Eddie Barclay

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Eddie Barclay (January 26, 1921 – May 13, 2005) was a French music producer whose singers included Jacques Brel and Charles Aznavour. He founded Barclay Records.


Born Edouard Ruault the son of a café waiter and a post office worker in Paris on January 26, 1921, he spent much of his early childhood with his grandmother in Taverny (in today's Val-d'Oise). His parents bought the Café de la Poste bar in the middle of Paris while he was a child and at the age of 15 he left school to work in the café. He had not enjoyed his studies but he taught himself music and piano. He particularly liked American jazz and embraced the music of Fats Waller. He often visited the Hot Club de France to hear the quintet of Stéphane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt.

He became a pianist at L'Étape club in rue Godot-de-Maury, Paris where his half-hour sets alternated with the young Louis de Funès, also at the start of his career. When the German occupiers of France banned jazz, he held regular social gatherings with other zazous at his home to listen to jazz records, and illegal radio stations. Pierre-Louis Guérin employed him as a pianist at Guérin's first nightclub, Le Club.

With the liberation in 1944 and consequent fashion for American music, Ruault changed his name to Eddie Barclay. Under this new name he married Michèle, the first of his nine wives, in 1945. His friends included Boris Vian, Henri......
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