In the period running up to the recording, on 22nd September 1971, at the Dejvice Studio in Prague, of the respective covers of Middle Of The Road’s ‘Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum’ and The Sweet’s ‘Co-Co’ by Hana Zagorová as ‘Pan Tydlitýt a pan Tydlitát’ (Mr Tydlitýt And Mr Tydlitát’) and by Valérie Čižmárová as ‘Koko’, eleven days beforehand on the 11th September 1971, over the border in West Germany on the TV programme ‘Disco’, those two groups happen to have performed those two songs and there are YouTube videos available of those two performances, which also show how ‘peas-in-a-pod’ the two lead singers, Sally Carr and Brian Connolly were, my invariably thinking that the other parallel was that the two songs were both released on the orange RCA label.
This sort of makes the 11th of that month a ‘rehearsal’ for the 22nd thereof, in my opinion.
So, this is the first of those performances, half-a-century ago to the day, as I write…
…and this is the second…
Although I’ve never personally perceived any likeness between Hanička and Valinka, in the book I once brought out of Derby Library on Hanička’s life and work, ‘Zagorka’, evidently the organisers of the Bratislavská Lýra Festival of 1969 must have thought that Hanička and Valinka were as ‘peas-in-a-pod’ as Sally and Brian, since there is, in ‘Zagorka’, a bizarre piece of publicity material from the aforementioned festival where a photograph of Hanička is captioned ‘Valérie Čižmárová’, with Hanička ironically referring to herself as that well-known “sexy, long-blonde-haired Slovak-gone-Czech woman”, which perhaps is a good idea of the place of Valinka in the ‘mental universe’ of Czechoslovakia and today’s ‘Czecho-Slovakia’, as I think of it!
I have long thought to myself that, with all due respect to Hanička, Valinka’s powerhouse voice certainly cannot be mistaken for Hanička’s rather thinner offering, as I think ‘Pan Tydlitýt a pan Tydlitát’ and ‘Koko’ demonstrate, certainly where Valinka ‘bounces’ along well over the backing vocals in the build-up to the fade-out, always leaving me breathless in admiration on every listening.