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Joe Dassin


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Joseph Ira Dassin (November 5, 1938 - August 20, 1980) was a French-speaking American , and musician.

Dassin was born in New York City to Jules Dassin (Yiddish actor and film noir director) and Béatrice Launer. He began his childhood first in New York and Los Angeles, California. However after his father became a victim of the anti-communist policies of Senator Joseph McCarthy, he and his family moved from place to place across Europe.

After studying at Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland, Dassin moved back to the United States to go to college at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan after doing very well on his bachelor’s exam. After college, he moved back again to France where, while working at a radio station, a record label convinced him to begin to record his songs.

By the early 1970s, Dassin’s songs topped the charts in France and he became well known. Probably as a recognition of his parents’ left leanings, Dassin’s records were officially released in the USSR. However, the political views of his parents were not well known to the general public in the USSR, and Dassin’s popularity in the USSR should be connected to his talent only. He was also a talented polyglot, recording songs in German, Spanish, Italian and Greek, as well as French and English.

He died of a heart attack during a vacation to Tahiti on August 20, 1980. He is buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California.


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