31 May 2015

Michel Paje

French singer and songwriter Michel Paje (1945) was one of the yéyé pop stars of the early 1960s. He worked for the cinema as an actor and composer and is now known as a voice actor under his real name Michel Roy.

Michel Paje
French postcard by Publistar, Marseille, no. 1190. Photo: P.P.P. / Vogue.

Yéyé Star

Michel Paje was born as Michel Roy in 1945 in Paris. He attended the boarding school St Nicolas in Issy-les-Moulineaux. During his youth, he had several jobs: assistant to a photographer, lighting assistant at the cabaret Le Milliardaire, employee of a British insurance company.

At the same time he took singing lessons with Jean Lumière, Charles Humel (the composer of Plaines du Far West for Yves Montand), and Christiane Néré where he met Alain Barrière and Isabelle Aubret.

He also took drama courses with René Simon a.o. He won the 1st prize Dramatic Art, Classical Section, at the Maubel conservatory in a play by Alfred de Musset. He played in a film and on stage at the festival of Enghien. But soon he chose for the music.

Paje became a star of the yéyé (French pop style) singer and recorded his first single in 1963: Tu peux pleurer (You can cry). His next song Nous on est dans le vent (We're in the wind) was one of the summer hits of 1963. It was later used for the soundtrack of the film comedy Jet-Set (Fabien Onteniente, 2000) with Samuel Le Bihan and Lambert Wilson.

In the following years he recorded several singles and two albums. His song On a l'âge de raison, mais on n'a jamais raison would be his greatest hit.

Michel Paje
French postcard by Editions Starama, no. 868. Photo: Nisak / Vogue.

Michel Paje
French postcard by Publistar, Marseille, no. 973. Photo: Vogue.

Apothéose porno

Michel Paje continued his singing career in Canada where he had his own TV show À la page (1967). In Montréal, he composed a song for the Expo 67, Bonjour Montréal, of which he also made an English version, Hello Montréal.

In 1968 Michel met actress Danielle Ouimet, the hope of the Canadian cinema. They made the Canadian film Tendre et sensuelle Valérie/Valérie (Denis Héroux, 1968) for which he composed the music and played a small part. The director Denis Héroux later became a major producer of well-known French and American films.

Paje also recorded two duets with Danielle Ouimet in 1968 and 1969. Back in France, Paje worked under his own name Michel Roy as a host and producer for the popular radio station Europe 1 in 1969.

He composed soundtracks for such films as the short Comme larrons en foire/Thick as thieves (Edmond Freess, 1970), the Spanish film Los farsantes del amor/The love fakers (Juan Xiol, 1972) and the adult comedy Apothéose porno (Jean-Marie Ghanassia, 1976).

He also composed music for the TV series Recherche dans l'intérêt des familles/Research for the benefit of families (1977) and for commercials. He continued to record until the mid-1970s, often under the alias Alain Jory.

In 2006 he moved to Moscow. According to Wikipedia he worked there on the film Au service du Roi and dubbed the role of King Louis XIV.

Today he is the official voice of the French TV station BFM TV. Michel Roy also works as a voice actor on films, TV programmes, commercials and trailers.

Michel Paje
French postcard by Publistar, Marseille, no. 869. Photo: Nisak / Vogue.

Michel Paje sings Nous on est dans le vent (1963). Source: Valetdecoeurs (YouTube).

Sources: Retro Jeunesse 60 (French), Michelpaje.fr (French), Wikipedia (French) and IMDb.
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