Peter Sarstedt (December 10, 1941 - January 8, 2017) was a British folk/pop singer, songwriter, and guitarist who became famous during the late 1960s. He is best remembered for the cosmopolitan and evocative self-penned "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)," which earned Sarstedt the 1969 Ivor Novello Award for Best Song. Opening and closing with a French-style accordion in a lilting waltz time, this sardonic yet poignant ballad tells the rags to riches story of a fictional jet setter, Marie-Claire, who grew up in the slums of Naples and left her childhood friend behind.
He was born Peter Eardley Sarstedt in Delhi, India into a musical family and was one of six siblings. His family returned to the U.K. in 1954 and settled in South London. With his brothers Richard and Clive, Peter began his music career in the late 1950s performing skiffle music. Richard Sarstedt went on to become 1960s pop star and teen idol, Eden Kane, and Clive ("Robin") Sarstedt later also became a pop singer best known for the 1976 hit, "My Resistance Is Low." Peter Sarstedt began writing songs in 1966 and he released his first single the following year, "In The Day Of My Youth" (credited to Peter Lincoln).
Sarstedt made his debut on the charts in 1969 with what would become his best known song, "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)." Although only a minor hit in the U.S., this song became an international smash, topping the charts in the U.K. and many other countries. Sarstedt had one other chart hit with the whimsical "Frozen Orange Juice" (1969), which made the U.K. Top 10 and became a minor U.S. hit. Although he never had another entry on either the U.K. or U.S. charts, he is well known among fans for such songs as "I Am A Cathedral" (1968), "Boulevard" (1969), "Beirut" (1978), and "Love Among The Ruins" (1982).
Peter Sarstedt continued to tour and record actively through 2010 and released his final album in 2013, "Restless Heart." Over the years, "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)" has been featured in such movies as "One More Kiss" (2000), "The Wedding Tackle" (2000), "Hotel Chevalier" (2007), "The Darjeeling Limited" (2007), and "Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie" (2016). In 1997, Sarstedt recorded a sequel titled "The Last Of The Breed (Lovely 2)," which appears on his ninth album, "England's Lane."
- For more info on Peter Sarstedt's life and career, visit petersarstedt.com.
- Peter Sarstedt discusses his early career, the inspiration behind "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)," and other topics in an interview with Mike Atkinson (May 25, 2010).
- The Guardian remembers Peter Sarstedt.
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