There was no electricity or running water in the house

This week, my guest is Paul Daraîche, a Quebec country music singer, producer and director.

He performed songs with the greatest, from Ginette Reno to Charles Aznavour, without forgetting Hugues Aufray and many others. Come to think of it, it’s quite a career for a little guy from Saint-François-de-Pabos, in Gaspésie.

Ok Paul, I’m going to listen to you and talk to you. Paul, where are you from?

We are nine native children of Saint-François-de-Pabos, in Gaspésie, very close to Chandler and we lived in a house of 20 feet by 22 feet.

There was no electricity or running water at the house.

This luxury, I only experienced it once we moved to Montreal.

Tell us about your parents.

My father, Daniel, was a lobster fisherman and he also worked at the mill in Chandler. Dad worked very hard because he wanted to make sure we had food on the table. Often I rode him to his other jobs.

Music was popular at home.

My wonderful mother, Marie-Rose Aubut, was always there for us. Right now, talking to you, I hear him playing the harmonium or the harmonica. Because it is the sound of his music that resounded in the house.

You sang standing on a chair at the age of 6

My father loved to sing, and when we had visitors, he would take a chair and invite me to sing standing on the chair.

Describe your house for nine children and two adults.

On the first floor took place the family life without forgetting that we only had oil lamps to light us. On the second floor were the bedrooms for the children. That is, rooms separated by curtains with the guys on one side and the girls on the other.

Did you play sports in your youth?

In fact, music invaded my life, especially when I got a guitar as a gift. We didn’t have enough money for me to play hockey, and besides, I remember wearing white girl’s skates to go to the rink.

The Jacques-Cartier Bridge was the gateway to paradise.

I am barely 8 years old and, for the first time in my life, I see a place lit by electricity. Once we arrived at the house in the Villeray district, we experienced the beauty of electricity which allowed us to see each other better. Mont-Royal and Sainte-Catherine streets were so well lit that I thought I was in Las Vegas.

Your first jobs in Montreal.

I worked at Eagle Toys and then as a tailor for children’s linens.

You were walking around on roller skates.

I left from our place, corner of Saint-Hubert and De Castelnau as far as Marie-Anne and Saint-André. Let me make you laugh. My first car was a Volkswagen Beetle whose floor was so punctured that we could see the asphalt we were driving on.

You never finished your first show tour.

(With a big laugh.) My first tour started when I was 17 and it’s still going on.

This is the big departure for Abitibi.

I had joined the group Les Loups Blancs when we were performing for a year in La Sarre without being paid.

One year no salary!

Let me explain. I thought we had a contract, but there was none, it was more like a tour that started on the farm of the girlfriend of one of the members, but still without a music contract.

I’m still waiting for your salary.

After a day working on the farm, riding the train and caring for 75 cows, we accepted the restaurateur’s offer.

That’s to say ?

On Saturdays and Sundays, we sang at his restaurant. In return, we were lodged and fed at her mother’s for free. No salary as such, but occasionally the owner gave us money without his mother knowing.

You worked with your sister Julie.

My sister selling over 50,000 tracks on four occasions of her new song, I joined her to make musical arrangements for the launch of her third song.

Country music has lived through all time.

Sadly, country music haters have never realized this reality. Country music is still the biggest seller today.

You have often participated in the show Youth today.

We were among the 10 most popular sellers, which allowed us to appear on the show on several occasions. Youth today.

I want to limit myself to your youth, but can you tell me about your meeting with Charles Aznavour?

I met him to invite him to sing a duet with me. Imagine the guy from Gaspésie making such a request. At one point, I showed him the sheet music of his music from over 50 years ago that I had used to study. He gave me a big smile before accepting.

A moment filled with emotion.

More than 50 years ago, I had met for the only time in my life Robert Charlebois in La Sarre when he presented his show L’Osstidcho. Recently, his son Jérôme asked me to interpret the song Ordinary as part of an evening tribute to Robert. I was so moved on stage and even more when Robert approached me to thank me for the beautiful interpretation of his song.

You are afraid of traveling by plane.

Yes ! I have four children and six grandchildren… and a seventh soon. What a pleasure to sing with them! However, they travel by plane, while me and my love, by car, which includes 2000 km per week.

Your spouse is a wonderful woman.

I have shared my life with Johanne Dubois for 33 years. His love for me and our children is phenomenal. Besides, my love for her is too.


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