Všetko najlepšie k 70. narodeninám, Jana!

Jana Kocianová is 70 today!
I’m celebrating by ordering a copy of her 1976 LP (it might not QUITE have been released by this time forty years ago, but in this case let’s stretch things a little!)accompanied by Nový Tradicionál, ‘Každý Deň’ (‘Every Day’). It features numerous treatments of Jazz, Blues, Gospel and Soul songs, including Ella Fitzgerald’s classic ‘Sentimental Journey’, the Gospel element thereof making one wonder anew just how ‘godless’ Communist-era Czechoslovakia really was. Here is Jana performing the title track.

An earlier example of Jana’s Gospel work was the single ‘Zahoď Starosti’ (‘We Are Goin’ Down Jordan’), which I’m also ordering.

One would probably be amazed to discover that one of the hottest Gospellers ever, anywhere, performed in what to most people in the West would be a decidedly ‘minority’ language (specifically, Slovak, as opposed to Czech) under the heel of Communism, but Jana was definitely that. As such, she has to be considered a true ‘great’ in the history of Popular Music.

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