On this day exactly four-and-a-half decades ago two of my very favourite ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ tracks were recorded at Čs. Rozhlas Brno (Czechoslovak Radio, Brno) – Alena Tichá’s ‘Dám vám lék’ (‘I Give You The Cure’) – originally Laura Nyro’s self-composed ‘Hands Off The Man (Flim Flam Man)’ – and ‘Náhody’ (‘Coincidences’), so it’s a ‘Happy Birthday!’ to those two tracks.
The former had Czech-language lyrics composed by Jiří Kameš and the music for the latter was composed by the great tunesmith, Max Wittmann, with lyrics coming from Pavel Cmíral and both were to the instrumental accompaniment of Orchestr Studio Brno, under Erik Knirsch.
I have remarked at ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ about the fact that – according to ‘The Guinness Book Of Hits Of The 70s’, based on the UK Top 75 – many of the original versions of Valérie Čižmárová’s covers of material originating from west of the former Iron Curtain simply did not feature in the UK Top 75. According to the following excerpt, Laura Nyro managed not one single entry into that chart, so presumably they would know more about both ‘Hands Off The Man (Flim Flam Man)’ and Laura Nyro in the Czech Republic and Slovakia than most British people would do, which is a great pity, since it is an absolutely superb (slow-ish) Northern Soul-type melody and Alena Tichá delivers her version with her customary gorgeous, sumptuous voice.
Here is an utterly charming video of ‘Dám vám lék’.
…and here is the cracking coolness of ‘Náhody’.
I often think that Alena Tichá should have a higher profile than she appears to have. As a fan of rich voices she is absolutely up my musical street!