highlight the contribution of its author to regional cultural history.

Denis Gagnon and Michel wanted to mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of My Village, written by their brother Paul.

“The song was composed in 1966, it was 50 years ago. It is part of Saguenay folklore, “said Michel Gagnon. “We thought it was emphasized, to recognize what Paul did. It has marked the history of the region, “adds Denis Gagnon.

In collaboration with the Historical Society of the Saguenay and the Musee du Fjord in La Baie, a tribute to Paul Davis has been planned as part of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean celebration.

Paul Davis songs will include Dervish interpreted by the Choir, all directed by Micheline Hamel which include two brothers of the author-songwriter who died in 1995. A family member also read a tribute text by Guylaine Simard , Executive Director of Musée du Fjord in La Baie.

Paul Davis had a career of more individuals at the time.

Paul Gagnon was born in Port-Alfred in 1932. Attracted by the arts, he left the area and moved to Montreal in early adulthood.

He trained at the School of Drama with Jean Gascon, then followed singing lessons with Lucille Dumont.

“He even played with Gilles Latulippe at the Variety Theatre,” says Denis Gagnon.

In the 50s, he began to perform songs of Brel. It was also at this time that he adopted the name of Davis. “During this period, artists changed their names. Paul loved American actress Bette Davis. This is the name he chose, but we always called Gagnon, “says Denis Gagnon.

The brothers describe their elder as a very sensitive man, a soft somewhat tormented, who needs the love of the public. A showman who had a great presence and always dragged his guitar. A dreamer for whom music was the best way to express themselves.

The author-songwriter began performing in nightclubs with his own compositions.

“He was very popular in the 60s and early 70s,” recalls Michel Gagnon.

He sang in the cabarets alongside Jean-Pierre Ferland and Ginette Ravel.

His first 45 laps, Farmer pianist, was recorded in 1956. In the late 50s, he had his first big success selling 30,000 copies You allow sir, a piece of Adamo. With My village, sold about 42,000 copies in the mid-60s, he experienced his greatest success. The Kingdom of Saguenay also marked his career. 40 000 copies were sold in 5 minutes when launched in 1969.

During his career, he recorded 106 songs, five 45s and three 33 rpm.

“I followed him for a week in Montreal at that time. He sang at night and slept during the day. It was a rather hard life, “said Denis Gagnon. “He was able to live his music until the mid 70 Quietly, the groups took place in nightclubs,” says Michel Gagnon.

The artist had to refocus.

Paul Davis returned on to school, then worked especially as a security officer. “He said it was a normal job,” said Michel Gagnon.

It has permanently ceased to sing in 1978.

As he sang in my village, he returned to The Bay at the end of his life. There died of lung cancer Aug. 7, 1995, at the age of 63.

Executive Director of Musée du Fjord in La Baie, Guylaine Simard, is pleased to see that Paul Davis will be entitled to a tribute. It considers that the author-songwriter has been somewhat forgotten, who nevertheless was the first popular singer from the region.

There is some time the museum baieriverain recalled the contribution of Paul Davis in the song on his Facebook page, a move which led to the creation of a Web chronicle by Tele-Quebec.

For Guylaine Simard, the exercise was necessary. “I think it has been forgotten. It is important that the museum can refresh people’s memory of those who preceded us. ”

It was then that two of Paul Davis brothers contacted her, to mark the 50th anniversary of the song My village.

“With the family, began to discuss what we could do to remember the importance of Paul Davis in the song. The idea of ​​a tribute came with the Historical Society of the Saguenay, we thought of the day of the regional party, “she says.

Executive Director of the Musée du Fjord has contributed to the organization of the event, including component tribute text that will be read during the celebration.

“Paul Davis left a trace. He had an impressive success and paved the way for other singers in the region. He chose to be a songwriter and performer at a time when it was not an easy choice. Then others followed in his footsteps, “she says. “He composed songs of identity that appeal to our sense of pride. He was multifaceted. He sang, composed, wrote poems. He was a man with the temperament, he negotiated his own contracts, it was the claimant, argued her rights. It was very popular. It is important to highlight his legacy, “said Guylaine Simard, who points out that the song My village has been adapted by the group baieriverain Train hell.

Paul Davis left the area and moved to Montreal in early adulthood to occur in songs boxes. Its commitment to the region has always remained palpable, his songs “My village” and “The Kingdom of Saguenay” show well.

Gather the family archives
The Historical Society of the Saguenay immediately accepted that tribute be paid to Paul Davis as part of the regional party.

Laurent Thibeault, director of the organization, has even expressed interest in gathering the family archives to protect the heritage.

“We always organize a celebration on the occasion of the feast of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean on June 11 A Mass is held at St. Alexis Church of La Baie, then heads to the monument of 21, “he described. “This year, the brothers Paul Gagnon said Davis contacted us to pay tribute to the song My village composed 50 years ago. We have acceded to the request. ”

When he met the two brothers, Lawrence Thibeault wanted to know if they owned the archives. “As archivist, I expressed the interest that would maintain the sustainability of these documents. People could then use this and write more history. ”

The proposal was welcomed by the brothers Paul Davis.

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