Francis Cabrel was born in Agen on November 23 1953. But, shortly after Francis's birth, his family (who had emigrated to France from Frioul in Italy) moved to Astaffort, near Toulouse. Young Francis came from a modest background - his father worked in a cake factory, while his mother was employed as a cashier in a local cafeteria. But his childhood was a happy time. Growing up near the coast with his sister Martine and younger brother, Philippe, young Francis would spend his spare time fishing or playing 'boules'.
Young Francis grew up to be a shy, rather solitary adolescent. But the music which Francis discovered in his early teens was to bring him out of his shell and radically change the rest of his life. Bowled over by Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone", Francis immediately rushed out to buy a guitar (an act which, he later claimed, would make him a more 'interesting' figure to his peers). Francis also began composing his first songs and by the age of 16 he already knew that for him music was not a passing hobby but a veritable vocation. Francis's major influences in those early days were Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and, of course, Bob Dylan and the young boy would sit in front of the record-player for hours, translating his musical heroes' songs into French.