Henri Betti

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Henri Betti
Born
Ange Eugène Betti

(1917-07-24)24 July 1917
Nice, France
Died7 July 2005(2005-07-07) (aged 87)
Courbevoie, France
Burial placeNeuilly-sur-Seine community cemetery
Residence
NationalityFrench
EducationConservatoire de Paris
Occupation
Years active1941–1987
Notable work
C'est si bon (1947)
What Can I Do ? (1947)
The Windmill Song (1948)
Give me More (1955)
Spouse(s)
Françoise Engels
(m. 1949; his death 2005)
Children3
WebsiteHenri Betti

Henri Betti, born Ange Betti (24 July 1917 – 7 July 2005), was a French composer and a pianist.[1]

Pianist and composer of Maurice Chevalier from 1940 to 1945, Henri Betti is best known for composing the music of the songs C'est si bon (lyrics by André Hornez), What Can I Do ? (lyrics by Édith Piaf) and The Windmill Song (lyrics by Jacques Plante) that were performed by Yves Montand.

Biography[edit]

Henri Betti was born at 1 rue Barillerie in the district of Vieux-Nice in a modest family : his father was a house painter and his mother was a fishmonger. His paternal family originates from the region of Emilia-Romagna in Italy : his grandfather was born in Parma and he immigrated to Nice with his wife and children in 1893.

In 1935, he entered at the Conservatoire de Paris which is then directed by Henri Rabaud where he studied music in the same class as Maurice Baquet, Paul Bonneau, Henri Dutilleux and Louiguy. He is the student of Lazare Lévy for piano class and Raymond Pech for harmony class. He won a prize of harmony in 1937.

He then headed for a classical pianist, but in 1940, when he has been discharged from military service of Fortified Sector of the Dauphiné in Briançon, he crosses the Corsican composer Roger Lucchesi on the Promenade des Anglais, who told him that he composed a song for Maurice Chevalier and asked him to accompany him to the piano when he the present him in his property La Louque in Cannes. Maurice Chevalier refuse the song but to ask Henri Betti be his regular accompanist. During the singing tours, he will make him play the Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23 by Frédéric Chopin between songs. Anxious to renew his repertoire, he also asked him to compose songs. Henri Betti then wrote music forty songs with the lyrics of Maurice Chevalier and Maurice Vandair until 1945 that Notre Espoir and La Chanson du maçon in 1941 or La Fête à Neu-Neu in 1943. Of the fifteen securities singing tour of Maurice Chevalier in 1945, Henri Betti sign fourteen.

He joined the SACEM in 1941 as composer and was appointed Sociétaire définitif in 1949.

After World War II, he knows great success with Le Régiment des mandolines in 1946 and Le Chapeau à plumes in 1947 for Lily Fayol, Mais qu’est-ce que j’ai ? in 1947, Maître Pierre and Rien dans les mains, rien dans les poches in 1948 for Yves Montand and especially C'est si bon in 1947 for Jean Marco with Jacques Hélian and his Orchestra. The song is sung by Yves Montand before becoming a standard international jazz with Louis Armstrong, who recorded for the first time in New York in 1950 in the English version of Jerry Seelen.

From 1949 to 1983, his music production is abundant : revues for Le Lido, the Moulin Rouge, the Folies Bergère, the Olympia, the Stardust and the Tropicana in Las Vegas, and many operettas and plays.

He has also composed for the cinema in the 1950s and television in the 1960s. His most famous soundtrack is that of Honoré de Marseille which will nearly 4 million admissions in France in 1957. In this movie, Fernandel sings three songs composed by Henri Betti and the words by Jean Manse. Henri Betti and Jean Manse had written a fourth song for the movie, C'est Noël, sung by Fernandel in a scene that was edited out. The song was later sung by Tino Rossi and Georges Guétary. In 1953, he played the role of the composer and accompanist of the company of Jean Nohain in Soyez les bienvenus by Pierre-Louis which he also composed the music for the film.

In the early 1950s, he made her singing on stage first as vedette américaine featuring at the ABC in 1951 and the Theatre des Deux Anes, in parisian cabarets as Le Bosphore and Chez Tonton, and in summer outdoors in Nice, Cannes, Juan-les-Pins shows. And then as a full-featured except to Bobino and Gaumont-Palace. His talent manager was Johnny Stark.

During his career as a musician, Henri Betti worked with the composers Paul Bonneau, Gérard Calvi, Bruno Coquatrix, Jean-Pierre Landreau and Rolf Marbot and with the lyricists André Berthomieu, Bourvil, Jean Boyer, Charlys, Maurice Chevalier, Jean Cosmos, Pierre Cour, Yves Favier, Pierre Gilbert, André Hornez, Jean Le Seyeux, Francis Lopez, Jean Manse, Jacques Mareuil, Jean Nohain, Édith Piaf, Jacques Pills, Jacques Plante, René Rouzaud, André Salvet, Pascal Sevran, Maurice Vandair, Henri Varna, Raymond Vincy and Albert Willemetz.

In 1951, he participated with Albert Willemetz to the foundation of the Comité du Cœur, relief fund for needy artists under the auspices of the SACEM, which will be Vice-President.

In 1958, he collaborated with Jean-Pierre Landreau to compose all the music revues of Lido for the company Lido-Mélodies whose two founding members are Jean Gruyer and Pierre Delvincourt.

In 1959, he collaborated with Bruno Coquatrix to compose the music of Paris mes amours and Avec (lyrics by André Hornez) which were performed by Josephine Baker at the Olympia.

In 1960, he wrote the music for the song Les Étangs de Sologne with the lyrics by Paul Vialar which was sung the same year by Jean Philippe in the TV show Toute la Chanson.

In 1971, he participated with Maurice Lehmann to the foundation of the ANAO (Association Nationale des Amis de l’Opérette) which will be Vice-President.

He was member of Conseil d'administration of the SACD from 1961 to 1975 and of the SACEM in 1982, 1983, from 1985 to 1987 and from 1989 to 1992.

In 1987, he composed the music for his last song with lyrics of Pascal Sevran : C'est à Brasilia, performed by Les Sœurs Étienne.

In 1993, he published his autobiography, C'est si bon !, published by La Pensée Universelle.

In 2003, he entered the nursing home Ger'Home in Courbevoie where he died two years later of natural causes at the age of 87 years.

His funeral held at the Eglise Saint-Pierre de Neuilly-sur-Seine, he is then cremated at the crematorium of Fort Mont-Valérien and buried in the Neuilly-sur-Seine community cemetery (Division 11, Parcelle Paysagée B).

Personal life[edit]

Henri Betti married on July 30, 1949 in Bois-Colombes with the dancer Françoise Engels, met on the operetta Baratin that same year. His wedding witnesses were Bruno Coquatrix and André Hornez. The couple had three children and the godfather and godmother of their first child were André Hornez and Paulette Coquatrix.

Henri Betti was the brother of Freda Betti and the great granduncle of Alexy Bosetti but he has no family relationship with Laura Betti and Priscilla Betti.

Awards[edit]

Henri Betti is made Chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques in 1960 and received the Prix Maurice-Yvain, awarded by the SACD, in 1980 and the Médaille d'or by the SACEM in 1994.

Tribute[edit]

In 2006, his son François Betti realized the musical engravings and wrote the comments of the songbook Une Vie en Chansons. In this album which is published by Paul Beuscher, there are the musical scores of 12 songs of Henri Betti : Notre espoir (lyrics by Maurice Chevalier), La Chanson du maçon, Chanson Populaire (lyrics by Maurice Chevalier and Maurice Vandair), Le Régiment des mandolines (lyrics by Maurice Vandair), C'est si bon (lyrics by André Hornez), Mais qu’est-ce que j’ai ? (lyrics by Édith Piaf), Rien dans les mains, rien dans les poches (lyrics by André Hornez), Maître Pierre (lyrics by Jacques Plante), Toutes les femmes, Deux amoureux sur un banc, Elle et lui (lyrics by André Hornez) and Comme c'est bon chez toi (lyrics by Pierre Cour).

In 2018, Benoît Duteurtre hosts a radio show, Étonnez-moi Benoît, about Henri Betti's career with the participation of the composer's son and grandson : François and Olivier Betti. In this radio program which airs on France Musique on April 28, 10 songs by Henri Betti are broadcast : Le Régiment des mandolines (by Lily Fayol), Tout ça c'est Marseille (by Fernandel), Notre espoir (by Maurice Chevalier), Mais qu’est-ce que j’ai ? (by Yves Montand), C'est si bon (by Jean Marco and the Étienne Sisters), Les Baobabs (by Roger Nicolas), Je cherche un cœur (by Jacques Pills), Grenelle (by Suzy Delair), Il fait beau (by Tino Rossi) and La Chanson du maçon (by Maurice Chevalier).

Works[edit]

Songs by singers[edit]

  • Andrex
  • Étienne Arnaud
  • Rose Avril
    • Le Manzanilla (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
  • Josephine Baker
    • Avec (lyrics by André Hornez)
    • Paris mes Amours (lyrics by André Hornez)
      • Performed in the revue Paris mes Amours
  • Luc Barney
  • José Bartel
  • Ginette Baudin
    • Le Vrai Mambo (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
    • Les Baobabs (lyrics by André Hornez)
  • Armand Bernard
    • Octave (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
      • Performed in the operetta Mam'zelle Printemps
  • Silvana Blasi
    • Prends Garde à Toi (lyrics by André Hornez)
      • Performed in the revue Folies Chéries
  • Bourvil
    • En Nourrice (lyrics by Maurice Vandair and Bourvil)
  • Reda Caire
  • Nila Cara
  • Maurice Chevalier
    • À Barcelone (lyrics by Maurice Chevalier)
    • Ali Ben Baba (lyrics by Maurice Chevalier)
    • Amuse-toi (lyrics by Maurice Chevalier)
    • Arc-en-Ciel (lyrics by Maurice Chevalier)
    • Bonsoir Messieurs Dames ! (lyrics by Maurice Vandair and Maurice Chevalier)
    • C’est comme ça (lyrics by Maurice Chevalier and Raymond Vincy)
      • Performed in the revue Pour toi Paris
    • C’était un Chanteur de Charme (lyrics by Maurice Chevalier and Léon-René Dauven)
      • Performed in the revue Pour toi Paris
    • La Chanson du Maçon (lyrics by Maurice Vandair and Maurice Chevalier)
    • Chanson Populaire (lyrics by Maurice Vandair and Maurice Chevalier)
    • Chapeau de Paille (lyrics by Albert Willemetz and Jean Le Seyeux)
      • Performed in the short film Rendez-vous avec Maurice Chevalier n°1
    • Deux Amoureux sur un Banc (lyrics by André Hornez)
      • Performed in the short film Rendez-vous avec Maurice Chevalier n°4
    • La Fête à Neu-Neu (lyrics by Maurice Vandair and Maurice Chevalier)
    • Je n’ai Besoin que d’un Cœur (lyrics by Maurice Chevalier)
    • La Leçon de Piano (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
    • Loulou (lyrics by Maurice Chevalier)
      • Performed in the revue Pour toi Paris
    • Madam’ Madame (lyrics by André Hornez)
    • Mandarinade (lyrics by Maurice Chevalier and Pierre Gilbert)
    • Môme de Môme (lyrics by Maurice Chevalier)
    • Mon P'tit Moustique (lyrics by André Hornez)
      • Performed in the short film Rendez-vous avec Maurice Chevalier n°2
    • Monotonie (lyrics by Maurice Vandair and Maurice Chevalier)
    • Notre Espoir (lyrics by Maurice Chevalier)
    • On Veut tant s’Aimer (lyrics by Maurice Chevalier)
    • L’Orientale (lyrics by André Hornez)
    • Oui, Oui, Paris (lyrics by André Hornez)
    • Le P’tit Père la Taupe (lyrics by Maurice Chevalier)
    • La Polka des Barbus (lyrics by Maurice Chevalier)
      • Performed in the revue Pour toi Paris
    • Pour toi Paris (lyrics by Maurice Chevalier and Henri Varna)
      • Performed in the revue Pour toi Paris
    • Le Régiment des Jambes Louis XV (lyrics by Maurice Chevalier)
    • Les Rondondons (lyrics by Maurice Vandair and Maurice Chevalier)
    • Toi… Toi… Toi… (lyrics by Maurice Chevalier)
  • Les Compagnons de la chanson
  • Jean-Pierre Darras and Philippe Noiret
    • Consuela (lyrics by Jean Cosmos)
    • Marche Grecque (lyrics by Jean Cosmos)
    • Mon Grand (lyrics by Jean Cosmos)
    • Paris-Paname (lyrics by Jean Cosmos)
  • André Dassary
    • La Route qui Chante (lyrics by Raymond Vincy)
      • Performed in the operetta La Route qui Chante
  • Suzy Delair
    • Faisons Semblant d’Être Amoureux (lyrics by André Hornez)
    • Grenelle (lyrics by André Hornez)
    • La Mobilette (lyrics by André Hornez)
      • Performed in the operetta Mobilette
    • Le Manzanilla (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
  • Jula De Palma
  • Les Djinns
    • C'est si bon (lyrics by André Hornez)
    • Top Tipi Top (lyrics by Raymond Vincy)
  • Dominique
  • Éliane Dorsay
    • Le Bonheur du Monde (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
    • Sérénade au Nuage (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
  • Lucille Dumont
    • Maître Pierre (lyrics by Jacques Plante)
    • Le Régiment des mandolines (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
  • Éliane Embrun
    • Au Fond de la Vallée... (lyrics by Tony Andal)
  • Les Sœurs Étienne
  • Paulette Fargue
    • Farandole en Provence (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
    • Son Amour (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
      • Performed in the operetta Mam'zelle Printemps
  • Lily Fayol
    • Le Régiment des mandolines (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
    • Une Aiguille dans un Tas de Foin (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
    • Le Bandonéon (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
      • Performed in the operetta Mam'zelle Printemps
    • Le Chapeau à Plumes (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
    • Entre ses Bras (lyrics by André Hornez)
  • Fernandel
  • Jacqueline François
  • Henri Génès
    • L’Oeil en Coulisse (lyrics by André Hornez and André Berthomieu)
    • On n’est pas des Manchots (lyrics by André Hornez and André Berthomieu)
      • Performed in the movie L'Œil en coulisses
    • La Pagaïa (lyrics by Jean Boyer)
      • Performed in the operetta L'École des Femmes Nues
    • Elle et Lui (lyrics by André Hornez)
    • Et puis (lyrics by André Hornez)
    • Le Vrai Mambo (lyrics by André Hornez)
  • Édith Georges
    • Comment me Préférez-vous ? (lyrics by Jean Boyer)
      • Performed in the operetta L'École des Femmes Nues
    • Oh ! Zoé (lyrics by André Hornez)
  • Fernand Gignac
  • Ginette Giner
    • La Clé de mon Cœur (lyrics by André Hornez)
      • Performed in the operetta Baratin
  • Yvette Giraud
    • C'est si bon (lyrics by André Hornez)
    • Deux Amoureux sur un Banc (lyrics by André Hornez)
    • Maître Pierre (lyrics by Jacques Plante)
  • Raymond Girerd
  • Lynda Gloria
    • La Plus Belle Fille (lyrics by André Hornez)
      • Performed in the revue Folies Chéries
  • Georges Guétary
    • Au Volant d’une Auto (lyrics by André Hornez and René Rouzaud)
    • Toutes les Femmes (lyrics by André Hornez and René Rouzaud)
    • Vive le Camping (lyrics by André Hornez and René Rouzaud)
    • Cherchez la Femme (lyrics by André Hornez)
    • Tout Vient à Point (lyrics by André Hornez)
    • Maître Pierre (lyrics by Jacques Plante)
    • C'est Noël (lyrics by Jean Manse)
  • Bernard Hilda
  • Rudy Hirigoyen
    • L’Auberge Fleurie (lyrics by André Salvet and Francis Lopez)
    • Va ! (lyrics by André Salvet and Pierre Guitton)
    • Bonjour à Paris (lyrics by Raymond Vincy)
    • Le Marché de Santa Cruz (lyrics by Raymond Vincy)
    • Maria (lyrics by Raymond Vincy)
    • Mia Cara Carina (lyrics by Raymond Vincy)
    • La Porte du Soleil (lyrics by Raymond Vincy)
    • Ragazzinella (lyrics by Raymond Vincy)
    • Sur ma Charrette Sicilienne (lyrics by Raymond Vincy)
      • Performed in the operetta Maria Flora
    • Le Manzanilla (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
  • Christiane Jacquier
  • Liliane Lanson
    • Choisir un Mari (lyrics by Raymond Vincy)
      • Performed in the operetta Maria Flora
  • Roger Lanzac
    • Ollé, Ollé… Tickets, Tickets... in the movie Soyez les bienvenus (lyrics by Jean Nohain)
    • Touchant, Touchant in the movie Soyez les bienvenus (lyrics by Jean Nohain)
      • Performed in the movie Soyez les bienvenus
  • Bernard Hilda
  • Lilo
    • C’est pas d’ma Faute (lyrics by Raymond Vincy)
    • Maria (lyrics by Raymond Vincy)
    • Toute Seule à Paris (lyrics by Raymond Vincy)
      • Performed in the operetta Maria Flora
  • Lucien Lupi
    • Coucher Dessus, Coucher Dessous (lyrics by André Hornez)
    • Faisons Semblant d’Être Amoureux (lyrics by André Hornez)
      • Performed in the operetta Mobilette
  • Rose Mania
    • Les Pépées de Papeete (lyrics by André Hornez)
      • Performed in the operetta Maria Flora
  • Jean Marco
    • C'est si bon (lyrics by André Hornez)
    • Le Chapeau à Plumes (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
    • Le Charbon de la Ruhr (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
    • Maître Pierre (lyrics by Jacques Plante)
  • Léo Marjane
    • Incrédulité (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
  • Félix Marten
  • Monique Maurène
    • L’Amour ! L’Amour ! in the movie Soyez les bienvenus (lyrics by Jean Nohain)
      • Performed in the movie Soyez les bienvenus
  • Armand Mestral
    • Le Beau Pedro in the movie Soyez les bienvenus (lyrics by Jean Nohain)
      • Performed in the movie Soyez les bienvenus
  • Pierre Mingand
  • Yves Montand
  • René Morel
    • L'Amour de Ninette (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
    • Farandole en Provence (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
    • Mam'zelle Printemps (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
      • Performed in the operetta Mam'zelle Printemps
  • Marcel Mouloudji
    • Y’a pas d’quoi (lyrics by André Hornez)
  • Roger Nicolas
    • App’lez-moi l’Gérant (lyrics by André Hornez)
    • Les Baobabs (lyrics by André Hornez)
    • Baratin (lyrics by André Hornez)
      • Performed in the operetta Baratin
  • Clairette Oddera
    • Si tu Voulais (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
    • Toujours d'Accord (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
      • Performed in the operetta Mam'zelle Printemps
  • Paola
    • Maria (lyrics by Raymond Vincy)
    • Le Tambour du Régiment (lyrics by Raymond Vincy)
    • Toute Seule à Paris (lyrics by Raymond Vincy)
      • Performed in the operetta Maria Flora
  • Jean Patart
    • Je Cherche une Étoile (lyrics by René Rouzaud)
    • Maître Pierre (lyrics by Jacques Plante)
  • Jean Philippe
    • Les Étangs de Sologne (lyrics by Paul Vialar)
      • Performed in the TV Show Toute la Chanson
  • Jacques Pills
    • Confidences (lyrics by Jean Boyer)
    • Je Cherche un Cœur (lyrics by Jean Boyer)
    • Mais où donc ? (lyrics by Jean Boyer)
      • Performed in the operetta L'École des Femmes Nues
    • Maître Pierre (lyrics by Jacques Plante)
    • Dictionnaire (lyrics by Jacques Pills)
    • Elle et Lui (lyrics by André Hornez)
  • Michel Roger
    • Je Cherche une Étoile (lyrics by René Rouzaud)
    • Sérénade au Nuage (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)
  • Tino Rossi
    • Il Fait Beau (lyrics by Jacques Mareuil)
    • Si j’Étais Marin (lyrics by Jacques Mareuil)
      • Performed in the operetta Le Marchand de Soleil
    • C'est Noël (lyrics by Jean Manse)
    • C'est si bon (lyrics by André Hornez)
    • Si tu Voulais m’Aimer (lyrics by André Hornez)
  • Dominique Tirmont
    • Corps et Âme (lyrics by André Hornez)
    • Du Moment… (lyrics by André Hornez)
      • Performed in the operetta Baratin
  • Tohama
    • Elle Chante (lyrics by René Rouzaud)
    • Maître Pierre (lyrics by Jacques Plante)
  • Jean Vallin
    • Le Marché de Santa Cruz (lyrics by Raymond Vincy)
    • Maria (lyrics by Raymond Vincy)
      • Performed in the operetta Maria Flora
  • Roger Varnay
    • Le Régiment des mandolines (lyrics by Maurice Vandair)

Songs composed in collaboration[edit]

Songs orchestrated[edit]

Songs performed[edit]

Songs adapted in English[edit]

Cinema[edit]

Film scores[edit]

Television scores[edit]

Operettas[edit]

Theater[edit]

Revues[edit]

At the Casino de Paris
  • 1942 : Pour toi Paris.
At the Le Lido
  • 1956 : C’est magnifique.
  • 1957 : Prestige.
  • 1959 : Avec plaisir.
  • 1961 : Pour vous.
  • 1962 : Suivez-moi.
At the Folies Bergère
  • 1955 : Ah ! Quelle Folie....
  • 1958 : Folies légères.
  • 1961 : Folies chéries.
  • 1964 : Folies en fêtes.
  • 1968 : Et vive la Folie !.
  • 1972 : J’aime à la Folie.
  • 1977 : Folie, je t’adore.
  • 1982 : Folies de Paris.
At the Olympia
  • 1959 : Paris mes amours.
At the Moulin Rouge
  • 1963 : Frou Frou.
  • 1965 : Frisson.
  • 1967 : Fascination.
  • 1970 : Fantastic.
  • 1973 : Festival.
  • 1976 : Follement.
  • 1979 : Frénésie.
  • 1983 : Femmes, Femmes, Femmes....
At the Broadway Theatre
  • 1964 : Folies Bergère.

Appearances[edit]

Cinema[edit]

Short film[edit]

Feature film[edit]

Television[edit]

Television show[edit]

  • 1956 : 36 Chandelles (30 January) - RTF.
  • 1956 : La Joie de Vivre (03 April) - RTF.
  • 1957 : 36 Chansons (27 January and 10 March) - RTF.
  • 1958 : 36 Chandelles (28 April) - RTF.
  • 1959 : Les Joies de la Vie (06 April) - RTF.
  • 1960 : Toute la Chanson (27 June) - RTF.
  • 1960 : Rue de la Gaîté (20 October) - RTF.
  • 1960 : Au-delà de l'Écran (23 October) - RTF.
  • 1960 : Discorama (18 November) - RTF.
  • 1985 : Thé Dansant (09 June) - France 2.
  • 1988 : Soir 3 (11 September) - France 3.
  • 1988 : La Chance aux Chansons (15 September) - TF1.
  • 1990 : Midi 3 (30 March) - France 3.
  • 1993 : La Chance aux Chansons (15 and 16 March) - France 2.
  • 2001 : Les Refrains de la Mémoire (30 September) - France 5.

Documentary film[edit]

Radio[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Henri Betti : Récit autobiographique, Embrasure, Paris, 1993.
  • Henri Betti : une Vie en chansons, Paul Beuscher, Paris, 2006.

Discography[edit]

  • Les Chansons de ma Jeunesse : Henri Betti, Marianne Mélodie, Roubaix, 2016.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Henri Betti". Discogs. Retrieved 9 August 2017.

External links[edit]