Ringo (singer)

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Birth name Guy Bayle
Born (1947-05-11) 11 May 1947 (age 70)
Origin Toulouse, Occitanie, France
Genres Pop music
Occupation(s) Singer
Years active 1972–early 1980s

Ringo (born Guy Bayle 11 May 1947),[1] in Toulouse, Occitanie, France,[2] also known as Ringo Willy Cat is a French pop–singer, who became famous in the seventies.[1][3][4][5][6][7] According to Billboard magazine he "enjoyed a huge amount of sales" with various hits.[8] Ringo was cited by Billboard as an example of a French artist having a big impact in exporting French songs to the international arena and creating international hits despite the existing language barrier which the French artists face abroad.[8] He was married to Sheila, a female French singer.[3][9] Ringo's career ended in the mid–'80s.[2][10]

Early life[edit]

Ringo, during his high-school years in Toulouse, enjoyed reading Albert Camus as well as literary works by other authors. He also wrote and performed songs and played the guitar. As a composer he was influenced by the American music of the era. In the late '60s he met musician Pierre Groscolas and the two formed the group Chœurs. After some initial success in Toulouse, the group decided to go to Paris.[2]

Music career[edit]

Ringo was discovered in Paris by Mario Padovan, a photographer and publisher of teen-girl magazines Nous Deux and Télé Poche who suggested to the young artist that he appear in one of his magazines. It was during a photo shoot at Padovan's magazines that Ringo met his future wife, Sheila. Meeting her led to his being introduced to Claude Carrère, who became the manager of his musical career.[2]

Carrère, a pioneer, who at the time, was France's most successful independent producer, launched Ringo's career in 1971. His first big hit under Carrère's management was Elle, je ne veux qu’elle.[2] Carrère wanted to capture the teenage market before they were attracted by established stars.[11] Carrère augmented his distribution network by entering into a deal with Sonopresse in 1972.[12] Under the deal, he released his first two discs under the Sonopresse label, one of which was Trop Belle Pour Rester Seule by Ringo. At the time, he also sang Help, Get Me Some Help in French, selling over one million records in France.[12] He also sang a rendition of the international hit, "Mamy Blue", by Los Pop Tops.[13]

Both Ringo and Sheila were managed by Carrère. In a 1974 interview to Billboard, Carrère mentioned that the wedding of Sheila and Ringo was attended by 15,000 people at the city hall and "resembled a royal wedding".[14] In the 1970s, Ringo sold 30 million records with hits such as Elle, je ne veux qu'elle, Ma jalousie, Les Oiseaux de Thaïlande, Rosanna fille sauvage and Goodbye Elvis. In 1973, his single Ma jalousie was featured in Billboard's Hits Of The World in Belgium's and Switzerland's top 10 at No. 7, while his LP Ringo was at No. 8 in Belgium.[15][16] With his then-wife Sheila, he also recorded a duet, Les gondoles à Venise, which became a big hit.[3] In 1980, he discontinued his association with Carrère and produced Allô à l'OVNI, followed by L'ange exterminateur (L'Antéchrist) in 1982.[2] These were followed in 1983 by J'ai toujours besoin d'amour, with Une star s'endort ainsi on the flip–side, his last records.[2]

To this date, there has been no compilation of his hits in CD format.[2]

Business career[edit]

In 1985 he opened City Rock Café in Paris, which closed in 1993.[2] Soon after, he left France for Florida and then after some years he returned to Toulouse,[3] where in 2001 he opened an American-nostalgia themed restaurant named Jim Mc Mahon's world famous cafe with his current wife Annick who also functioned as the acting artistic director of the place at the time.[2][3] Ringo planned to decorate the restaurant with iconic artifacts from the 1950s such as a likeness of Marilyn Monroe in the subway scene, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and the X-19 experimental aircraft, which he wanted to import from the United States. The Toulouse restaurant was to be part of a national chain.[3] In early 2000 this restaurant closed as well.[2]

Personal life[edit]

In 1975, he and Sheila had a son named Ludovic Chancel, who became a writer.[10] After the couple were divorced in 1977,[2] Ringo rarely, if ever, saw his son.[2][10] In 1981, Ringo married Annick, his second wife.[2] In 2005, Chancel published an autobiography entitled Fils de in which, among other things, he relates the details of his upbringing and his relationship with his parents.[10][17] In 1982, Ringo sold his biography to France Dimanche.[2]


  • Elle, je ne veux qu'elle (1971)
  • L'Homme (1971)
  • Juges (1971)
  • Ma jalousie (1972)
  • Trop belle pour rester seule (1972)
  • Les Gondoles à Venise (1973) (with Sheila)
  • Lady Banana (1973)
  • Tentation (1973)
  • Une bague, un collier (1973)
  • Une heure, une nuit (1973)
  • Accepte-moi (1974)
  • Érotisme conjugal (1974)
  • Remets ce disque (1974)
  • Chica salvaje (1975)
  • Fille sauvage (1975)
  • Obsession (1975)
  • Rossana(1975)
  • La Rupture (1975)
  • L'amour et la loi (1976)
  • C'était comment? (1976)
  • Cynthia (1976)
  • L'Enfant de Frisco (1976)
  • Little duck (1976)
  • Noël, c'est Noël (1976)
  • Les Oiseaux de Thaïlande (1976)
  • La fille que j'aime (1977)
  • Goodbye, Elvis (1977)
  • Une rose en enfer (1977)
  • Les violons de Verlaine (1977)
  • Darlin' (1978)
  • Ma Pompadour (1978)
  • Je suis un vagabond (1979)
  • Ma Pompadour (en concert) (1979)
  • Medley (en concert) (1979)
  • Qui est ce grand corbeau noir? (1979)
  • Tentation (en concert) (1979)
  • Allô à l'ovni (1980)
  • Marilyn no se quiere casar (1980)
  • Le Macho des canapés (1981)
  • L'ange exterminateur (L'antéchrist) (1982)
  • Drapeau (1982)
  • Lolita paprika (1982)
  • Michaël (1982)
  • My baby avait raison (1982)
  • Parano Man (1982)
  • La voix du magnétophone (1982)
  • J'ai toujours besoin d'amour (1983)


  1. ^ a b "Ringo". Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o D'Alguerre, Benjamin. "Bio of Willy Cat from music-story.com through Internet Archive". Archived from the original on 7 April 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Bernard Lescure. "Ringo ouvre un restaurant à Toulouse". La Dépêche du Midi. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Issues 1337–1345". Le Point. 1998. p. 206. 
  5. ^ Chalvidant, Jean; Hervé Mouvet. La belle histoire des groupes de rock français des années 60. Fernand Lanore. p. 95. ISBN 2-85157-219-9. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "Issues 2452–2464". L'Express. p. 57. 
  7. ^ Robine, Marc; Fred Hidalgo (2004). Il était une fois la chanson française: des trouvères à nos jours. Fayard. pp. 95, 130. ISBN 2-213-61910-7. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Billboard magazine (14 July 1973). "High Tax On Records p. 48; French Talent: The Language Barrier Still Persists p. 49". Billboard magazine. pp. 48–49. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  9. ^ Un sang d'encre. Editions Le Manuscrit. p. 32. ISBN 2-7481-2111-2. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Ludovic Chancel Ecrivain français". Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  11. ^ Billboard magazine (12 August 1978). "The French Revolution by Mike Hennessey". Billboard magazine. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Billboard magazine (17 June 1972). "Carrere Distib Network Via A Sonopresse Link". Billboard magazine. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  13. ^ Billboard magazine (8 July 1972). "Sonopresse~Constant Expansion". Billboard magazine. p. 39. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  14. ^ Billboard magazine (25 May 1974). "Carrere's Hit-Packed Career". Billboard magazine. p. 56. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  15. ^ Billboard magazine (24 February 1973). "Hits Of The World". Billboard magazine. p. 45. Retrieved 12 October 2011. 
  16. ^ Billboard magazine (27 January 1973). "Hits Of The World". Billboard magazine. Retrieved 12 October 2011. 
  17. ^ Chancel, Ludovic (2005). Fils de. Flammarion. ISBN 2-08-068792-1. 

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