‘RETRO SLOVAK’ isn’t bad either

(Well, except the wrong ordering of artists in the videos that R.S. uploads, which confuses no end!) After all my praise for Hana Blažeková’s ‘Big Beat’ channel in my last post it seems that ‘RETRO SLOVAK’ has only recently uploaded a whole raft of whole episodes of Rádio Regina’s transmissions of Gala Concerts from the ‘Bratislavská Lýra’ festival from a few key years (the transmissions all date from earlier this year in any case) the programme being presented by one of the Co-Hosts (Martin Jurčo) of the Eva Kostolányiová tribute concert, which took place on 6th March, in Bratislava. It is almost unbelieveable that the following programme (featuring the Bratislavská Lýra of 1969) was broadcast on the evening I’d have been on the train in the UK, on the way to the overnight ferry, on the way, in turn, to Bratislava (4th March) and that the YT was uploaded sometime on the day I’d have been travelling from Bratislava to Michalovce, via Košice (7th March), so that is almost immaculate timing, considering that, probably, the next thing Martin Jurčo would have been doing in public would have been hosting that concert.

As has happened so many times before the Gala Concert – taking place still in the aftermath of the Soviet Invasion of 1968 – is a complete revelation.

The first of ‘my’ GOTGE featured thus far to take the stage is a just-about-to-turn-nineteen-year-old Jitka Zelenková.

There then follows what I take to be a duet, in English, featuring Jitka and a just seventeen-year-old Valérie Čižmárová – in view of their close friendship in the music biz.

Valérie continues, going solo, with her version of ‘Sunny’ (her debut single), which she would only just have recorded, so I have worked out, a matter of days beforehand. This truly would have been a new star being born, then.

Both Jitka and Valérie impress as representatives of the future of Pop Music in Czechoslovakia, singing with voices that sound nothing like teenagers from a country somewhere in Central/Eastern Europe.

The third is Hana Zagorová, adding to the versions of ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’ performed by artists from the former Czechoslovakia (Eva Kostolányiová in Slovak and Věra Špinarová in English…and Hana here in Czech).

It is quite fitting that this radio show should have been uploaded on a day I’d have been travelling via Košice, since another one of the artists performing was Košice’s Eva Sepešiová, (who I note will be celebrating her 70th birthday this next Monday, 16th May).

At the Eastern Bloc Disco that I attended in mid-January at the Nottingham Contemporary there was played a version of ‘It’s Not Unusual’ by the great Marta Kubišová (whose career I have yet fully to investigate…these things take time!) and this gets an airing during this concert.

To add to all this I note that one of the male artists performing is none other than Petr Spálený, AKA ‘Mr. Miluška Voborníková’, so that indirectly completes the triangle of musical friends performing – Valérie, Jitka and ‘Mr. Miluška’ – his performance incorporating a version of ‘Obladi-Oblada’, of which we will learn more in terms of Eastern Bloc renditions thereof later.

Here is the order of artists copied from the ‘Show More’ feature, but I suspect that Hana Zagorová, Eva Sepešiová and Petr Spálený should all be transposed, from my listening, such that Eva precedes Hana and that Hana precedes Petr. Interestingly, the error in the spelling of Valérie Čižmárová’s name is a clue to English speakers as to how to pronounce the name. The terminal ‘e’ is voiced and the stress is on the accented ‘e’ – so, it’s ‘Val-AIR-i-uh’, not ‘VAL-uh-ri’.

The Rangers / Plavci
Valéria Čižmárová
Karel Kryl
Jitka Zelenková
Luděk Nekuda
Petr Spálený
Hana Zagorová
Eva Sepešiová
Marta Kubišová
Eva Pilarová

Here are those artists in action.



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