Yiddishe Mamas – Georges Moustaki
Yussef Mustacchi, known as Georges Moustaki, (born in Alexandria, Egypt May 3, 1934) is a singer and songwriter from France of Greek Sephardic origin, best known for his poetic rhythm, eloquent simplicity and his hundreds of romantic songs. He has written songs for Édith Piaf (including “Milord”), Dalida (including Gigi l’amoroso), Barbara, Brigitte Fontaine, Herbert Pagani, France Gall, and Cindy Daniel.
His parents, Nessim and Sarah, came originally from the island of Corfu, Greece but they moved to Egypt, where Georges learned French. They had a bookshop in the cosmopolitan city where many communities lived together.
At home, everyone spoke Italian. In the street, the children spoke Arabic. At school, young Joseph learned and spoke French. His parents were very attached to French culture and put him into a French school, along with his sisters.
Moustaki went to Paris in 1951 and was inspired by the young Georges Brassens. He changed his name to Georges Moustaki, in honor of Georges Brassens, his inspiration.
Moustaki sang songs in French, Italian, Greek, Portuguese, Spanish, English and Arabic.
He married at twenty and has a large family in France, Israel, Brazil and Venezuela.
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