Once called “The High Priestess of Agony,” Edith Piaf remains the gold standard for mournful, love-lorn torch singing. Born in France as Edith Gassion, Piaf rose to stardom in France in the late 1930’s, and became world-famous after World War 2. Her signature song, “La Vie en Rose,” tells of a woman looking at love with a little too much giddy optimism. In Piaf’s hands, the song becomes a cautionary tale.
In a life that in many ways paralleled that of her American contemporary, Billie Holiday, Piaf’s was filled with artistic triumph and personal tragedy. After losing a child in infancy and her lover — boxer Marcel Cerdan — to a plane crash, she died much too young herself at the age of 47 in 1963.
Piaf first appeared at Carnegie Hall in 1956, and returned the following year. A triumphant return was planned for March of 1959, but her health had begun to decline, and the performance was ultimately cancelled. She would never appear in America again. That missed concert was promoted with the poster shown here.
This is a re-creation of the actual poster used to promote that concert, and it’s a great keepsake for any fan of Piaf.