50 roky po Huascarán

…which is ’50 years after Huascarán’ in Czech.

I was dealing with a significant anniversary of an historic event at this post at the ‘sister’ Blog to ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ recently.

Today, our thoughts move from three-quarters-of-a-century ago to half-a-century ago, since, in less than an hour’s time as I write, at 3 pm, 23 Minutes, 29 Seconds Local Time, ie., 8 pm, 23 Minutes, 29 Seconds UK Time, the Ancash Earthquake of 1970 struck Peru as a party of fifteen mountaineers from Czechoslovakia were in the country attempting to scale the highest peak of the Andean chain, Huascarán, all fifteen being lost. In the immediate vicinity of the earthquake more than twenty thousand locals also lost their lives and more than a further twenty thousand perished, too, in the wider area surrounding the earthquake’s epicentre.


Approaching the third anniversary of that event Valinka would go on to cement her name in the public consciousness in association with that tragedy by recording – by total contrast with the other side to the record, her cover of an Archies song, ‘Who’s Your Baby’ as ‘Důkaz mi dej’/’Důkaz dej mi’ (‘Prove It To Me’), original title and title used more recently for compilations – ‘Huascarán’ on 4th May 1973. I am assuming that it was for quick release at the end of that month to mark the third anniversary of the earthquake.

I usually direct people over to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ to play the song that I am featuring in such and such a Blog post, but, since this is an event and anniversary of such significance, I will make an exception in this case and embed the relevant YouTube video below, with the recording credits being as follows:

Music: Vladimír Rukavička. Lyrics: Petr Markov. Spoken Recital: Mirek Černý. Accompaniment: Skupina Svatopluka Čecha. Venue: Mozarteum, Prague

Here are Petr Markov’s lyrics and recital text, together with an ‘ImTranslator’-based translation, in places suitably modified.

Mirek Černý:

Ve čtvrtek 23. dubna 1970 odcestovala z Prahy do Limy výprava československých horolezců vedená doktorem Arnoštem Černíkem. Jejím cílem byl vrchol nejvyšší peruánské hory Huascarán.

On Thursday, April 23, 1970, the Czechoslovak climbers headed by Dr. Arnošt Cernik traveled from Prague to Lima. Its goal was the summit of the highest Peruvian mountain Huascaran.

Valérie Čižmárová:

Od horských pramenů
nejtěžší z kamenů
na prsou mám.
Přichází z úbočí,
kde zvoní cepín tvůj,
v slzách se rozmočí,
až se vrátíš, drahý můj.

From mountain springs
The hardest of the stones
I have my breasts.
It comes from the slopes,
Where your bowl rings,
Tears in tears,
When you come back, my dear.

S odvahou zázraků,
nese se tvůj stín,
k stříbrným oblakům,
a ještě výš.
Já však jsem zbabělá
a tonu v obavách,
čekám tě, lásko má,! Vrat se živ a zdrav.

With the courage of miracles,
Your shadow is carried,
To the silver clouds,
And even higher.
But I’m cowardly
And in fear,
I’m waiting for you, my love! Come back alive and healthy.

Mirek Černý:

V neděli 31. května – večer postihlo jihoamerickou republiku Peru katastrofální zemětřesení, které si vyžádalo desítky tisíc lidských životů. Ve sněhových masách nedaleko jezera Llanganuco, zmizela výprava československých horolezců, kteří sem přijeli pokořit nejvyšší horu peruánských And Huascarán.

On Sunday, May 31 – the night, the South American Republic of Peru suffered a catastrophic earthquake that claimed tens of thousands of lives. In the snowmobiles near Lake Llanganuco, the expedition of Czechoslovak climbers disappeared here, who came to humble the highest mountain of the Andes, Huascarán.

Valérie Čižmárová:

Od horských pramenů…

From mountain springs …

Boldog születésnapot, ‘Sunny’ és ‘Čekám’!

It is a little on the difficult side to try and live up to last year’s ‘Golden Anniversary’ of the very beginning of Valinka’s recording career on 26th May 1969 – recording ‘Sunny’ and ‘Čekám’ (‘I Am Waiting’), which was quite some occasion and I was struggling with this until I happened to notice, at the ‘Aukro.cz’ site, that there were a couple of Valinka’s records on offer for an almost ridiculously low price and that the auction was ending this evening. Not only that, but these records were as follows: my all-time favourite ‘Říkáš pořád, jak ti na mně záleží’ (‘You Keep Saying How You Care About Me’), which is the other side of ‘Oči nelžou’ (‘Eyes Don’t Lie’), my first-ever uploading of a Valinka recording to YouTube and Valinka’s bouncing and swinging cover of The Sweet’s ‘Co-Co’ as ‘Koko’, with the charming ‘Pán s loutnou’ (‘The Gentleman With The Lute’) on the other side.

So, I suppose that finding, bidding and winning the auction for those records in such short order is about as good a way as any of celebrating Valinka’s output from the decade to which ‘Sunny’ and ‘Čekám’ were almost the curtain-raiser…with the ‘small’ matter of ‘Když mě chceš’ (‘When You Want Me’) and ‘Proč se ti zdá’ (‘Why Does It Seem To You’) just managing to intervene on 31st December 1969!

Suffice to say that, in conclusion, exactly a year on from my YouTube uploadings of ‘Sunny’ and ‘Čekám’ to celebrate their ‘Golden Anniversaries’ it might be nice to have a few more heading over to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ to play them and for information on full recording details and credits to bump up the viewing figures from 26 for ‘Sunny’ and 54 for ‘Čekám’!

Boldog születésnapot, ‘To je léto’ és ‘Synu můj’!

At the latest post on the ‘sister’ Blog to ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, ‘Girls Of The Golden East’, the dramatic fight for the control of the Czechoslovak Radio building on 5th May 1945 was featured, taking place twenty-seven years and twenty days before the recording there of Valinka’s ‘To je léto’ (‘It’s Summer’) and ‘Synu můj’ (‘Son Of Mine’), the latter of these having lyrics (by Michael Prostějovský) that, by my listening, deal with the idea of young people dying in the fight for freedom for their countries, which might be a perfectly fitting theme, as a counterpoint to the escapism of the lyrics of ‘To je léto’ (by Miloslav Procházka) – here featured at the ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ Blog post of three years ago – for a song to be recorded at a place with a history of that nature.


To appreciate these radically different songs and to get full information on recording details and credits please go to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’.

Since this eventful day in the history of Prague also happened to coincide with the birth there of the part-composer of the music for some of Valinka’s finest work in the various recording studios of the city – Vítězslav Hádl, the man in part behind such luminaries as ‘Tak měj mě rád’ (‘So Just Love Me’), ‘V poschodí pátém’ (‘On The Fifth Floor’) and ‘Koňskou dráhou’ (‘On The Horse Tram’) – in my book there could not have been a much more dramatic testament to that remarkably serendipitous coincidence in history than a song like ‘Synu můj’ and there could not have been a much more dramatically contrasting pairing of songs than that along with ‘To je léto’!

Boldog születésnapot, ‘Důkaz mi dej’ és ‘Huascarán’!

I wrote in yesterday’s ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ post that the theme of ‘altitude’ was going to be further explored in today’s post, so here we go…onward and upward!

At a time approaching what I think was the peak of Valinka’s output in the recording studios – in the May of 1973 – she scaled the peaks of both ‘Důkaz mi dej’ (‘Prove It To Me’) – described in the ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ post marking what should have been Valinka’s 68th Birthday as her ‘pile driver’ – and ‘Huascarán’, the song in commemoration of the deaths of fifteen Czechoslovak mountaineers led by Dr. Arnošt Černík in the Ancash Earthquake, which ‘Golden Anniversary’ is rapidly approaching as I write, occurring, as it did, on Sunday, 31st May 1970. There is a page on the Web dedicated to this recording here – unfortunately, in Czech for those who cannot understand it, but there is the bonus there of a photograph of Valinka in action in the recording studio, I would think most likely sometime in 1973, if that is Mozarteum – as I have seen it written as such – looking absolutely sensational! Here is a larger-format version of that very photo.


For those who do not, indeed, understand Czech, if one drops by the ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ post that was the first ‘pass’ of this Valinka Recording Anniversary at ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, three years ago, there are a couple of ImTranslator-based translations into English of the lyrics for both ‘Důkaz mi dej’ and ‘Huascarán’, the first of which shows Valinka very much putting things on the line, as a song entitled ‘Prove It To Me’ should, just as those mountaineers put themselves on the line nearly half-a-century ago.

I think it possibly an opportune juncture at which to confess that, in the course of attending an appointment with a psychiatrist – no remarks, please! – some years ago, which would have been in my much earlier acquaintance over Cyberspace with Valinka, I referred to the story behind ‘Huascarán’ to the psychiatrist saying that, for a talent like Valinka’s, “I would climb mountains”.

It appears that the current coronavirus crisis, with its attendant travel restrictions, has saved me from actually climbing Huascarán on the ‘Golden Anniversary’, as I had rashly committed myself, mentally, to so doing!

Well…would you ‘climb mountains’??? – on listening to ‘Důkaz mi dej’ and ‘Huascarán’ at the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, where the reader will find information on the recording details and credits…

metaphorically speaking! 😉

Boldog születésnapot, ‘Pokloň se, lásko’ és boldog születésnapot, ‘Žádný ptáčník nemá křídla’!

As in the case of the last ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ post, there could potentially be a touch of the after the Lord Mayor’s Parade about the post from this year on the Recording Anniversaries of ‘Pokloň se, lásko’ (‘Love, Take A Bow’) and ‘Žádný ptáčník nemá křídla’ (‘No Birdwatcher Has No Wings’) – the first of these being last year four-an-a-half decades old and the second, then, being four decades old.

It is ever-challenging to find new ‘angles’ at ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ on Valinka’s Recording Anniversaries, but – endeavouring to do so in this instance – it is perhaps timely that I have been doing my occasional checking-around to see how my two Blogs, this one and its ‘sister Blog’, ‘Girls Of The Golden East’, since I just happened to discover that there has been another referral from the ‘Denim Disco’ site – about the music from the Glam Rock era – that has been so kind as to put a link in its ‘Links’ section to ‘Girls Of The Golden East’, specifically from this particular post.

What is especially gratifying is that there is a two-fold ‘Valinka link’ (as I describe them!) going on at that ‘Denim Disco’ post.

We at first note that there is a song originally by Sweet embedded at that post – Valinka having covered (The) Sweet’s ‘Co-Co’ as ‘Koko’ and that this is done in the style of Chicory Tip – perhaps best known for their rendition of the Giorgio Moroder-composed and -performed ‘Son Of My Father’, Giorgio Moroder having supplied the tunes for Valinka’s ‘Signature Tune’, ‘Léta letí’ (‘Time Flies’) and her cover of Donna Summer’s ‘Wasted’ as ‘Tikot všech hodin’ (‘Ticking All The Time’). Furthermore, the aforementioned ‘Son Of My Father’ is also featured on the ‘Bob Rowe’s Music Box’ album, which can be played in its entirety below.

Since the theme of flight was featured in the last ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ post and one of the songs I am celebrating today is also flight-related (‘Žádný ptáčník nemá křídla’), it is quite fitting that three of the tracks on ‘Bob Rowe’s Music Box’ also follow that theme – ‘Skylab’, ‘Up Up And Away’ and ‘Mexican Flyer’, the first and last of these three being – unlike the rest of the album – original compositions by Bob Rowe.

So, it’s very welcome that there are other blogs ‘out there’ helping ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ ‘take flight’!

To play both of these ‘Power Ballads’ (and I do mean ‘Power’!) by Valinka recorded, respectively, forty-six and forty-one years ago to the day and for recording details and credits please go to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’.

As a ‘teaser’, tomorrow at ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ will continue with the subject of altitude!

I always think that that is what Valinka was all about – the heights…from such a short body!

Take a bow!

Boldog születésnapot, ‘Je mu pět’!

After the ‘Big Birthday’ that Valinka’s ‘Je mu pět’ (‘He’s Five’) celebrated this time last year, on the occasion of it reaching the four-and-a-half-decade mark, it’s a comparatively ‘little’ one this year.

I made reference, in that post, to the similarity in sentiment of ‘Je mu pět’ and Brotherhood Of Man’s ‘Save Your Kisses For Me’, so I suppose it’s quite apposite, in the context of feelings of that nature, that I should, at the moment, be going through – and it would appear to be part of a nationwide trend, judging by some news I have read – one of my periodic revivals in interest in an interest from my more youthful days of aircraft kit-making.

It is quite curious to report that this revival, which might be associated with infantilisation, is actually highly educational and has served, once again, to highlight that remarkable little ‘dust-up’ that went on between two of what were ostensibly allies of the Third Reich – Slovakia and Hungary – in the Spring of 1939…

…as set out in this post I made last night on my Facebook Timeline…


…taking us back to a time when Valinka herself would not have had the extreme youth of the object of this song – her age still being in the double digits of the negatives!

To play the song and to get information on recording details and credits, please drop by the ‘Valérie Čizmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast.

Boldog születésnapot, ‘Slova kolem nás’!

Looking back at what I wrote at ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ this time last year, celebrating the four-and-a-half-decade mark since the day of the recording of Valinka’s ‘Slova kolem nás’ (‘Words Around Us’), thereby polishing off the recording of her eponymous album, it occurs to me that, in the midst of this current coronavirus crisis, perhaps we are so surrounded by sad words that this is an ideal opportunity to remind ourselves of some happy ones by re-visiting that ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ post.

It’s not a lot, I know, but I hope that a visit there will go a little way towards perking up ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ Blog readers’ spirits at this emotionally and probably also physically taxing time.

To play ‘Slova kolem nás’ and for information on recording details and credits please drop by the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’.