The Sun and Venus

Improbably, I am getting this specifically Valérie Čižmárová-related post together at ‘Girls Of The Golden East’, when I have a perfectly good blog over at ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ dedicated to that singer. So, in a manner of speaking, this is something of a trip down memory lane to before April 2017, when ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ was founded, but it will all make sense why I am doing so in the end!

Why this is happening is down to a recent chance discovery that Bobby Hebb’s ‘Sunny’, which, along with ‘Čekám’ (‘I Am Waiting’) was Valérie Čižmárová’s recording fifty-two years ago today, as I write – please see over at the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ – had also been released (in 1967) by a singer called Bisera Veletanlić, from the former Yugoslavia. I concede that there are probably going to be several ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ readers who might question the mentioning an artist from outside the former Soviet Bloc, even though Yugoslavia was a Communist country at a blog dedicated to that Bloc, but, on the basis that I have referred to singers from France, Spain, West Germany, Sweden – Sweden’s Nina Lizell also having released her own cover of ‘Sunny’, in 1970, as referred to at this ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog post – and even the United Kingdom itself at this blog I think it should not be regarded as an undue deviation. The former Yugoslavia has long been, for me, a sort of ‘noises-off’ the main stage of the former Soviet Bloc, so this is a chance for it to take centre stage here for a short while!

Bisera Veletanlić was born on 15th September 1942 in Sisak, in present-day Croatia, even though she is described as ‘Serbian’. Her older sister – by some way – Senka Veletanlić, born on 27th May 1936 in Zagreb, so will be celebrating her 85th Birthday tomorrow, but herself described as ‘Bosnian’, is also a singer.

Here is her interpretation of ‘Sunny’, which is somewhat more in keeping with the rhythm of Bobby Hebb’s own version than is Valérie Čižmárová’s, with Serbo-Croat-language lyrics by Đorđe Novković, Nada Zej and Bisera Veletanlić herself and instrumental accompaniment from Orkestar Esada Arnautalića (The Esad Arnautalić Orchestra) .

…and here are those two sisters in action together in 1972 on the TV show ‘Obraz uz obraz’ (‘Face To Face’).

When thinking about the Yugoslavia of the early 1970s my thoughts are inevitably drawn to one of the two penfriends my older brother had at that time, the one being Denis Boulet of Morsang-sur-Orge, near Paris, who actually visited us in the spring of 1972 and the other – rather more ‘exotic’ one – being Milica Zarić of Zabrežje, Obrenovac, near Belgrade, not to be confused with the famous actress of that name! We had a taste of the sort of music Denis was into when, as a present to my brother, he brought over a copy of Les Compagnons de la chanson’s ‘Merci Satchmo’, backed by ‘Ma terre’ (‘My Land’).

According to my brother, Milica’s great favourites at the time were The Netherlands’ Shocking Blue, whose big hit of now over half-a-century ago, ‘Venus’ kicked off the Eurovision Song Contest, as alluded to at the immediately preceding ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog post, from Rotterdam last Saturday (22nd May). Here is an article by Gordon Coxhill, as mentioned at one of my other great interests, ‘Fonts In Use’, in the ‘New Musical Express’ of 28th February 1970, on Shocking Blue.

They’ve ‘got it’!

It’s strange that at that recent ‘Fonts In Use’ font use contribution of mine there is also mention made of Eva Kostolányiová, since Eva (as Eva Kostolányi) just happened to do a Slovak-language cover of ‘Venus’ as ‘Hej, chlapče’ (‘Hey, Lad’) in 1970, with music by Robbie van Leeuwen, Slovak-language lyrics by the famous actor/comedian Milan Lasica, instrumental accompaniment by Sexteto Ľuba Beláka ( Ľubo Belák Sextet), with production being by Igor Wasserberger.

She’s ‘got it’, too!

So, via France, Yugoslavia and The Netherlands, we’ve finally made our way back to the former Soviet Bloc, so this ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog post isn’t such a ‘deviation’, after all!

Dublin: sobota, 3. dubna, 1971…

…which is ‘Dublin: Saturday, 3rd April 1971′ in Czech.

As I commence writing the Eurovision Song Contest was in full flow at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, with France’s Séverine – born 10th October 1948, in Paris, real name, Josiane Grizeau – on course for victory, but in this instance representing Monaco.

To celebrate the half-century of this auspicious event I have, this very evening, recorded and uploaded to YouTube a video of my copy. Here it is – the first recording I have taken off my stereo system in the ‘study’ at the back of the house, making the reproduction rather less ‘spacey’ than it had been in the much larger living room! The following are the musical credits for my very favourite ever Eurovision Song Contest Winner:

Music: Jean-Pierre Bourtayre

Lyrics: Yves Dessca

Arranged and conducted by Jean-Claude Petit

Taken fifty years on from triumph!

Here are the final placings of the Contest.

It’s quite notable that there are three big female solo artists occupying the 1-2-3 ‘podium’, with our very own Clodagh Rodgers completing a quartet thereof! This has previously been alluded to in that strange thing, a ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog post where the former Eastern Bloc gets a mention only in passing. Also, in those days when top marks were «dix points» not «douze points», the contestant that got a ‘ten’ from the United Kingdom jury, Finland’s Markku Aro and Koivisto Sisters, with ‘Tie uuteen päivään’ (‘The Way To A New Day’), managed a very respectable eighth place!

This is a very opportune moment at which to introduce a new ‘Girl Of The Golden East’, Jana Matysová, born on 7th May 1952 in the north of the present-day Czech Republic, in Náchod, near the frontier with Poland, since she has the distinction of being the artist from the former Czechoslovakia chosen to take on this gigantic song, with her cover, ‘Hloupí kluci’ (‘Crazy Boys’), with the following musical credits:

Czech-language lyrics: Pavel Cmíral

Instrumental accompaniment: Orchestr studio Brno, conducted by Erik Knirsch.

…and as I finish compiling this ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog post, Séverine was perhaps on the point of making the valedictory performance of ‘Un banc, un arbre, une rue’, which is a very good place at which to sign off for the evening!

Mes félicitations, Séverine…a gratuluji, paní Janko!

and now for ‘Match Of The Day’!

TRB GOTGE, Slovakia Southend-on-Sea (follow-up post)

Since I’ve been recently re-visiting that idea I had to introduce ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ by trawling through my emails, overwhelmingly to my older brother, over the approximately ten months preceding the first ‘proper’ ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog post and part-redacting and converting them to posts as ‘The Story So Far’ and I was discussing his and my Top Five studio albums of the 1970s partially over email, written about in the last post, I thought I’d better do the same by way of a follow-up thereto to fill out the details behind my own choices, which were ‘Uvázda’ (1972) by the Braňo Hronec Sextet, featuring Eva Kostolányiová and Eva Máziková, ‘Valerie Čižmárová’ (1975) by Valérie Čižmárová, ‘Helena Blehárová’ (1976) by Helena Blehárová, ‘Sneakin’ Suspicion’ (1977) by Dr. Feelgood and ‘Save The Wail’ (1979) by Lew Lewis Reformer, in what I call my ‘Slovakia Meets Southend-on-Sea Top Five’.

So, here is the relevant part of the email I sent to my brother in response to his request for my Top Five studio albums of the 1970s, with links off to some highlighted songs.

Now for my – in many cases…erm…’unconventional’ – Top Five, going through chronologically, with reasons in parenthesis.

‘Uvázda’, Braňo Hronec Sextet featuring Eva Kostolányiová and Eva Máziková (1972). (Where else can one go straight from Middle Of The Road to Glenn Miller?…apart from a recording studio somewhere in Bratislava in January 1972.)

‘Valerie Čižmárová’, Valérie Čižmárová (1975). (‘Koňskou dráhou’ (‘On The Horse Tram’) is on it! Also, the other contents of the album don’t disappoint after those sensational front and rear cover shots by the instant photographic legend that is Vladivoj Burjanek. I’m not sure what else he did in his career, but I suppose he didn’t care after that!). Of course, you probably know this by now, but I think you’ll spot the ‘Valerie Čižmárová’ LP tracks at ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’.

‘Helena Blehárová’, Helena Blehárová (1976). (The by then quite grand, old lady – then turning thirty-three – thoroughly returns to her Slovak roots, recording her one-and-only studio album of her career in Slovak in Bratislava. There are so many similarly grand tracks, both covers and natively-produced material, it’s untrue. Of the former how about ‘Viac ako milión’ (‘More Than A Million’), Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent’s gorgeous Pop-Soul tune, ‘More Than A Million’ and ‘Odkiaľ k nám chodí láska’ (‘From Where Comes Love’), the cover of France’s Il était une fois’ ‘J’ai encore rêvé d’elle’ (‘I’ve Dreamed About Her Again’). Of the latter, it has to be the two tracks that conclude the two sides of the record – ‘Predposledný jesenný deň’ (‘The Penultimate Day Of Autumn’) – simply gigantic! – and the rip-roaring ‘Komu svietim piesňou’ (‘Whom Am I Illuminating With My Song’). )

‘Sneakin’ Suspicion’, Dr. Feelgood (1977). (First of all, like ‘Valerie Čižmárová’, the text on the front cover is in Folio font, with that distinctive upper case ‘R’! The nascent Rhythm & Blues revival of the later 1970s begins to gather pace as we ‘Blueswail’ our way with Blues Harps as if it’s still 1964. I know I picked a track off that other 1977 album by Dr. Feelgood, ‘Be Seeing You’ for my ‘famous’ ‘From Sweet Sixteen To Twenty-One Today Top Twenty’, but that was nearly two decades back and things change over time, like discovering female Pop from the former Eastern Bloc! The stand-outs? From Side One, ‘Nothin’ Shakin’ (But The Leaves On The Trees)’ and from Side Two, ‘Walking On The Edge’. With all due respect to the musical knight, forget about Sir Elton! This is the Lady Diana favourite that impressed me most about the then-newcomer to the Royal Family!)

‘Save The Wail’, Lew Lewis Reformer (1979). (The ‘Blueswailing’ revival reaches top speed in 1979…and this is its anthemic album! Two years after Lew Lewis’ ‘Lucky Seven’ had kicked off Side Two of ‘Sneakin’ Suspicion’ it performed exactly the same task on ‘Save The Wail’ for its composer. The other Side One and Side Two stand-outs? – Lew Lewis Reformer’s big single from that year, ‘Win Or Lose’ – written by Francis Rossi and Bernie Frost then later recorded by Status Quo themselves – and ‘Rider’, saving the best till last!)

In summary, it’s Slovakia meets Southend-on-Sea!

…and I hope ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog readers enjoy the best of the former Eastern Bloc meeting the best of the Kingdom of the East Saxons in the Sensational Seventies!

TRB GOTGE, Slovakia Southend-on-Sea

Over this past few days or so I have had a fascinating thread of conversation – in-person, over the phone and via email – with the older brother alluded to in the ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog post of earlier on this half-decade anniversary day of the very first ‘proper’ Blog post.

Apparently, he and his friends have, via Whatsapp, been discussing favourite five studio albums of the 1970s and he has been talking of his choices for that to me, some of which were surprises and others not so. For this exercise in compare and contrast with his mates my older brother’s Top Five is as follows, going through them chronologically:

‘Argus’, Wishbone Ash (1972)

‘Billion Dollar Babies’, Alice Cooper (1973)

‘Aladdin Sane’, David Bowie (1973)

‘Power In The Darkness’, Tom Robinson Band (1978)

‘All Mod Cons’, The Jam (1978)

It was quite an engaging pursuit looking into the stories behind those albums and their track-listings, in the course of which I made a remarkable discovery, linking the worlds of my brother’s favourite albums of the 1970s and of ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ itself.

Although it had not appeared on the original vinyl LP in the re-issued edition on CD one of the ‘Bonus Tracks’ on the Tom Robinson Band’s ‘Power In The Darkness’ was the Bob Dylan-composed ‘I Shall Be Released’. This rang a bell straight away, since I already knew of a cover of that, from 1970, by Helena Blehárová, entitled ‘Sedmý pád’ (‘The Seventh Fall’).

Here is ‘I Shall Be Released’ mentioned in the track-listing of the re-issued CD version of that album on the ‘Discogs’ site.

…and here is Helena Blehárová’s ‘Sedmý pád’ in all its glorious action, showing off the magnificent ‘power’ of her voice. The Czech-language lyrics were by Jiří Vanýsek and the instrumental accompaniment came from Orchestr Gustava Broma (The Gustav Brom Orchestra) and it was recorded at Čs. Rozhlas, Brno (Czechoslovak Radio, Brno).

Feel the power!

If you wish, you may purchase the track at this page on the ‘’ site.

Funnily enough, when my brother pushed me for my own Top Five, Helena featured therein.

These were as follows, again going through them chronologically:

‘Uvázda’, Braňo Hronec Sextet, featuring Eva Kostolányiová and Eva Máziková (1972)

‘Valerie Čižmárová’, Valérie Čižmárová (1975)

‘Helena Blehárová’, Helena Blehárová (1976)

‘Sneakin’ Suspicion’, Dr. Feelgood (1977)

‘Save The Wail’, Lew Lewis Reformer (1979)

Although Valérie Čižmárová’s eponymous album (minus the accent!) was recorded in Prague, unlike ‘Uvázda’ and Helena Blehárová’s completely eponymous album – this time, with her singing in her native language – which were both recorded in Bratislava, with Valérie Čižmárová’s Slovak origins I like to think of my Top Five as ‘Slovakia meets Southend-on-Sea’!

I hope that ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog readers appreciate this glimpse into the musical world in which I’d have been growing up back in the 1970s.

‘Girls Of The Golden East’ (28.03.2016 – )

Yes, ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog readers, it has been a rather long half-decade since that Easter Bank Holiday Monday back in 2016 when I’d done and dusted the ‘The Story So Far’ part of the Blog of slightly redacted, copied and pasted emails, overwhelmingly to my older brother and put together the very first ‘proper’ post.

Since then there have been no fewer than three returns to the former Czechoslovakia after the brief visit to Slovakia – merely travelling through the Czech Republic on the way there and back – earlier that month: one in January 2017, first back to the Hotel Dominika, Petržalka, Bratislava, then to the Hostel Malá Praha, Žilina and finally to the Hostel Cathedral in Prague, one in October 2018 to the Hotel Garni in Brno and one in June 2019, first back to the Hotel Družba in Michalovce, then on to the Hotel Lux in Banská Bystrica, then back to the Hotel Dominika in Petržalka and finally to the Hotel Venec in Mladá Boleslav. So, it’s been quite an adventure and one that I hope to continue, should the restrictions on foreign travel finally be lifted, almost definitely not this year but probably next year, in these coronavirus-stricken times that would have been beyond the imaginations of all of us at the Easter of 2016.

It’s been an instructive exercise working out the gaps in months between those visits, which would have been ten between the first and second, twenty-one between the second and third and eight between the third and fourth, meaning that, as things stand, by the very proximal end of this month, I will have at least matched that gap between the second and third visit. This in turn means that I will have been the longest ‘former Czechoslovakia-less’ in this entire last five years!

Thinking of summer next year and thinking thoughts of Bank Holiday Mondays I note that August Bank Holiday Monday next year is 29th August. This will be half-a-century plus one day down the line from the recording of Valérie Čižmárová’s ‘Oči nelžou’ (‘Eyes Don’t Lie’) and ‘Říkáš pořád, jak ti na mně záleží’ (‘You Always Say How You Care About Me’) on what was our August Bank Holiday Monday of 1972, at Mozarteum, on Jungmannova, Prague. Those are, respectively, my first-ever YouTube uploading of a Valérie Čižmárová record and my current all-time No. 1 by her, so that would appear to be a good thing for which to aim and since I’d like to bring a few people with me I look forward to receiving requests from ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog readers for a guided tour!

Here’s Jan Kotěra’s striking building where those two tracks were laid down, as can be listened to at the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of the (younger-by-a-year-or-so) ‘sister Blog’ to ‘Girls Of The Golden East’, ‘Bananas For Breakfast’.

Mozarteum: ground floor
Mozarteum: upper floors and roof
Mozarteum: ground floor from across Jungmannova
Mozarteum: distant view from southern end of Jungmannova, pitched-roofed building on right-hand side

Would that be a tempting proposition for ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog readers to become ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ tourists?

Prvný (celý!) deň na Slovensku (07.03.2016)

…which is ‘The first (whole!) day in Slovakia’ in Slovak!

Yes, dear ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ readers. We have now reached the half-decade mark on from the very first (whole) day for me ever in Slovakia, or anywhere within the former Czechoslovakia, for that matter!

This was marked by a series of three E-Mails from ‘Yours Truly’ to my older brother, composed on the same, very well-travelled laptop as I am using to compile this post, which I later converted into ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ posts when the Blog finally fully got up and running towards the end of that March. They can be read off here, here and here.

As I have been meaning for some time to do so I have used this occasion an an ‘excuse’ to get around to uploading, to YouTube, the videos I took of the train journey I took that day on the R 605 ‘Dargov’ train from Bratislava hlavná stanica to Košice, the REX 909 ‘Laborec’ train on from Košice to Valérie Čižmárová’s home town of Michalovce and my then-favourite song of hers, ‘Koňskou dráhou’ (‘On The Horse Tram’) playing on the aforementioned laptop that evening in my room (No. 901) at the Hotel Družba in Michalovce. If one clicks on the last of the four buttons in the Blog header above one will get to my YouTube Channel to play them.

Since those four stand out from the point of view of ‘Girls Of The Golden East’, being the respective home towns of Eva Kostolányiová and Helena Blehárová, the approaches to and departures from Trnava (10.25 & 10.27) and Žilina (12.41 & 12.45) are embedded at the end of this paragraph. As an adoptive Norwich City fan (a ‘Derbyshire Canary’) I was particularly taken with MŠK Žilina’s stadium, decked out in the yellow-and-green club colours! To continue in a footballing vein, by way of strange fate, on this date in 1973, during its ‘Glory Days’ of the early-to-mid 1970s, my local football club, Derby County, played at Spartak Trnava, that coincidence being further added to by the fact that Eva Kostolányiová, with her fellow ‘Eva’, the Máziková thereof, with the accompaniment of the Braňo Hronec Sextet, had recorded in January 1972 an album entitled ‘Uvázda’ (‘Presents’), which finished with a medley of old Glenn Miller songs of the type that the Syd Lawrence Orchestra – that I went to see at the King’s Hall in Derby as an eleven-year-old, also on 7th March 1973 – might have played. As family – my then-Uncle Frank Dixon was the Lead Trombonist – we got in gratis!

Approach to Trnava
Departure from Trnava
Arrival at Žilina
Departure from Žilina

I plan to do an upload of the tracks off ‘Uvázda’ when the ‘Golden Anniversary’ month of January 2022 comes around, so that’s something for readers of ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ to anticipate with great excitement!

The Story So Far (06 March 2016 14:33:25) & (06 March 2016 21:39:43) (‘GOTGE’ Posts re-visited)

If ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ readers would like to know where I was at this time half-a-decade ago as I write I was just about beginning my ‘infamous’ extended nap in Room No. 203 at the Hotel Dominika, Petržalka, in-between writing this and this ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ post – originally E-Mails to my brother – with the same – now somewhat ‘tired’! – laptop as the one with which I am composing this post!

It seems almost unreal to think that the personal and global World that existed then – with everything that has gone on since – is a mere five years ago and thinking about that time fairly takes me back to my unforgettable first walk in the green space around the Chorvátské rameno; the canal-like stretch of water that acts as a flood regulation measure for the nearby River Danube.

I cannot stress strongly enough to ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ readers how much I would recommend that diversion from the City Centre of Bratislava, as the travel Blog writer, Emily Lush at her Blog, ‘Wander-Lush’ also recommends at this post, to which I simply had to react!

One of the Facebook Groups to which I belong is dedicated to the singer, Miluška Voborníková. Taking a look at those clearly turbulent waters of the Danube in the shot looking from the Castle in the direction of Petržalka it makes it quite remarkable how – even on a summer’s day, unlike the wintry day on which that shot on the ‘Wander-Lush’ Blog was taken – this stunning shot of Miluška in 1971, recently shared by ‘Yours Truly’ at her Facebook Group from the ‘’ site, was arranged. This is also the 47th Anniversary of the recording of Valérie Čižmárová’s ‘Koňskou dráhou’ (‘On The Horse Tram’), which was used as background music for a scene in the 1974 film ‘Jak utopit dr. Mráčka aneb Konec vodníků v Čechách’ (‘How To Drown Dr. Mráček, Or The End Of The River Sprites In The Czech Lands’), in which film Valérie Čižmárová played a singing river sprite – ‘vodníčka’ in its feminine form. So I felt almost obliged to pass a comment there referring to Miluška as ‘a beautiful river sprite in the Danube’ there a slight error admittedly creeping in in all the excitement, the ‘i’ in that word needing to be lengthened to ‘í’!

Unfortunately, it appears that this has been removed from the actual page to which the above Facebook post links, but fortunately I have managed to download it so the shot can be seen in its full format, where the Castle from which that photo at ‘Wander-Lush’ was taken is visible in the background, with a suitably corrected caption. I think one can see why I had to share it!

Krasná vodníčka v Dunaje

This might have been an easier proposition to put together in her rather calmer native river, the Jizera, at Mladá Boleslav, where I have also myself been – in my last visit to the Czech Republic in June 2019 – so I know what it’s like there!

As I end writing this post, as the 40th Anniversary memorial concert for Eva Kostolányiová where I should have been, was in its second hour, I still had, incredibly, another two-and-a-half-plus hours’ sleep to go!

Silvestr budiž pestr aneb Do půlnoci mnoho času nezbývá

…or “New Year’s Eve will be varied or there is not much time until midnight” in English!

(and I’m trying to get this ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog post out before midnight!)

I have just been made aware of the following quite stunning video of Miluška Voborníková performing the song ‘Když se mnou láska zamává’ (‘When love waves at me’) on the TV show of the name of the title of this post from New Year’s Eve 1972.

I say ‘varied’, which puts me in mind of the songs composed, like ‘Když se mnou láska zamává’, by Karel Svoboda for Miluška’s colleague-to-be at the Divadlo Semafor, Valérie Čižmárová, the slow and moody ‘Padal déšť’ (‘The Rain Was Falling’) and the mid-tempo and jaunty ‘Námořník šel cik cak’ (‘The Sailor Went Zig-Zag’) which can both be played over at the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of the ‘sister Blog’ to ‘Girls Of The Golden East’, ‘Bananas For Breakfast’. The additional composition and performance credits for ‘Když se mnou láska zamává’ are as follows: Lyrics – Vladimír Poštulka, Instrumental Accompaniment – Václav Hybš se svým orchestrem (Václav Hybš and his Orchestra).

Here is a selection of stills of Miluška in action from this performance, which is as perfect an illustration as one could get that what Petra Černocká remarked concerning her appearance in the film ‘Dívka na koštětí’ and her friend, Miluška, as can be seen at the ‘sister Page’ of ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’, ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Pictures’, was entirely correct. No wonder those pins had such a near-legendary reputation at the time!

That tune by Karel Svoboda is also quite something to behold – a step up, tempo-wise from both ‘Padal déšť’ and ‘Námořník šel cik cak’ – and Václav Hybš and his Orchestra keeps it nicely driving Miluška and the accompanying troupe along!

Miluška The Mover…and Shaker!

OK, so I didn’t quite beat Midnight, but it was worth the extra wait!

2 + 1 on 01/02

This charming YouTube video (uploaded on 30th September last year) of the three-member Polish group, Dwa Plus Jeden (Two Plus One) has just, by accident, come to my attention, so, since we are still just in ’01/02′, as I write, I thought I’d get it out there while I still had the chance. Over on the ‘Sister Blog’ to ‘Girls Of The Golden East’, ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, I have just featured the beginning, at this time of year in 1974, of the recording of the eponymous album of Valérie Čižmárová, which is kicked off with a medley of ‘oldies’, including the song that she had performed on behalf of the then-indisposed Petra Černocká at the Bratislavská Lýra of 1973, ‘Koukej, se mnou si píseň broukej’ (‘Look, Hum The Song With Me’). At that same Bratislavská Lýra, Dwa Plus Jeden performed ‘Hej, dogonię lato’ (‘Hey, I’m Going To Catch Up With Summer’), with music by Janusz Kruk and lyrics by Marek Dutkiewicz.

Dwa Plus Jeden, formed now just over half a century ago in January 1971, were Elżbieta Dmoch on vocals and flute, the aforementioned Janusz Kruk, here on vocals guitar and harmonica and Andrzej Rybiński on vocals and guitar and here they are in action.

Our latest ‘Girl Of The Golden East’, Elżbieta Dmoch!

With the last ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ post featuring Bulgaria’s Светла Стоева (Svetla Stoeva) this is perhaps that rare example of two ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ posts in a row not involving Czechoslovakia, since, although Czechoslovakia was something of a scene-stealer for me, I don’t want readers to go away with the impression that I’m totally obsessed with that country!

Two ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ posts plus….

The Bee Gees via ‘.bg’

By a quite remarkable coincidence, after having featured Светла Стоева (Svetla Stoeva) in the last ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog post I just happened, last night, to have reacquainted myself with her gorgeously danceable ‘Ти си ритъм’ – ‘Ti si ritm’ (‘You Are Rhythm’) (1972), which I would describe as ‘Eastern Soul’ – that novel genre I am attempting to create: Northern Soul originating from the former Eastern Bloc. It is possible that it is a cover of an original from outside the Bloc unfamiliar to me, but one should not discount entirely the possibility that it is all the Bloc’s own work, given the many examples of fine tunesmithery I have encountered from there over the years. It is a great pity that I cannot seem to find any details on the composition to establish this.

Here is the incredible ‘Ти си ритъм’ – probably more Northern Soul than much coming from its native lands of the U.S. and the UK at the time.

Eastern Soul in all its glory!

While I am bringing this to ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ readers’ attention this is as good an excuse as any to revisit Svetla Stoeva’s  ‘Може би’ – ‘Mozhe bi’ (‘Maybe’) from the following year, which is another cracker of a tune and one for which I can identify the composer, Парашкев Хаджиев – Parashkev Hadjiev, the lyrics coming from Йордан Янков – Yordan Yankov and the instrumental accompaniment being by Естраден Оркестър На Комитета За Телевизия И Радио – Estraden Orkestr Na Komiteta Za Televizia I Radio –
Variety Orchestra Of The Bulgarian Radio And Television under Дечо Таралежков – Decho Taralezhkov. This is one decidedly wintry video but Svetla is looking positively sizzling in thigh-length boots!

Cold but hot!

Over on the other side of the record is ‘Хайо–Хайо’ – ‘Hayo-Hayo’, involving the same personnel but the music having been composed by Barry and Maurice Gibb, originally ‘I.O.I.O.’ by The Bee Gees, featuring Barry and Maurice Gibb. Again, it’s a wintry video, but the outfit Svetla is wearing is rather less likely to send male temperatures soaring, this time!

Cold and…

Apparently ‘I.O.I.O.’ comes from the television film, ‘Cucumber Castle’, which was shown on BBC Two on 26th December 1970 – a song and a film hitherto unknown to me, so this is yet another one of those examples of an Eastern Bloc covering of an original from outside the Bloc bringing my attention to the original.

Here is that original with scenes from ‘Cucumber Castle’.

The Bee Gee’s original via ‘.bg’

It’s strange that the domain name for Bulgaria is ‘.bg’, when this Bee Gees original came to my attention thanks to…well…’.bg’!