Sacha Distel

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Sacha Distel
Background information
Birth nameAlexandre Distel
Born(1933-01-29)29 January 1933
Paris, France
Died22 July 2004(2004-07-22) (aged 71)
Rayol-Canadel, France
GenresPop, rock, jazz
  • Singer
  • musician
  • actor
Years active1950–2004

Alexandre "Sacha" Distel (29 January 1933 – 22 July 2004) was a French singer, guitarist, songwriter and actor who had hits with a cover version of "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" in 1970, which reached No 10 in the UK Charts,[1][2] "Scoubidou", and "The Good Life". He was made Chevalier (Knight) of the Légion d'honneur in 1997.[3] He had also scored a hit as a songwriter when Tony Bennett recorded Sacha's song for The Good Life in 1963. It peaked at #18 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart and Top 10 on the Easy Listening chart.


Distel was the son of Russian-French émigré Léonide Distel who was born in Odessa (Russian Empire) and French-Jewish pianist Andrée Ventura (1902–1965), born in Constantinople.[4] His uncle was bandleader Ray Ventura.[5] After Ventura settled in Paris with his orchestra Les Collégiens, Distel gave up piano and switched to guitar.[6]

During his career, Distel worked with Kenny Clarke, Jimmy Gourley, Lionel Hampton, Slide Hampton, Bobby Jaspar, Barney Kessel, John Lewis, Pierre Michelot, Bernard Peiffer, Henri Renaud, Fats Sadi, Art Simmons, Martial Solal, René Urtreger, and Barney Wilen.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Distel was involved with actress Brigitte Bardot in 1958, having invited her to his birthday party in Saint-Tropez.[8] The relationship ended in 1959.[8] He married champion Olympic skier Francine Bréaud in 1963.[8] Distel publicly stated that he remained faithful to his wife: "Anything I want in a woman I can get at home."[8]

Distel died of cancer at the age of 71 on 22 July 2004 at his mother in law's home in Rayol-Canadel, near Saint-Tropez, France.[9] In an interview a month after Distel's death, his widow Francine said she knew he had been unfaithful: "I knew it was going to happen and I knew it was going to pass."[10]


  • Afternoon in Paris with John Lewis (Atlantic, 1957)
  • Everybody Loves the Lover (Philips, 1961)
  • From Paris with Love (RCA Victor, 1962)
  • Les Filles Moi J'Aime Ca! (RCA, 1963)
  • The Good Life (Kapp, 1969)
  • Back to Jazz with Slide Hampton (La Voix de Son Maitre, 1969)
  • Sacha Distel (Warner Bros., 1970)
  • Close to You (Warner Bros., 1970)
  • More and More (Warner Bros., 1971)
  • Love Music (Polydor, 1973)
  • Swing with Sacha Distel (Contour, 1973)
  • Love Is All (Pye, 1976)
  • Forever and Ever (Carrere, 1978)
  • From Sacha with Love (Mercury, 1979)
  • Amour Tout Court (DRG, 1982)
  • My Guitar and All That Jazz (Pablo, 1983)
  • Move Closer (Towerbell, 1985)
  • Ecoute Mes Yeux (Arcade Music, 1998)
  • But Beautiful (Mercury, 2003)


  1. ^ UK Hits Singles 1952-2004 by Graham Betts
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records. p. 157. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ "Ordre De La Legion D'honneur Décret du 31 décembre 1996 portant promotion et". JORF. 1997 (1): 29. 1 January 1997. PREX9612816D. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Sacha Distel". The Telegraph. 22 July 2004. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  5. ^ Harris, Craig. "Sacha Distel". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  6. ^ "La découverte du bebop". Sacha Distel Official Myspace. Archived from the original on 3 August 2009. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
  7. ^ Kernfeld, Barry (2002). Kernfeld, Barry (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. Vol. 1 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries. p. 619. ISBN 1-56159-284-6.
  8. ^ a b c d Leigh, Spencer (24 July 2005). "Sacha Distel". The Independent. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Britain's favourite French crooner dies in St-Tropez". The Guardian. 23 July 2004. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  10. ^ Randall, Colin (27 August 2004). "Why I accepted Sacha's string of affairs". The Telegraph. Retrieved 27 November 2018.