Star Walk

Music, Pioneer
Biography

Lucille Marie Raymonde Savoie was born in St Boniface, Manitoba, on May 13,1938. She was raised in Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam's Francophone community of Maillardville in British Columbia, where she learned to play guitar, bass and mandolin. In her teens Lucille began her career by singing with the local French ensemble Les Hirondelles.

She began using the stage name Lucille Starr in Vancouver in 1954, and two years later started performing with the singer-songwriter-guitarist-fiddler Bob Regan and formed the duo "Bob & Lucille." Between 1958 and 1963 they released several 45 rpm records that were mainly covers of an eclectic mix of fashionable country, pop, rockabilly and folk songs of people such as Perry Como to Connie Francis. Their records met with modest success on the North American West Coast and in 1963 they were signed by A&M Records in Los Angeles, California, with which they began recording as "The Canadian Sweethearts". Starr and Bob Regan married and moved to Los Angeles. As the Canadian Sweethearts, they enjoyed popularity across North America.

A versatile singer in many pop-music as well as country styles, Starr also recorded alone, her biggest hit was 'The French Song' ('Quand le soleil dit bonjour aux montagnes'), sung in French and English, and characterized by Starr's distinctive vibrato, it was popular during 1964-5 in Canada, the US, Europe, Australia, Asia, and South Africa. The song and an LP of the same name (A & M LP-107) were reported to have sold 1 and 5 million copies respectively, making Starr the first Canadian female singer to earn a gold record. Starr's other hits during the 1960s included 'Yours,' 'Crazy Arms,' and 'Jolie Jacqueline,' for A & M, and 'Bonjour Tristesse' for Epic. Starr also was heard in this period on the popular US TV comedy 'The Beverly Hillbillies,' yodelling for the character Cousin Pearl.

Back to You: the Life and Music of Lucille Starr, a jukebox musical with a script by Tracey Power, was performed at the Prairie Theatre Exchange in Winnipeg in November 2010.

In her honour, a street in the city of Coquitlam, British Columbia was named "Lucille Starr Way".

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