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Albert Marier, singer (1895-1971)

Photograph of Albert Marier

Albert Marier

Albert Marier was born on January 5, 1895 in Haverhill, Massachusetts, where his father worked as a journalist for New England's then huge French-speaking community. In 1897, his family moved to Ottawa. Enticed by singing, he took music theory courses. After arriving in Montréal around 1914, he became a few years later one of the first singers to appear on the emerging medium of radio. While pursuing his stage and recording career, he worked as a sales representative for the heating system distributor Mongeau Robert in Montréal, a job that he held for 37 years.

In 1928, Albert Marier signed a recording contract with Starr, the company run by his friend Roméo Beaudry. Beaudry penned a number of songs for Marier, of which more than 15 were original works: "Alouette, n'aie pas peur de moi", "Chaque fois qu'on dit je t'aime," "À quoi bon," "Sur les genoux de ma mère," "Si Suzon savait", "Ça devait durer toujours" and several others.

Albert Marier recorded many French versions of American hits for the series "Double durée," among others. Among these were several penned by Beaudry: "Parmi mes souvenirs," "Ramona," "Ensemble," "La Chanson de Broadway," "Parmi les tulipes en fleurs," "Les Beaux Jours sont revenus," "Dois-je te dire," "Nuit de Mexique" and "J'ai peur de tes grands yeux."

Having recorded more than 170 original songs, Albert Marier numbered among the most prolific artists of his era. He was one of the few performers to cut new material for Starr during the Great Depression. During the 1930s, he was part of a folksong group, le Quatuor du Saguenay. Albert Marier ultimately abandoned his professional career to continue with his job as a sales representative. He would later sing with the choir of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce church, conducted by Jean-Marie Magnan and accompanied by Paul Doyon on the organ. Marier died in Montréal on January 30, 1971.

For more information on Albert Marier's recordings, please consult the Virtual Gramophone database.

Robert Thérien, music researcher, Montréal