Boldog születésnapot, ‘Směs písní’!

The day after having recorded ‘Byl’s má bój’ (‘It Was A Fight’), ‘Démantová zem’ and ‘Proč si to brát’ (‘Why Get Married To That’) on this date in 1974 Valérie Čižmárová reached the penultimate stage of recording her eponymous LP at the studio at Dejvice, Prague, with just one recording date to go, on 10th April, recording the opening track, consisting of a medley of three of her ‘oldies’, plus the song written by Petra Černocká, ‘Koukej, se mnou si píseň broukej’ (‘Look, Hum The Song With Me’), that its composer should have showcased at the Bratislavská Lýra Festival the previous year, but, due to her indisposition, had called Valinka to the rescue to perform it on her behalf – an incident which strikes one as supremely ironic inasmuch as Valinka was, as far as could be made out, quite a heavy smoker and it was that that, I suspect, may have had an impact on her health in later life, whereas, according to what I have been reading in Petruška’s book, ‘Co mě maminky (ne)naučily’ (‘What My Mums Taught Me (Not)’) the latter was, so it would seem, a keen sportswoman in her youth and is still alive and kicking today. I wonder if Valinka might quite cheekily have suggested to Petruška at that time to take up smoking, since it might have done her some good!

The other songs in the medley were as follows: ‘Koko’ (the fifth single: Valinka’s cover of The Sweet’s ‘Co-Co’, with music by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman and Czech-language lyrics by Vladimír Poštulka), ‘Léta letí’ (‘Summer Is Flying By’) (the third single: Valinka’s cover of Giorgio Moroder’s ‘Looky, Looky’, with music by Giorgio Moroder and Pete Rainford and Czech-language lyrics by Vladimír Poštulka), ‘Sunny’ (the first single: Valinka’s cover of Bobby Hebb’s ‘Sunny’, with music by Bobby Hebb and Slovak-language lyrics by Ali Brezovský).

It was arranged by Mirko Krebs, instrumental accompaniment coming from Karel Vlach se svým orchestrem (Karel Vlach and his Orchestra) with backing vocals from Sbor Lubomíra Pánka (The Lubomír Pánek Singers), with production from Mojmír Balling, Jan Hrábek and Květoslav Rohleder, sound engineering from František Řebíček and Jiří Brabec and technical co-operation from Milan Svoboda and Jiří Rohan.

Here is that medley courtesy of ‘Valentisekk’, AKA, so far as I can ascertain, the party who approved my admission to the  the ‘Valérie ČIŽMÁROVÁ’ Facebook Group , Pepa Zýka, with ‘that’ immortal Vladivoj Burjanek photo from the rear cover of the LP.

Although I, of course, am a ‘Valinker’ (the name I’d like to coin as a fan of Valinka) and the medley was an interesting re-interpretation of those ‘oldies’ and that Petra Černocká song I cannot help but feel that, since this ended up as Valinka’s one and only LP, that opening ring of vinyl could have been filled with something brand new and that, as such, it was maybe a missed opportunity and that there is something slightly saddening about it, almost as if to indicate that her best days were behind her. However, at that time, nobody could have known that it was going to be the only chance for her to record an LP, so is that the proverbial twenty-twenty vision of hindsight talking?



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