Valinka ‘společná’ s Dusty Springfieldovou

Which is “Valinka…’together’ with Dusty Springfield” in Czech…

…by which I mean via their respective Musical Directors, at the Bratislavská Lýra of 1972.

Having seen a video on YouTube by ‘Klub přátel skupiny československé hudby’ (‘The Club of Friends of Groups of Czechoslovak Music’) of the ‘Příběhy slavných – Léta letí’ documentary on Valinka’s life and work…

This has once again been removed from YouTube after a copyright infringement claim by Czech TV, but – after seemingly having disappeared from their ‘iVysílání’ service – the documentary can once again be seen via the following link, complete with subtitles which may be translatable for the benefit of non-Czech speakers.

‘Příběhy slavných – Léta letí’

…which looks as if it is going to be an excellent source of videos for my two Blogs, I have been taken to one or two other videos by the same party, including one by that other hugely talented and incredibly beautiful singer from the Slovak part of the former Czechoslovakia, Eva Kostolányiová, singing ‘Leto’ (‘Summer’) in 1973. This song was featured on the Various Artists album, ‘Bratislavská Lýra ’73’ and I have, accordingly, been taking a look at other Bratislavská Lýra-related albums at the Discogs site.

The album, ‘Bratislavská Lýra 1972’, featuring a varied selection of foreign artists, has been a particularly startling revelation inasmuch as it has been further evidence that the group, Middle Of The Road, who were a key factor in the events that led to the founding of ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ and subsequently, ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, not only had their songs copiously covered east of the former Iron Curtain. They also appeared there themselves (indeed, their appearances in the German Democratic Republic are an upcoming attraction at GOTGE). We also see a girlfriend of a BeeGee (Maurice Gibb), the Hungarian star, Sarolta Zalatnay (complete with the obligatory ‘-ová’ appended to her name, as with all foreign female personalities!…although there is one exception to that rule in this line-up), the British teen sensation, Neil Reid, a future ‘Mistress of Polish Disco Funk’, Zdzisława Sośnicka (that was the aforementioned exception!) and the performer of a subsequent version of the James Bond theme, ‘Live And Let Die’ (1973), (originally performed by Wings), Brenda Arnau. However, it is the reference to the Conductors that is most definitely a yet more startling revelation.

One will note that these were Ivor Raymonde and Karel Vlach.

I have made reference previously in BFB to the way in which Valinka was, in her voice, a sort of combination of the raw power of Lulu, the ‘Blackness’ of Dusty Springfield and the gorgeous richness of Helen Shapiro and how, therefore, she combined the best of three of the British female greats of the 1960s in one artist in the Czechoslovakia of the 1970s.

Well, look who was accompanied by, respectively, Karel Vlach and Ivor Raymonde!


…the single on the left being Valinka’s ‘Pojď jen dál’ (‘Just Come On’) and the EP on the right being Dusty’s ‘I Only Want To Be With You’ – respectively to the instrumental accompaniment of Karel Vlach and Ivor Raymonde, just as in the case of the ‘Valerie Čižmárová’  and ‘A Girl Called Dusty’ LPs!

Maybe there is something symbolic about the way in which the single and EP and the two LPs are separated by almost exactly a decade, showing that the 1960s had been all about the girls from Britain and that the 1970s were all about the girls of Czechoslovakia!

Dusty had been famous for the way in which she whipped the Ivor Raymonde Orchestra into shape – turning them from staid, suburban, Brtish session musicians into the British ‘answer’ to Tamla Motown’s Funk Brothers and Phil Spector’s Wrecking Crew. I wonder if Karel and Ivor took this opportunity of meeting up together to ‘compare notes’ and if this enabled Karel to bring yet more funkiness to the table – although his orchestra wasn’t exactly short on that beforehand with Valinka’s ‘Za sluncem, za vodou’ (‘In Sunshine, In Water’) in 1971! – when it came to ‘Pojď jen dál’ and the other Valinka singles recorded in 1973 accompanied by Karel: ‘Sbohem, školní bráno’ (‘Farewell, School Gate’), ‘Spousta příběhů’ (‘Lots Of Stories’) and ‘Zrzek’ (‘Redhead’) and the 1974-recorded, 1975-released LP.

I had no idea that the Valinka-Dusty connection could possibly have got this literally personal!


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