The Story So Far (December 27, 2015)

It appears, thanks to a documentary on the life of Cilla Black, that followed ‘Downton Abbey’ on Christmas Night, that I have made another major discovery in the former Czechoslovakia (well, I have had her at the BACK of my mind for several weeks, but it’s only now that she’s leapt to the front).

The songwriter of the last one of Valérie Čižmárová’s ‘Medley of Four Hit Songs’ that kicks off her 1975 LP is Petra Černocká.



Since during the Cilla doc they played her version of ‘Lover’s Concerto’ (also performed by Spain’s Karina)…


…that got me thinking back to Věra Špinarová’s version of Cilla’s ‘Surround Yourself With Sorrow’, meaning that songs associated with Cilla were ‘done’ in both Fascist and Communist Europe.

<The publishers of the two relevant YT videos clearly won’t allow me to link either one here, unfortunately! It’s entitled ‘Music-Box’, if you wish to search on that term!>

Looking into this I discovered (and you will see from the uploading date that it’s only just come on-stream, so no wonder why I haven’t done so before) that Petra also performed this on a show called ‘Ring Volný’, in 1981, ironically immediately followed by Věra performing Petra’s song from that Valérie Čižmárová album, making it a sort of ‘song exchange’. If you spool on the 18′ 40″ mark you will also hear Věra performing a searing rendition (in the middle of what is essentially a light entertainment show) of the Czech-language version of the theme to the legendary film, ‘Once Upon A Time In The West’, reminding one why I described her as one of the finest singing voices on the planet.



…and would you just guess that (like Věra) Petra also did a (different – the title’s not the same) Czech version of ‘Soley Soley’! So, it’s no surprise that they were chosen as the perfect ‘contenders’ in the ring.



It makes a change that it’s the first Czechoslovak discovery that DOESN’T involve ending in ‘…ová’!


Incidentally, I have a very good idea that ‘Ring Volný’ is at least to some extent based on French TV’s ‘Ring Parade’ and ‘Midi Ring’.



In another one of those many this-just-gets-better-and-better moments that have populated this amazing year of European Pop Music-related discoveries this year I have ‘only’ discovered that Petra Černocká starred in a sort of funky, very sexy, early-1970s ‘Harry Potter’…and sang the theme tune (unfortunately not actually composed by her). I’m afraid I couldn’t resist watching the whole movie, which I just have….carrying on the theme of late-1960s/early-1970s Pop Stars starring in films and performing the song related to the movie….as in ‘En Un Mundo Nuevo’, (a ‘The Sound Of Music’-like Musical, starring Karina) of course. What a looker she was in the movie if you look at this selection of scenes from the film, accompanied by that cracker of a theme tune – sort of reminds one in parts of one of NCFC’s famous fans, Myleene Klass, don’t you think?



…and here’s the synopsis on IMDb

(…and here is a show-stopper of a scene from Karina’s ‘En Un Mundo Nuevo’, for comparison’s sake)

Petra has also got a talented Singer of a daughter…as one can see from this recent performance…accompanied by her husband…what a family!



…and another (I think from rather longer ago) with ‘that’ song that is evidently another one that’s gone down in a nation’s collective memory, (like you-know-what),  almost becoming a ‘standard’, judging by the enthusiastic reception by the audience.



All I’ve got to say is, “Your mum’s pretty cool!”…OK….AND the father and daughter as well!

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