On May 13, 1913 Louis Charles Auguste Claude Trenet was born in France and is a singer and songwriter. He was most prolific during the 1930s through the 1950s. Trenet's best known songs are La Mer, Que reste-til de nos amours? and Douce France. He has more than thousand songs attributed to his writing. Most of his songs are conventional topics, love, and nostalgia. His music is personal, eccentric and very witty.
Trenet's most famous song outside France is La Mer or Beyond the Sea recorded by Bobby Darin in the 1960s and George Benson in the 1980s. La Mer has been used as part of films, The Dreamers (2003), Mr. Bean's Holiday and in the 2011 film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Trenet's songs have been recorded by Maurice Chevalier.
Trenet began his at career as an artist. He then worked as a movie studio props handler in the 1930s where he began to write music. He worked with Johnny Hess (pianist) and they recoded 18 songs and appeared on radio as Quart d'heure des enfants terribles. After WWII Trenet moved to the United States and began a friendship with Charlie Chaplin and Louis Armstrong. He moved back to France where he was imprisoned for corrupting four young 19 year old men. The charges were dropped, but Trenet's homosexual tendencies were made known.
In 1999 Trenet released a new album Poets Take to the Streets which included fourteen new tracks. He returned to touring to the high praise of fans. April 2000 Trenet was taken to the hospital after suffering a stroke. He did attend several musical performances, but died in 2001.