Jean-Claude Petit was born in Vaires-sur-Marne (France) on 14 November 1943. After accompanying jazzmen in his childhood, Petit went to the Conservatoire de Paris, where he studied harmony and counterpoint. He did the string arrangements for Mink DeVille's Le Chat Bleu album, as well as orchestrating the backing parts to some French pop singles in the mid-to-late 1960s, including those of Erick Saint-Laurent and yé-yé girls Christine Pilzer and Monique Thubert. In 1973 he composed 'La Leçon de Michette', a short song which became famous in Italy after having been used for the soundtrack of a well-known TV ad from 1973 to 1976.
Besides releasing many albums under his own name, he also performed with the so-called Jean-Claude Petit Orchestra, releasing several volumes of 'Dance and mood music' during the Seventies, and the LP 'Stars' in 1981. That album featured a synth-based instrumental version of Kim Wilde's Kids in America, as well as several other hits from that year.