At the tender age of 4, I had my first dance and piano lessons and made my stage debut as the little Page in "Cinderella". My first major decision was made at age 7,
I said to my parents "I want to become an international singer and travel around the world. I want no more toys, save your money so that I can have serious singing lessons when I am old enough. "My second important decision came three years later, during a family vacation in Switzerland, when I announced" I like it here. One day I want to buy a house and live here". My family laughed at me out loud ....Shortly afterwards I started my first classical singing lessons. Later my 1st debut on the London stage at the PALLADIUM in a charity concert as child singing star. At 14 came my first big success, I was chosen from a thousand girls to do a summer season with a famous orchestra in a big seaside resort.
I sang Aries from "Carmen" and songs from famous musicals, as a mezzo soprano. After this season I studied further at the "London College of Music". A year or so later my real career in London began (I was still at school), with the Orchestra Edmundo Ros at Churchills Club but only on Sundays! A short time later, as French lead in the English Folies Bergérès. Debut on the Continent of Europe - Paris PALAIS de CHAILLOT as representative of Anglo/American Jazz, together with Kurt Edelhagen. My name has also been often associated with Ted Heath and Quincy Jones. My first movie experience was the German voice of Kim Novak in "Moonglow" and then the German singing voice of French film idol. Brigitte Bardot. Later Sacha Distel with whom I had been on Tour over much of Europe in the popular Radio Show & Concerts "Jazz de Champs Elysees" taught BB how to sing.
the 60's -1
After several successful years in the biggest houses and TV stations in Germany,
Switzerland, the Benelux countries, Austria and Scandinavia, I established myself as a First-class comedienne as Cherie Noire on the German and Swiss stages. There were fabulous reviews for my German as Chérie Noire "Die Schwarze Perle" in the famous French comedy by François Campaux. During this busy period of my life I was appearing at the biggest Night Club in the famous Reeperbahn in Hamburg "Delhi-Palace", almost next to the Star Club where the BEATLES had their first German engagement. They came to hear me sing after their show and I signed my autograph for them, never dreaming that in time they would bring a whole new idea to the popular music scene, worldwide. While appearing there, my record "PEPITO" topped the hit parades and could be heard on every street corner and every big store in Western Europe.
It was the Cha-Cha-Cha dance period. At the same time I was flying every morning at 4 AM to Berlin to appear in a "Lily" movie. Incidentally Udo Jürgens a highly talented handsome young man was also in that movie. I was the first German singing star to be engaged in Japan where I did 28 TV shows, apart from my own speciality shows at the biggest Cabaret halls in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, etc. A medley from the famous Musical "The Sound of Music" was made totally original when I offered Edelweiss from my Swiss garden. "Pepito" was such a hit in the Land of the Rising Sun that its success spread all over the Far East right down to Australia. Every afternoon I studied Japanese with the patient wife of one of the director’s.
the 60's -2
After the Spanish success "Tani Tani" I recorded in Japanese "Sayonara Nippon" and my own version of the famous Japanese Folk Song "The Kompira Song".
Before returning home I was on a TV show with Kyo Sakamuto who gave me his newest composition "SUKIYAKI" to record in Germany and do on TV wearing my Tokyo kimono and my Kyoto accessories. I bought my first house in Switzerland, the reward for 10 years hard work, but they were interesting and often quite funny.. From my home on the side of a mountain overlooking the lovely lake of Zug, I wrote to all the family members who had laughed at me with my so called wild ideas of a home in Switzerland. It was a short note: WHO HAS THE LAST LAUGH NOW? In the course of my career doing a tour of Australia, apart from my regular cabaret show I sang every week on a popular TV channel, and I worked all over the country for Hilton hotels, and brought to "down under" the tropical Bossa Nova, with my recorded version of Besame Mucho "Kiss me while we dance Bossa Nova". Directly after the long Australian tour, I went to South Africa, where my first LP Album and my speciality show were a huge success. I was billed everywhere as French (no problem).
Johannesbourg and Durban were just wonderful. This tour was followed by East Africa where I met the composer of the famous Swahili love song "MALAIKA", which I recorded later on my next album "A BACKPACK of FOLK SONGS AROUND the WORLD" in German it was called "VOLKS LIEDER der WELT" these LP's Became best sellers from Singapore to New York. Frank Elstner (RTL) the originator of the popular TV show "Wetten, dass..?" at that time was the chief of Radio Luxembourg (the most popular music channel) He chose my Folk LP. As the best of the new season and aired it from beginning to end. A diploma for me! It was in12 different languages, most of them I had brought with me during my appearances in that particular country.
This decade and the next were terribly busy years for me and had me flying around the world, often in my own small jet.
I was fulfilling my dream of being truly cosmopolitan. My show was now pure entertainment, some comedy, and some audience participation, apart from my songs. I had now recorded in over 20 languages and sung in as many countries, working almost non-stop for the Intercontinental hotel chains, and many Sheratons and Hyatt's hotels, where the Supper Club was invariably the IN Place, and I did a One Woman Show for l hour and sometimes because of applause it was extended to 90 minutes. I then made publicity for the private Lear Jets, with the sophisticated LP. Album "MUSIC FOR THE JET SET" Travel became my way of life, and a plane my home. I sang in Swahili in Africa, Urdu in India, Mandarin in Hong Kong, Hebrew in Israel, Turkish in Turkey, Greek in Greece, Arabic in the Lebanon, Finnish in Finland, a Philippine song when in Manila, Spanish. Portuguese,
Dutch, French, German and of course Japanese and English. All this travelling and all these different languages kept me very busy and I had little or no time to be at home. Frank was busy with recording hundreds of titles on LP Albums in the studios we had hardly time to see each other. I was so in demand at the Inter Conti Hotels I was billed as "WANTED" ALL OVER THE WORLD FOR A RETURN SHOW. Even the well known Dessert " Poire belle Hélène " was re-named "Belle Yvonne" Owing to my International flair, the former German Chancellor, , HELMUT SCHMIDT requested me to sing at the first Congress of the European Confederation. I sang a song for every country in their national language. Even HANS HUERLIMANN of WALCHWIL who was at that time President of Switzerland, invited me to be his guest at the 700 years anniversary celebration of the Canton (Province) of Zug. I gave him the LP. "Music for the Jet Set" and he gave me a President’s kiss.
Times changed. Disco and Discos took over. Supper dancing to live
bands and cabarets were out, so I taped a new show "Little Las Vegas" with 2 sometimes 3 girl dancers, it was based on show time through the ages, from Opera, to Musical, to the Good Old Days and tap dancing, thru jive, to rock and roll, when I did a parody of Tina Turner thru to disco, and ending with a S. American samba and audience participation. On a holiday in the Caribbean, I was hit by a killer wave that broke the bones in my neck, part of my spine and ribs. I had only 2 millimetres of bone left to stop me from being paralysed from the neck down.
An operation was out of the question and therapy only made me faint. I survived miraculously, curing myself by swimming in the warm Indian Ocean. This terrible accident was followed by 3 more near fatal accidents. My guardian angel had his hands full in those 4 years. I was classed as a semi-invalid and was forbidden to practice my profession as a show Star, because of the proximity of being totally paralysed. If you want to know more read my book "TOMORROW YOU COULD BE DEAD"
Switzerland is home No. 1. The beauty of this country never ceases to astound me.
I worked with Cedric Dumont the big chief of Radio & TV in Zurich, Louis Rey the chief in Geneva, and Fernando Paggi in Lugano. Apart from Hazy Osterwald a most dynamic personality, I enjoyed working with Bert Kaempfert "STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT" All these men were really great musicians and wonderful friends, not to forget the TV chief at that time Walter Amman. We remained close friends until he passed on. I was countless times with both Lys Assia and Vico Torriani Also on Tours. Both loved their work, had excellent voices and star quality. In Germany, my second home, here I worked with Harry Herman and his great orchestra (James Last was the bassist and arranger). Alfred Hause - the Tango King. (for me my "Tango-Bear"), Franz Thon , Günter Fuhlisch (NDR), Adalbert Luczkowski (WDR), Willy Berking (HR), Herbert Beck (BR), and Max Greger, Manfred Minnich (SR), Erwin Lehn (SDR), Anneliese Rothenberger, Freddy Quinn, Rene Kollo, Udo Jürgens, Roberto Blanco,
Willy Hagara, Heinz Erhardt, Hans-Joachim Kulenkampff, Paul Hubschmid, Caterina Valente and many others. Here I did much TV also my own series "Cocktail time with Yvonne". In Scandinavia, my third home, I was there every summer for years Egon Kjerrman, Bent Fabric, Alice Babs, Bibi Johns, Siw Malmkvist (Sweden), Wencke Myhre, Norway, Erkki Ertama, Erik Lindstroem (Finland) and many others all of which I worked with often. Not to forget lots of TV in Holland, including my own shows.
A few famous personalities whom I met during my singing around the world.
Aristoteles Onassis, Ali Khan, Lady Beaverbrook, Heinrich Thyssen all while appearing at the Aga Kahn's Lausanne Palace, Leon Cicurel of " Galeries Lafayette" Paris at the Baur au Lac Zurich, Her Royal Highness The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, late Kings of Jordan, Marocco, and Nepal. Chancellor of West Germany from 1974 to 1982 Helmut Schmidt, President of the Swiss Confederation 1979 Hans Hürlimann, Josip Tito President of Yugoslavia, and President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines.
Movie Stars: Audrey Hepburn filming in the UK. Danny Kaye US Forces Tour, James Cagney both Far East. Michael Caine - filming in Helsinki, Finland, Richard Burton and Yul Brynner filming in Kyoto Japan, Kyu Sakamoto and Cemi Eri in TV Tokyo Japan, Joan Fontaine and Trevor Howard at the Inauguration of the Oberoi Sheraton in Bombay India.
and until now
What do I do now?
I take care of my big flower garden walk, jog, and go swimming. I try to do every day my fitness program at home, and succeed to do this about 4 times a week. I cook when I have the time and privatize very little, as I have been asked to write a book about my adventurous and extraordinary life, from childhood to international singing star and entertainer. It's called "ICE CREAM, COGNAC AND "YOU©". And does include "TOMORROW YOU COULD BE DEAD©" both titles copyrighted by Yvonne Carré.
'You can do everything, but do it' Follow the three M's: MUSIC (lively happy stuff you enjoy) this should MOTIVATE you! The last M is the word MOVEMENT. The more movement you put into your day by day life, the healthier you will feel. Swim, walk, dance, exercise and don’t lay around too much. That’s my motto. And don’t forget the 3 things that turn you on…for me ICE CREAM, COGNAC and for sure the "YOU" I want to be with at that time.
You want to know more? Then read my book - unusual life story of a sheltered middle class girl, who wanted adventure, and to get to know every facet of life - the good side and the bad side, and to achieve this aim I wanted to sing and make people happy around the entire world. by being 100% International..