Reviews / Kudos: Chevalier on Broadway - an American tribute

About Chevalier on Broadway - an American tribute...

From François Vals, Grasse, France  August 20, 2006

François Vals was Maurice Chevalier’s manager and personal assistant for the last twenty years of Maurice’s long career. He and his wife, Madeleine, traveled throughout the world with Maurice and his long-time accompanist, Fred Freed.

François and Madeleine Vals are retired and live near Pornichet. With his permission, we are happy to quote François’ reaction to our CD tribute to Maurice Chevalier, translated from his letter written in French, on Aug. 20, 2006.

“Dear Don Sheppard,

I will simply tell you that I felt goose bumps the first time that I heard our dear and great Maurice, the second time upon listening to the unique Judy Garland, and on Aug. 18, 2006 while relishing your recordings.

It’s really magnificent, moving, the way that you have brought back to life this great artist. You share with him, his spirit.

How have you been able to know Maurice so well. One gets the impression that you were close to him, knew him inside, in fact, that you have been his “homme de confiance” (trusted confidant) at the same time that you were a great performer.

Your English-French mixture is superb and the French lyrics are more than perfect.

I really liked “your Ménilmontant” and surprised also that you know that Charles (Trenet) wrote
that song for Maurice.

“Chevalier on Broadway – an American tribute” what a wonderful response on the part of an
American artist as talented as you, to our dear and great Maurice, who had written:

             “ To all my American friends,

                                        Having been liked for such a long time in America,                                                               is the pride of my life.  

                                                        Maurice Chevalier
                                                             7 – 4 – 70 ”

                          Cher Don Sheppard,
                             Merci pour tout (Thank you for everything)
                            et de tout mon coeur, (and with all my heart) 
   (signed)    François Vals
                                                                 BRAVO dear Don”


A book of tribute to Maurice Chevalier not to be missed! 

FrançoisVals compiled this magnificent book about Maurice Chevalier, with many photos, letters, awards, and historical facts about his long career. It was published in 2002. François and Madeleine Vals were Maurice's personal staff, along with Fred Freed, his accompanist. They traveled with him during all his many tours throughout the world.

François shares with his readers how he first met Maurice when he was only 14 years old and Maurice was a world famous personality and how much Maurice's friendship and trust in him has meant to him throughout the many years.

************************************************************* March 30, 2007
Rob Lester, CD reviewer

"...It's well honed and well researched. In this case, the performer sets out to truly impersonate the subject in all ways and mannerisms, and he succeeds quite well. The speaking voice's rhythms, singing voice, thick French accent, attitude, energy and flair are really there, cannily captured... Don does a very, very close Chevalier. The bonus tracks of him singing "Gigi" and "Isn't It Romantic" in his quite different, natural voice (smooth and unassumingly low-key) prove what a remarkable job he did. All the famous songs are here, a good retrospective."

September 10, 2007  Sylvia M. writes:
"I have enjoyed the CD immensely. ... Many a morning I have listened before I leave for work, It
is light, enchanting and lively, it starts my day off right.
 Don truely sounds like Chevalier; I think from his duplication of the man that he must have admired him to imitate him so well. I often forget, while I am listening that it is not Chevalier.
Don is to be commended. Also I assume that he is performing before a live audience; perhaps on stage. The audience enjoys him as well."

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