Boldog születésnapot!

Now I have finally touched base back home in the UK after my grand tour of Slovakia and the Czech Republic before I pick back up on the update to my experiences there is another Valérie Čižmárová recording anniversary to mark – and the title of that recording could not be more fitting in view of the weather in Slovakia and the Czech Republic: ‘Sněhová vločka’ (‘Snowflake’), recorded on 24th January 1975 and appearing on the various artists compilation LP, ‘Ve společném rytmu’ (‘Together, In Rhythm’), with music by Jurij Saulskij and lyrics by Emil Synek, musical accompaniment coming from Karel Vlach se svým orchestrem (Karel Vlach and his Orchestra).

Earlier on, Valinka had appeared, performing that song, on the TV show (broadcast on 15th November 1974) of the same name as the LP and these images are, I think, the earliest ones in colour of her performing on a TV show – a beautiful vision in shimmering emerald-green.

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In view of the fact that I have mentioned Aleš and snow here are a few snowy shots of his home town of Žďár nad Sázavou, which I visited three days ago.

The locomotive pulling the train for Žďár nad Sázavou at Praha hlavní nádraží (Prague Central Station).

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The destination indicator.

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The park beside the River Sázava, with children sledging and the Farní kostel sv. Prokopa (Parish Church of St. Procopius)  in the background.

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The view across the River Sázava, again with the Farní kostel sv. Prokopa  in the background.

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At the Antikvariát MLHA second-hand book and record shop at the railway station at Žďár nad Sázavou I picked up a real selection of bargains, record-wise, including several singles from that ‘Classic Year’ of 1973, and the LP (‘Intarzia’, from 1975) by the artist from over the border in Hungary with whom Valinka is inextricably linked via her performance of ‘Rock and roller’ on the New Year’s Eve show of 1977, ‘Silvestr na přání, aneb – čí jsou hory Kavčí’ – Kati Kovács. The high point had to be the single from 1973 with which Valinka (of those not actually recorded by herself) is most associated via the understudying for Petra Černocká at the Bratislavská Lýra of 1973, ‘Koukej, se mnou si píseň broukej’, with the incredible, driving ‘Hádej, mámo’ on the flip…and of course the ‘Dívka na koštětí’ DVD I to which I had already treated myself had to be in that shot after all that!…and Valinka’s LP, in Aleš’s home town!

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The main street, Nádražní, with snow piled up.

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The bridge taking the Husová over the frozen River Sázava.

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Some serious icicles on a house near the River Sázava!

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Finally, Valinka’s LP by the sign that points to her way to stardom – Jihlava, where she was in ‘Talent 68′ performing her version of The Kinks’ ‘Sunny Afternoon’ as ‘Slunný podnebí’ (which is ironic inasmuch as the lyrics of the song complain about the cold Winter’s weather!)

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