Year Inducted: 2011
Era Inducted To: Radio Era
As an author, composer and musician, Pierre Létourneau’s career has spanned over 45 years, producing nearly 200 songs featured on 16 albums. Whether he writes for himself or others, and blending popular and lyrical repertoires, he has proven to be a unifying force in the music industry.
Fascinated by film and theatre, Pierre Létourneau wrote his first songs while a student at the University of Montréal. With his guitar in hand, he made his debut on stage at the Gesu and performed at various coffeehouses.
His debut album, with Les Colombes and La chanson des pissenlits, released in 1961, was very successful. This success led to a gig as host of ‘La Boite à Chansons’ television show on Radio-Canada in 1964. He followed this up by recording two other albums exploring different musical genres.
He recorded Maurice Richard in 1970 while living in France. When he returned to Quebec, he wrote Laisse-moi partir and Tout seul au monde for Nicole Martin, La Ronde with and for Marc Gélinas, Oh ma Lili for Michel Stax and Danser danser for Nanette Workman. In 1999, Danser danser earned the honourary title of Classique SOCAN.
In 1973, the biggest commercial success of his career, Tous les jours de la semaine, put him at the top of the charts. Radio station CKAC offered him the hosting duties of the Saturday and Sunday afternoon après-midi-chansons shows and he also appeared on television as host of ‘Pulsions’, a television show on Radio-Canada featuring up-and coming new artists. In addition to all of these hosting projects, Pierre Létourneau found the time to write Il faut bien rêver, Seul avec toi and Elle fait semblant d’être heureuse.
In 1980, he wrote Aimer for Véronique Béliveau, while continuing to sing his own creations: La vie de ville, Chante avec moi and Plein d’amour.
In 1984, he teamed up with Claude Léveillé and Claude Gauthier on the ‘Trois fois chantera’ tour throughout Québec and New-Brunswick. A fewyears later, he took part in ‘Années-Guitare’ with Michel Robidoux.
Generous and sensitive, Pierre Létourneau occasionally gives songwriting lectures to elementary school students. At the turn of the newmillennium, he released a Greatest Hits album, a year after having recorded his 15th album ‘J’te dis qu’c’est vrai’.
He recently published, at Lanctôt, a collection of texts entitled ‘À tort et à travers’ illustrated by Jean-Guy Moreau, wrote three songs for Nicole Croisille and, for the past year, has been taking part in a show produced by Robert Charlebois, ‘Il était une fois la boîte à chansons’, already accumulating 120 sold-out performances. The musical soundtrack of the show has just been released on CD. Jérôme Charlebois rerecords Maurice Richard, actually a lip-dub. Already 200,00 visitors.
In Pierre Létourneau, Quebec has an important artist with a prolific career, an artist who has marked the Francophone culture in North America. Pierre Létourneau is a remarkable author-composer-performer who has remained true to himself throughout the changing times.