Lucille Starr

Last updated

Lucille Starr
Lucille Starr (1965).jpg
Lucille Starr (1965)
Background information
Birth nameLucille Marie Raymonde Savoie
Born(1938-05-13)May 13, 1938
Saint Boniface, Manitoba, Canada
DiedSeptember 4, 2020(2020-09-04) (aged 82)
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Genres Country
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass, mandolin
Years active1958–2020
Labels Almo International, A&M, Epic, Barry

Lucille Marie Raymonde Savoie (May 13, 1938 September 4, 2020), known professionally as Lucille Starr, was a French Canadian singer, songwriter, and yodeler originally from Saint Boniface, Manitoba, best known for her 1964 hit single, "Quand Le Soleil Dit Bonjour Aux Montagnes" ("The French Song") (When the sun says hello to the mountains).


Early life

Starr was born in the Franco-Manitoban community of Saint Boniface to a musical family. During her childhood years in Saint Boniface, she first sang in church. [1] When Starr was seven the family moved to Maillardville, a Francophone community in Coquitlam, British Columbia, where she learned to play guitar, bass and mandolin.


Savoie started her musical career with the local group Les Hirondelles. She met and married country singer Bob Regan, and, using the stage name Lucille Starr, she began performing with him as a country singing duo called "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 [2] and in 1963 they were signed by A&M Records in Los Angeles, California, with which they began recording as "The Canadian Sweethearts".

At A&M Records, Starr recorded a song called "The French Song" that was produced by Herb Alpert. [3] It was recorded in both French and English. In 1964, at a time when The Beatles dominated the music charts, "The French Song" was an international success that made Starr the first Canadian artist to have a record sell over a million copies. [4] The popularity of the song led to a tour of the United States and appearing on the Louisiana Hayride radio show and on Chicago radio station WLS (AM) popular National Barn Dance. Starr also sang on American television musical variety shows such as Shindig! and Hullabaloo , followed by tours of Pacific Rim countries, Australia, South Africa, and across Europe where she became a particular favorite in the Netherlands. The song sold over one million copies, and it was awarded a gold disc. [4]

In 1967, Starr and her Canadian Sweethearts duo signed a recording contract with Epic Records in Nashville, Tennessee. [5] Divorced from her husband, their musical collaboration ended in 1977. Although she never again had a hit of the magnitude of "The French Song", Starr enjoyed a long and prosperous career recording primarily in English but also in French and Spanish. For the most part she sang country music, becoming the first female inducted into the Canadian Country Music Association’s "Hall of Honor" in 1987. [6] A capable yodeler, she was hired to do the yodeling for the "Cousin Pearl" character on several segments of the hit TV series, The Beverly Hillbillies .

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. [7]

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


Starr died, in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the early morning hours of September 4, 2020. The announcement of her death was made on Facebook by fellow Canadian artist, Joyce Smith. [8]



1964The French SongA&M
1967Say you love me
1968In South Africa
1968Greatest HitsA&M
1968Remember MeCBS
1969Lonely StreetEpic
1971Side by SideHarmony
1981The Sun Shines Again [9] Starr
1988Back to YouQuality
1991Songs of LoveIntersound
Chansons D'Amour


YearSingleChart PositionsAlbum
CAN CountryCAN ACCAN US Country US
1964"The French Song"1254The French Song
"Jolie Jacqueline"24
1965"Crazy Arms"5
1967"Too Far Gone"172Lonely Street
1968"Is It Love?"63single only
1969"Cajun Love"1Lonely Street
1970"Dream Baby" (with Bob Regan)2850singles only
"The French Song" (re-release)3914
1971"Sock It to Satan"42
1981"Power in Your Love"37The Sun Shines Again
1988"The First Time I've Been in Love"26Back to You
"Back to You"63
1990"Just the Way We Were"99

Related Research Articles

Yodeling Form of singing

Yodeling is a form of singing which involves repeated and rapid changes of pitch between the low-pitch chest register and the high-pitch head register or falsetto. The English word yodel is derived from the German word jodeln, meaning "to utter the syllable jo". This vocal technique is used in many cultures worldwide.

Université de Saint-Boniface

The Université de Saint-Boniface (USB) is a French language public university located in the Saint Boniface suburb of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. An affiliated institution of the University of Manitoba, USB offers general and specialized university degree programs as well as technical and professional training. In 2014, enrolment counted 1,368 regular students and over 4,200 enrolments in its Continuing Education Division, which includes a language school.

Saint Boniface, Winnipeg Suburb in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

St. Boniface is a city ward of Winnipeg that is the centre of much of the Franco-Manitoban community. It features such landmarks as the St. Boniface Cathedral, Boulevard Provencher, the Provencher Bridge, Esplanade Riel, St. Boniface Hospital, the Université de Saint-Boniface and the Royal Canadian Mint. It covers the southeast part of the city and includes le Vieux Saint-Boniface, Norwood West, Norwood East, Windsor Park, Niakwa Park, Niakwa Place, Southdale, Southland Park, Royalwood, Sage Creek and Island Lakes, plus a large industrial area. The ward is represented by Matt Allard, a member of Winnipeg City Council, and also corresponds to the neighbourhood clusters of St. Boniface East and West. The population was 58,520 according to the Canada 2016 Census.

Kay Starr

Catherine Laverne Starks, known professionally as Kay Starr, was an American pop and jazz singer who enjoyed considerable success in the late 1940s and 1950s. She was of Iroquois and Irish heritage. Starr was successful in every field of music she tried, but her roots were in jazz.

"I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart" is a country and Western song written and first recorded in 1935 by Ruby Blevins, who performed as Patsy Montana. It was the first country song by a female artist to sell more than one million copies.

Skeeter Davis American singer-songwriter

Skeeter Davis was an American country music singer who sang crossover pop music songs including 1962's "The End of the World". She started out as part of the Davis Sisters as a teenager in the late 1940s, eventually landing on RCA Victor. In the late 1950s, she became a solo star.

The Canadian Sweethearts, sometimes known as Bob & Lucille, were a Canadian singing duo, who were popular during the 1960s, disbanding in 1977. The duo consisted of vocalist Lucille Starr, and her guitar playing husband, Bob Regan. They are best known for the rockabilly song, "Eeny Meeny Miney Moe." Their contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

Patsy Montana American country music singer-songwriter

Rubye Rose Blevins, known professionally as Patsy Montana, was an American country music singer, songwriter and actress. Montana was the first female country performer to have a million-selling single with her signature song "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart", and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Bob Nolan

Bob Nolan was a Canadian-born American singer, songwriter, and actor. He was a founding member of the Sons of the Pioneers, and composer of numerous Country music and Western music songs, including the standards "Cool Water" and "Tumbling Tumbleweeds." He is generally regarded as one of the finest Western songwriters of all time. As an actor and singer he appeared in scores of Western films.

Jane Morgan

Jane Morgan is an American singer. Morgan initially found success in France and the UK before achieving recognition in the US, receiving six gold records. She was a frequent nightclub and Broadway performer, and also appeared numerous times on American television, both as a singer and as a dramatic performer.

Robert James Byrd, known by the stage name Bobby Day, was an American rock and roll and R&B singer, multi instrumentalist, music producer and songwriter. He is best known for his hit record "Rockin' Robin", written by Leon René under the pseudonym Jimmie Thomas.

"(The) Rock and Roll Waltz" is a popular song with music by Shorty Allen and lyrics by Roy Alfred in 1955, although the identity of the lyricist is in dispute. Other sources cite a Dick Ware, Dick Wise, or Dick Wine.

Linda Scott

Linda Scott is an American pop singer and actress who was active from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. Her biggest hit was the 1961 million-selling single, "I've Told Every Little Star". She went on to place twelve songs on the charts over the next four years, the last being "Who’s Been Sleeping In My Bed," inspired by the film and written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach. In 1962, she portrayed a fictionalized version of herself in the musical film Don't Knock the Twist.

Shirley Mae Goodman was an American R&B singer, best known as one half of Shirley and Lee, a 1950s duo. Later in her career, she had a resurgence with the disco hit "Shame, Shame, Shame" in the 1970s.

Edith "Ditta" Einzinger, was an Austrian pop singer who recorded under the stage name Lolita.

Maillardville Neighbourhood of Coquitlam in Lower Mainland, British Columbia, Canada

Maillardville is a community on the south slope of the city of Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada.

Ash Koley is a Canadian new wave/alternative pop band from Winnipeg, Manitoba. The band consists of Ash Koley, after whom the band is named, and Phil Deschambault.

Gitte Hænning Danish actress

Gitte Hænning is a Danish singer and film actress, who rose to fame as a child star in the 1950s.

Astrud Gilberto Brazilian singer

Astrud Gilberto is a Brazilian samba and bossa nova singer. She became popular in the 1960s after her performance of the song "The Girl from Ipanema".

Shirley Thoms

Shirley Thoms-Bystrynski, was an Australian country music singer and pioneer of Australia's country music industry. She was known as Australia's Yodelling Sweetheart.


  1. John Einarson. "Winnipeg-born Lucille Starr shone brightly around the world".
  2. Chuck Davis (January 1, 1997). The greater Vancouver book: an urban encyclopaedia. Linkman Press. p. 683. ISBN   978-1-896846-00-2.
  3. Lucille Star does single for A&M. Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. May 16, 1964. pp. 40–. ISSN   0006-2510.
  4. 1 2 Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p.  183. ISBN   0-214-20512-6.
  5. Joseph Murrells (1978). The Book of Golden Discs . Barrie and Jenkins. p.  183. ISBN   978-0-214-20480-7.
  6. "Hall of Fame Inductees: Lucille Starr". Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame website
  7. Archived September 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  8. "Manitoba-born country music queen Lucille Starr dies at 82".
  9. "Lucille Starr Artist Biography". AllMusic, by Sandra Brennan