New Friends - New Discoveries
A month or so after daughter Marcelle's death - September
1935, Edith and Mômone made their way to the Champs-Elysées in the
hope of a more lucrative day's singing. Standing on the corner of Rue Troyon
and Avenue Macmahon Edith was singing 'Les deux ménétriers' when
she was approached by a man who was to change her life - Louis Leplée.
Handing her a scrap of paper containing his name, address and ten francs he
asked her to meet him to audition at his club - Gerny's, Rue Pierre Charron.
Avenue Macmahon / Rue Troyon
Corner of Rue Troyon
There was little that Louis wanted to change when it
came to her singing voice, but her name, Edith Gassion was considered totally
unsuitable. After considering - and rejecting - several names, he hit upon the
idea of using the Parisian argot name for sparrow; Edith Piaf was created
Her opening night was a nerve wracking affair for young Edith. In a black,
hand knitted dress, a borrowed scarf hiding a missing sleeve, she faced an
initially cold, indifferent audience, but left the stage to riotous applause
Her new -found popularity brought with it new friends;
Maurice Chevalier, Mistinguett - a contemporary of hers and Jacques Borgeat the
poet with whom she maintained life long contact.
Things were going from strength to strength until the
6th April 1936. Louis 'Papa' Leplée was murdered in his apartment at 83
Avenue de la Grande Armée and Edith, by her long association with the
more dubious characters of Paris, was a prime suspect in the organisation of
his death, if not the act itself.
of 'Gernys' and 'Louis Leplée' reproduced by kind permission of
Christina L Fisher