And now, from Hnúšťa, it’s…

It’s a Happy (Hungarian) 45th Birthday today at ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, so, Boldog 45. születésnapot ‘Vtipnejší vyhráva’ (‘The Wittiest Wins’) from Hnúšťa, on which Saturday night comedy game show Valinka performed ‘Jeho laskominy’ (‘His Treats’), ‘Správnej hoch’ (‘Office Boy’) and ‘Veterán’ (‘Veteran’) on that remarkable televisual Saturday in the long, hot Summer of ’76 when the French star who sort of set off my journey of Pop music discovery in the eventual direction of the former Soviet Bloc, Carene Cheryl had earlier in the day appeared on television in France on the innovative, interactive show presented by the late, great Bernard Golay, ‘Samedi est à vous’ (‘Saturday Is Up To You’), performing her then-current single, ‘Samedi, dimanche et fêtes’ (‘Saturday, Sunday And Holidays’), which, strangely enough, with ‘Jeho laskominy’ being a cover of an ABBA song (‘So Long’), had Carene’s cover of ABBA’s ‘Mamma Mia!’ ‘Oh! Mamma mia!’/’Oh! Mama mia!’ (there are two versions of the title!) on the flip side!

'Bananas For Breakfast' - Fan Blog for Valérie ('Valinka') Čižmárová

Over on ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ the theme of television coming from outside of the nation’s capital was touched upon via ‘Zpívá Karel Gott’ (‘Karel Gott Sings’) being recorded at the Městské Divadlo (Municipal Theatre) in Slaný, to the north-west of Prague.

Thanks to a recent YouTube uploading – coming to my attention via the ‘Valérie ČIŽMÁROVÁ’ Facebook Group – and subsequent communications with Aleš Korábek, I can say that the Saturday, 12th June 1976 edition of the celebrity game show, ‘Vtipnejší vyhráva’ (‘The Wittiest Wins’) – a show from the Slovak part of the former Czechoslovakia – the basic premise of which was to take a group of four celebrities from the world of comedy and have them recite funny stories sent in by viewers and being scored out of twenty-five by a panel of the local great and good, with a bouquet of red roses being…

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Boldog születésnapot, ‘Sunny’ és ‘Čekám’!

For a change of scenery, as it were, today’s fifty-second ‘Birthdays’ of ‘Sunny’ and ‘Čekám’ (‘I Am Waiting’) have been celebrated over at this Blog post at the ‘sister Blog’ to ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, ‘Girls Of The Golden East’.

I hope that ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ readers will understand my reasoning for having done so.

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

I have recently talked of the ‘minus-one-day’ factor in the recorded music repertoire of Valinka at ‘Bananas For Breakfast’. Well, three years minus one day into that repertoire, Valinka recorded those wildly contrasting songs, ‘To je léto’ (‘It’s Summer’) and ‘Synu můj’ (‘Son Of Mine’) and one can see what I mean at ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ by comparing the date of the recording of those two songs with that of her debut single, ‘Sunny’ with its flip, ‘Čekám’ (‘I Am Waiting’), thereby making ‘The Long Row Days’, as I refer to that period, nearly a very neat three whole years.

It’s strange, looking back on the day when I took the YouTube videos which are embedded at ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ on their respective 47th ‘Birthdays’ how different this May has been from that of 2019, (or, indeed, 2020!). I have also talked of the possible dates on which I might make my increasingly belated return(-s) to either the Czech Republic or Slovakia, so that this/they coincide(-s) with the many upcoming ‘Golden Anniversaries’. Should I decide to return this time next year to the Český Rozhlas (Czech Radio) building where ‘To je léto’ and ‘Synu můj’ were recorded to celebrate their ‘Golden Anniversaries’ I’ll clearly be hoping for weather that more accurately reflects the title of one of those songs and not something that almost feels closer to my very wintry stay in Prague back in January 2017!

A very wintry Český Rozhlas!

Many Happy (and warmer!) Returns for 2022!

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

It’s always something worthy of note to me, when regarding how Valinka’s Recording Anniversaries are separated, how, in a few instances, there is a ‘minus-one-day’ factor in play – the respective Recording Anniversaries of ‘Tak měj mě rád’ (‘So Just Love Me’)/‘Mít aero a létat’ (‘To Have A Plane And To Fly’) (9th January 1973) and ‘Pojď jen dál’ (‘Just Come On’)/‘Sbohem, školní bráno’ (‘Farewell, School Gate’) (8th February 1973) being separated by a month, minus one day, the respective Recording Anniversaries of ‘Tikot všech hodin’ (‘Ticking All The Time’) (3rd January 1977) and ‘Belfast’ (2nd January 1978) being separated by a year, minus one day and finally, the Recording Anniversary which I am celebrating today, that of ‘Důkaz mi dej’ (‘Prove It To Me’)/’Huascarán’ (4th May 1973) coming a year, minus one day, before that of ‘Pokloň se, lásko’ (‘Love, Take A Bow’) (3rd May 1974), thus making these particular Recording Anniversaries very easy to remember….and, being one from the great year of Valinka’s singles recording, something pretty memorable in itself, if only for the wildly contrasting nature of the two songs, certainly considering that the one had its origins in The Archies’ ‘Who’s Your Baby’ and the other had its origins in the Ancash Earthquake disaster of 31st May 1970.

If ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ Blog readers take a trip over to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of the Blog, where there’ll be the recording details and credits, I’m sure they’ll agree that this year-minus-one-day period between ‘Důkaz mi dej’/’Huascarán’ and ‘Pokloň se, lásko’ – from one Summer Term of my two academic years at Herbert Strutt School to the other – was marked by some fairly impressive music-making by Valinka and her various composers, lyricists and accompanists, taking us on a trip through the spectacular days with Skupina Svatopluka Čecha (The Svatopluk Čech Group) at Mozarteum to the equally spectacular days with Karel Vlach se svým orchestrem (Karel Vlach and his Orchestra), variously at Čs. televize (Czechoslovak Television) and Dejvice and ending up back in Prague, at Čs. rozhlas (Czechoslovak Radio) this time, via a short excursion to Čs. rozhlas in Brno.

I hope you enjoy the journey…in fact, I’m sure you will!

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

It is one of those double ‘Birthdays’ at ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ today – for those two slow ballads separated by half-a-decade, the former being the second of the songs with music and lyrics by Jan Hrábek recorded in early May 1974, in the aftermath of the recording of the album, ‘Pokloň se, lásko’ (‘Love, Take A Bow’), but somewhat contrasting in feel from the uniquely ‘Brno-born’ (it’s an anagram!) ‘Je mu pět’ (‘He’s Five’) and returning to Valinka’s more familiar territory of Prague and the latter, from early May 1979, being ‘Žádný ptáčník nemá křídla’ (‘No Birdwatcher Has No Wings’), recorded in Prague for vinyl release but actually performed just over a month later in Bratislava at the Lýra Festival and garnering the Bronze Lyre for Valinka, thereby going one better than she had done at the Lýra deputising for Petra Černocká six years previously with her fourth-placed ‘Koukej, se mnou si píseň broukej’ (‘Look, Hum The Song With Me’).

To appreciate those recordings please go over to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, where, as usual, there’ll be the additional recording details and credits.

Boldog születésnapot, ‘Je mu pět’!

Yes, it’s one of those rare times in the year on which we are celebrating – as usual, in Valinka’s native Hungarian – the ‘Birthday’ of one of her songs that was not ‘born’ in Prague – her Brno radio studios-recorded ‘Je mu pět’ (‘He’s Five’), ‘born’ on 1st May 1974, also the first Valinka recording that post-dated the recording of her studio album, plus that other ‘outlier’, ‘Žokej’ (‘Jockey’), which was recorded in the course of recording the album, but which was kept back for later release in 45 R.P.M. format.

In such a way, I’m sure that would make this particular release of Valinka’s a special one to her particularly notable fan, Aleš Korábek – see what he has put together here for Valinka’s benefit – who, though himself be of origins outside of Brno, specifically the beautiful town of Žďár nad Sázavou, is currently a resident of that city, where I myself had the pleasure of temporarily residing for about a week back in October 2018, so I’m very glad that I did, since it means that I have stayed in all three cities associated with Valinka’s recordings – the aforementioned two, plus Bratislava, where, if one can describe that as a ‘recording’, as such, she performed ‘Potlesk’ (‘A Round Of Applause’) on the Slovak television show, ‘Našich deväť’ (‘Our Nine’).

To play this charming and playful song – sort of almost symbolic of the fun city that I feel Brno is – and to get further details on the credits, please go to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’.

Boldog születésnapot, ‘Slova kolem nás’!

Today is the very significant anniversary of – if not quite the ‘recording’, as such – the finalisation of the getting-together of Valinka’s eponymous album on 10th April 1974 for release the following year, with the final track on the album, ‘Slova kolem nás’ (‘Words Around Us’).

With a title like that I think this would be an ideal juncture at which to announce to ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ Blog readers that I have made a quite remarkable discovery regarding the header used for the Lyretail WordPress theme, that I happened to choose because the name Lyretail put me very much in mind of the Bratislavská Lýra (Bratislava Lyre) Festival at which Valinka made three notable appearances, in 1969, performing her debut single, a cover of Bobby Hebb’s ‘Sunny’, 1973, deputising for Petra Černocká, performing Petruška’s song, ‘Koukej, se mnou si píseň broukej’ (‘Look, Hum The Song With Me’) on her behalf and 1979, performing ‘Žádný ptáčník nemá křídla’ (‘No Birdwatcher Has No Wings’), winning the Bronze Lyre.

The font used for the text in the header of the Lyretail theme is known as Abril Fatface, which is part of a series of fonts under the umbrella title of Abril Display. This was co-designed by Veronika Burian, of TypeTogether, who was born in Prague in that year of many recorded music highlights for Valinka, 1973, so it’s very good to be able to link the theme to (a) Prague and (b) 1973! Here is my entry for the Lyretail WordPress theme, in the category Abril Display, at the ‘Fonts In Use’ site. To add to the Valinka links the headquarters of TypeTogether are based on Korunní, one of a group of streets that run parallel out from the City Centre of Prague through the Vinohrady suburb of the city which includes Vinohradská, which is the street that leads to the Nový židovský hřbitov (New Jewish Cemetery) where Valinka is buried, so, when I visited Prague in January 2017 and walked out along Vinohradská to the Nový židovský hřbitov and back again I would probably have passed just 250 yards or slightly over 200 metres away from those headquarters.

Abril Fatface ‘In Use’ at ‘Girls Of The Golden East’: ‘Born’ Prague, 1973
Abril Fatface ‘In Use’ here at ‘Bananas For Breakfast’: Also ‘born’ Prague, 1973

With national thoughts being very much on those passing away in view of the death, yesterday, of the Duke of Edinburgh these can be reflected here with one of the photographs I took of Valinka’s tombstone on the (very wintry!) day I visited the cemetery, which, like the last track in both ways that ‘Slova kolem nás’ is, further carries on the theme of endings.

Valinka’s and Valinka’s mother’s (Eva Kindová) grave: Nový židovský hřbitov (Sector 23)

To play the half-upbeat/half-haunting ‘Slova kolem nás’ please head over to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, where one will also find the recording details and credits.

It’s all about being born in and passing away in Prague today.

Boldog 50. születésnapot, ‘Za sluncem, za vodou’/’Borůvek pár’!

Today is the very auspicious occasion of the half-century anniversary of the recording of Valinka’s ‘Za sluncem, za vodou’ (‘In Sunshine, In Water’), alternately known as ‘Borůvek pár’ (‘A Few Blueberries’).

This was a double ‘first’ for Valinka inasmuch as this was (a) her first recording at the Dejvice recording studio and (b) her first collaboration of quite a few with the great Karel Vlach. This track also has the honour – in my own humble opinion, of course! – of being the ringtone for my mobile phone, ‘Valinka’, which could also be called, in like manner to a ‘Blackberry’, the ‘Blueberry’!

I think ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ Blog readers will agree that, with that quite startling opening few bars of the Karel Vlach Orchestra’s horns section instantly swinging into action, my choice of that for a ringtone was a very wise one. Since, I have a copy on vinyl I thought today would be a very apposite juncture at which to get together a YouTube video of it playing on my system, the results of which are now included at the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, where one will see my favourite still from the performance by Valinka of ‘Za sluncem, za vodou’, under its alternate title, on the television show, ‘Televarieté č. 3’ (‘Televarieté No. 3’) on 20th August 1971.

The pick of the blueberry (and banana!) crop, in full flow!

Over at the ‘sister Blog’ to ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, ‘Girls Of The Golden East’, I remarked in the Blog post celebrating the half-decade anniversary of the first ‘proper’ post that a probable target of going to Prague on the half-century anniversary of the recording, at Mozarteum, of my first YouTube uploading of a Valinka record, ‘Oči nelžou’ (‘Eyes Don’t Lie’) and my current all-time Valinka No. 1, ‘Říkáš pořád, jak ti na mně záleží’ (‘You Always Say How You Care About Me’), would be 28th August next year. However, the announcements of the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, earlier today regarding foreign travel did sound a little more encouraging for this year, so, who knows, I might make it for the end of this September on the half-century anniversary of the recording of Valinka’s cover of The Sweet’s ‘Co-Co’, ‘Koko’ and the song that got that ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ ball rolling about three years previously to that first ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ post, Hana Zagorová’s cover of Middle Of The Road’s ‘Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum’, ‘Pan Tydlitýt a pan Tydlitát’ (‘Mr. Tydlitýt And Mr. Tydlitát’) at the aforementioned Dejvice studio, now the Kostel Svatého Vojtěcha v Dejvicích (The Church of St Vojtěch in Dejvice).

I sort of will always think of this as a recording studio!

If that does come to pass maybe all these people I’d like to accompany me to the places where Valinka and the other ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ put down all that fantastic material on vinyl may get to go with me nearly a year sooner than expected.

Let’s see if the sun will shine on the water over this coming summer!

‘Veľký hlas z Michaloviec’

…which is ‘The Great Voice From Michalovce’ in Slovak.

In the occasional series, ‘Na koncert s Reginou’ (‘In Concert On Regina’) on Rádio Regina Západ (Radio Regina West) there have been broadcast two hour-long specials on Valinka entitled as the title to this ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ Blog post, Parts One and Two – once on the evening of the 5th March and once again on the evening of the 12th March.

These have now evidently been uploaded to YouTube, according to the latest news from the ‘VALÉRIE ČIŽMÁROVÁ’ Facebook Group and can be watched as below.

‘The Great Voice From Michalovce’: Part One
‘The Great Voice From Michalovce’: Part Two

It’s strange how the two parts appeared to reflect my respective moods on those two evenings, there being an overwhelming sense of melancholy about Part Two in comparison with Part One, which was more concentrated on the ‘Glory Years’ of Valinka’s recording career.

Maybe that’s also reflected in the thumbnail picture for Part One showing Valinka actually in action in a recording studio, specifically the Mozarteum.

I hope ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ Blog readers probably ‘enjoy’ Part One and ‘appreciate’ Part Two.

Boldog születésnapot, ‘Směs písní’!

I said this time last year that there’d be a more extensive ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ Blog post this year to celebrate the Forty-Seventh ‘Birthday’ of the medley of ‘Oldies’ that start off Valinka’s eponymous album on account of the fact that, at that time, I was under the limitations of being on a psychiatric ward and it was a case of if and when I’d grab enough battery time to get together a post. Well, it would appear that I’m under a whole load of new limitations since the aforesaid battery is apparently in very poor health at the moment, meaning that, last night, I had to do a ‘re-blog’, on my mobile phone, ‘Valinka’, of a post from 2019 to celebrate the Forty-Seventh ‘Birthdays’ of ‘Byl’s má boj’ (‘You Were My Buoy’), ‘Démantová zem’ (‘Diamond Earth’) and ‘Proč si to brát’ (‘Why Get Married To That’) meaning that it was mistakenly entitled the Forty-Fifth ‘Birthdays’ thereof!

There was a message earlier today from Hermes – “other parcel delivery services are available”, as they say! – saying that I should have been expecting a new laptop battery this afternoon, but unfortunately that hasn’t arrived, there being a subsequent message from Hermes that it will be expected tomorrow instead.

All this computer going nearly dead is all a bit of an unwanted distraction, but I’ll endeavour to get together something meaningful, even, also, in the context of this track not exactly being a personal favourite inasmuch as it is my (humble!) opinion that that swathe of vinyl could have been better-filled with a completely fresh and new track, such as the one that was recorded on the same day as my eternal favourite track, ‘Koňskou dráhou’ (‘On The Horse Tram’) – the 6th March 1974 – ‘Žokej’ (‘Jockey’), which was kept behind for a couple of years or so to fill in a 45 RPM. It would also have neatly fitted an equestrian theme, I happen to think and it is a constant mystery why it happened like that with that track.

Maybe the explanation is that, after having deputised for Petra Černocká with ‘Koukej, se mnou si píseň broukej’ (‘Look, Hum The Song With Me’) at the Bratislavská Lýra of the preceding year, there was a feeling that there had to be something vinyl-based as a permanent record of that event and ‘shoe-horning’ it in amongst a medley of some of the more notable songs having been recorded by Valinka was the best way of doing this. Would it have been considered tantamount to parking Valinka’s tanks on Petruška’s lawn – although mention of tanks is rather a touchy subject in the history of Czechoslovakia! – if Valinka had herself brought out her own single version of the song, I wonder, since that would have been a more satisfactory way of committing it to vinyl, again in my own (still humble!) opinion?

At any rate, I’ll let ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ Blog readers decide for themselves by dropping by the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page, also for the details on composition and performance.