Era Inducted To: Radio Era
On the strength of an improvised performance at a Montreal radio station, André Lejeune was signed by Music-Hall label founder Jean Bertrand, and subsequently recorded a collection of songs for them. In 1957, his second recording, Prétends que tu es heureux, garnered such resounding success that the young artist had to change his name from Lajeunesse to Lejeune to avoid being confused with another successful performer of the period.
Lejeune’s career began as a child when he started singing classical songs, and developed in a spectacular way with series of dates in clubs and ‘boîtes à chansons’. He regularly graced the pages of the newspapers and magazines of the time and was welcomed with open arms by Quebec’s artistic community. The great Félix Leclerc himself was a close friend and admirer.
In those days, Lejeune’s songs sounded both modern and commercial, and Quebec radio stations were avid takers. André Lejeune was soon known as an artist to be reckoned with.
A pioneer of rock music in Quebec, Lejeune was one of the first Quebec artists to hit the limelight with a decisively electric, American-inspired sound.
André Lejeune performed Prétends que tu es heureux on The Joe Franklin Show in the U.S., the very year the song was written.
Cover artists include: Estelle Caron and Les Masques d’or.