Widely considered the godfather of contemporary French pop, singer/songwriter Alain Souchon captured the precarious masculinity of postmodern man with uncommon tenderness and whimsy. Often working in partnership with composer Laurent Voulzy, his music explored themes both personal and political with poetic grace, firmly establishing its creator as the spiritual heir to the traditions of Jacques Brel and Georges Brassens. Born Alain Kienast on May 27, 1944, in Casablanca, Morocco, he was raised in Paris from the age of six months onward. A shy, deeply introspective child, he retreated further into his shell in 1959, when the family suffered an automobile accident that left his father dead. While their mother published pulp romance novels to keep the family afloat, Alain and his siblings moved in with their grandmother, whose habitual radio listening introduced him to the great artists of France's chanson past. In 1961, he was sent to London to study at the Lycée Français but fared poorly, writing poetry and prose while ignoring his academic workload. Souchon nevertheless remained in London, working as a bartender before returning to Paris, where he began learning guitar and writing songs influenced by Britain's new generation of rock & roll bands. After years playing small clubs on Paris' Left Bank, Souchon finally landed a record deal in 1971, issuing his debut single, "Je Suis un Voyageur," on the Pathé Marconi label. Two additional releases followed, both of them meeting the same grim commercial fate that befell their predecessor, and the contract was swiftly terminated.