Marcel - Roses
Shortly after she opened at the Versailles, she received a phone call from Marcel Cerdan,inviting her to dinner. It was not quite what she had been expecting - pastrami, salt beef and beer at a corner drugstore, but it heralded the start of a romance lasting almost two years;and a grief which haunted her for most of the remainder of her life. His situation did not make life easy for either of them. He was married; his wife and three children lived in Casablanca where he visited them regularly,and his work commitments were such that she was forbidden to see him whilst he was in training; rumour has it that she resorted to being smuggled into the training camp to be with him, risking his disqualification if caught.America was not France - their relationship was frowned upon by the boxing fraternity, press and public alike.Even Momone, Edith's alleged half-sister tried to sabotage the romance by offering Cerdan's wife a bundle of letters she had purloined - but only at a price, then threatened to tell the press the truth behind the facade of the "just good friends" image they tried to project. Edith adored him.In mid 1948 she bought a house, 5 rue Gambetta, Bois de Boulogne, so they could spend more time together and ensured it had a room big enough to fit a gymnasium. She attempted to bring him into her world - introducing him to serious literature, and decking him out in expensive clothes and jewellery,but was also eager to involve herself in his.
Whenever possible; her own bookings aside, she would go to his fights - cheering him on, terrified he would lose and praying for miracles.She described her experience of praying to St Therese before Cerdan's fight against the American Tony Zale for the World Championship in September 1948. She said she knew her prayer had been heard when the briefly overwhelming perfume of roses filled her room - a sign she recognised from her childhood in Normandy. In March 1949 Cerdan fought at Earl's Court. Edith came with him. They stayed at the Mayfair Hotel, but sadly she never sang in the United Kingdom. Despite Edith being considered to be bad luck for him, Cerdan's career seemed to be flying higher and higher - so was her's. One memorable experience for her was singing for the then Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip at Carrere's, Champs Elysees. She was performing at the A.B.C. during the time of their visit to Paris in 1948,and was specially invited to sing for them. It was memorable to her more as an ordeal than a pleasure - she was petrified of making a blunder! Booking after booking followed. She was working almost constantly between Paris and New York, yet still had the time and energy to promote new talent such as Charles Aznavour who was responsible for the songs Il Pleut and "Il y Avait",amongst others. Little did she realise that, once again, at the height of her fame, more tragedy was around the corner.
Marcel - songs
for the dead...
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