I’m afraid to say that my laptop is currently experiencing battery charge retention issues, which I am endeavouring to rectify with a new battery. For the moment, I am composing this re-blog on my mobile phone, ‘Valinka’. I hope that ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ Blog readers understand this difficulty. Fortunately, the laptop did work last night for the second part of her Radio Regina Západ ‘special’! Anyway, it’s an ‘excuse’ to enjoy this ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ Blog post from this time two years ago!
A week down the line from the recordings of ‘Koňskou dráhou’ (‘On The Horse Tram’) and ‘Žokej’ (‘Jockey’) and a day less than a week after the recordings of ‘Námořník šel cik cak’ (‘The Sailor Went Zig-Zag’) and ‘Šer-chán’ (‘Shere Khan’) Valinka was back in action in the recording studio in Dejvice for the recordings of ‘Proč si to brát’ (‘Why Get Married To That’), ‘Démantová zem’ (‘Diamond Earth’) and ‘Byl’s má bój’ (‘You Were My Buoy’) for her eponymous LP of 1975.
These tracks have now had the ‘super-woofer treatment’ on my hi-fi system and can now be enjoyed at ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’, together with the recording details and credits.
I have hitherto been under the impression that the title of ‘Byl’s má bój’ was something to do with a fight, but ‘fight’ is ‘boj’ (without the acute accent over the ‘o’), so I…
Here on the Recording Anniversaries of ‘Námořník šel cik cak’ (‘The Sailor Went Zig-Zag’) and ‘Šer-chán’(‘Shere Khan’) in 1974 and ‘To je zvyk’ (‘It’s Habit’) and ‘Návrat uvítám’ (‘I Welcome Your Return’) in 1977 and on the occasion of the Sixteenth Anniversary of Valinka’s untimely passing on there is going to be a bit of a change from the ‘habit’ inasmuch as today also happens to be the Half-decade Anniversary of my first entire day in Slovakia, which was marked by three E-Mails on the evening of that day – after I’d arrived at Room No. 901 at the Hotel Družba, in Valinka’s home town of Michalovce – to my older brother which I later converted to Blog posts at the ‘sister Blog’ to ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ when that later fully got up and running – here, here and here.
If ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ readers check out my YouTube Channel (please see the last of the four buttons in the Blog header above) they will see that I’ve marked this notable anniversary by a special uploading earlier today of the videos I took on that day on board the R 605 ‘Dargov’ from Bratislava hlavná stanica to Košice, one at Košice station of the REX 909 ‘Laborec’ waiting to depart, one of the REX 909 ‘Laborec’ pulling out of Košice station and one of Valinka’s then-favourite of mine, ‘Koňskou dráhou’ (‘On The Horse Tram’) playing on the laptop with which I am composing this post in my room at the Hotel Družba that evening.
Since that’s a ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ special here it is embedded for readers’ listening and viewing pleasure.
To play the songs that were recorded respectively forty-seven and forty-four years ago today and to get the details on the recording credits and recording venues please go to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’.
This is also a notable half-decade Anniversary over at the ‘sister Blog’ to ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ and it has just been celebrated at this post there.
The last ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ post talked of ‘the big voice from Michalovce’. Well, after Petržalka in Bratislava, Michalovce was my next stop on what happened to be the eleventh Anniversary of the untimely passing of Valinka, so the next ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ post should be a big one!
To play ‘Koňskou dráhou’ and ‘Žokej’, the former off my own copy of the ‘Valerie Čižmárová’ LP and to get the information on the recording details and credits please head over to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’.
It has just come to my attention that, between 22.00 and 23.00 UTC (identical with GMT) on Friday 5th March 2021 on Rádio Regina Západ a special on Valinka will be broadcast, entitled ‘NA KONCERT S REGINOU – Valérie Čižmárová – Vel’ký hlas z Michaloviec (1.část)’ (‘IN CONCERT ON REGINA – Valérie Čižmárová – The big voice from Michalovce (1st part)’ , so, as I write in the title to this post, synchronise watches and tune in on the Rádio Regina Západ site!
Just over a decade down the line from recording her ‘Signature Tune’, ‘Léta letí’ (‘Time Flies’) and her cover of Lancelot Link and The Evolution Revolution’s ‘Sha-La Love You’, ‘Dávno nejsem hloupá’ (‘I’ve Not Been Crazy For A Long Time’) on 5th December 1970 at Studio A, Karlín, Valinka made her one-and-only return there to wind up her entire recording career at the ‘grand old’ age of twenty-nine and a very small bit on 17th February 1981, so it’s a happy Hungarian 40th Birthday to Valinka’s almost elegaic last single, ‘Rokenrol si mě získal’ (‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Got Me’) backed by ‘Zůstaneš tu sám’ (‘You’re Staying Here Alone’), with more than just a tinge of sadness that this was it.
I have used this opportunity to make a minor update to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ to include these two songs so, with 26th May 1969’s ‘Sunny’ and ‘Čekám’ (‘I Am Waiting’), we can have a ‘bookending’ of Valinka’s recorded music career, starting at seventeen and ending at that aforementioned ‘grand old’ – but still-young – age. As usual, the recording details and credits are given there.
Around that time, the famously Hungarophone Valinka had plans to record an entirely Hungarian-composed album of Rock ‘n’ Roll songs to back up her 1974-recorded, 1975-released eponymous LP, but it unfortunately didn’t come to fruition, so the first of these two songs recorded four decades ago today gives an idea of what that unrealised album might have been like.
I hope ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ readers manage to enjoy these recordings through all the thoughts of what might have been in respect of that ‘album’, the quotation marks used advisedly!
On the basis that I make mention of her on the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Pictures’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ and also the fact that we are at a notable half-century Anniversary, I think that the passing, just three days ago, of that stalwart of The Supremes, Mary Wilson should not go unnoted here on this Blog.
I say ‘notable half-century Anniversary’ since, in 1971, The Supremes’ ‘Stoned Love’ – something of a personal favourite of mine – was at its height on the UK Top Twenty on the month of February, as can be seen here thanks to my copy of the book ‘The Warner Guide To UK And U.S. Hit Singles’.
‘Stoned Love’ was also in UK the on-the-month Top Twenty in the following month
Previously to this, ‘Stoned Love’ had been in the U.S. on-the-month Top Twenty in December 1970 and January 1971
Given the fact that Mary Wilson was born on 6th March 1944 it is remarkable that, if ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ readers go over to the ‘sister Page’ to ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Pictures’, ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’, Valinka recorded one of my very favourite songs of hers, ‘Koňskou dráhou’ (‘On The Horse Tram’) on her 30th Birthday and also – although that wasn’t for the album at that time in the course of being recorded – ‘Žokej’ (‘Jockey’). Furthermore, the date of her passing on, 8th February, is also a notable date in the recorded music œuvre of Valinka and one from her great singles-recording year of 1973, that being the day when ‘Pojď jen dál’ (‘Just Come On’) and ‘Sbohem, školní bráno’ (‘Farewell, School Gate’) were recorded. So, for the Soul fan that Valinka was, I’m sure she’d have been honoured to be associated with Mary via her Recording Anniversaries.
Returning to ‘Stoned Love’ I have become aware, over this past month or so, of a YouTube video – by a user by the name of ‘Cowbananas’! – of the Jean Terrell, Mary Wilson, Lynda Laurence line-up of The Supremes performing the song on the classic TV show, ‘Soul Train’ of 12th May 1972, the song initially having been recorded by the Jean Terrell, Mary Wilson, Cindy Birdsong line-up thereof. It is quite striking that Jean Terrell, on Lead Vocals, appears to be sporting the same sort of black and white polka-dot trouser suit/jump suit that Valinka had the following year.
Here is a series of stills I took from that video, with the now-late, great Mary Wilson with an infectious smile, clearly having the time of her life, in the first and seventh of these!
In addition to these I have also found the following image of Jean taken from this television appearance.
…and here is that performance in action.
So, Mary is now united in ‘Musical Heaven’ with Valinka.
We are now at the four-and-a-half-decade mark down the line from the recordings of ‘Správnej hoch’ (‘Office Boy’) and ‘Mám už toho dost’ (‘I’ve Already Had Enough Of That’).
At the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Pictures’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ there is a selection of stills from the performance of the former of these two songs on the Slovak Television show, ‘Našich deväť’ (‘Our Nine’) (1976) wearing one of her stunningly stylish jackets – a green and yellow checked one. In that year also, in the Czech Television show ‘Orchestr a balet ČST uvádí: Písničky z obrazovky 3 uvádí Jana Gýrová’ (‘The Orchestra And Ballet Of ČST Presents: Songs From Pictures 3 Presents Jana Gýrová’), Valinka appeared in that jacket again, performing the song ‘Veterán’ (‘Veteran’). The following is a selection of stills from that performance so they can be compared with the aforementioned stills from ‘Našich deväť’ – taken from the ‘VALÉRIE ČIŽMÁROVÁ’ Facebook Group.
It is very strange that, via ‘Správnej hoch’, the subject of the veteran has emerged and it is also strange that my latest post over at the ‘sister Blog’ to ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ should have featured Valinka’s future colleague at the Divadlo Semafor, Miluška Voborníková, since, also via the ‘VALÉRIE ČIŽMÁROVÁ’ Facebook Group, I have recently been made aware that the 1972 film where Valinka – along with Olga Blechová in the backing vocals with Karel Černoch on lead vocals – performed the theme tune, ‘Půlnoční kolona’ (‘Midnight Column’), ‘Jak se tak toulám světem’ (‘How I Wander The World’) is on YouTube in its entirety. I was amazed to see Miluška appear in the film performing the song ‘Pod modrou oblohou’ (‘Under Blue Sky’). Here is a brief selection of stills from that part of ‘Půlnoční kolona’.
I was wondering what a ‘Gazík’ was featured at the superb ‘Filmová místa’ site which provides information on shooting locations in the Czech Republic and it turns out that it is a Soviet-manufactured GAZ 69 so I have made a contribution here at the ‘Motor1.com’ site, which was a good ‘excuse’ to get a bit of publicity for ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ and perhaps, indirectly, also ‘Girls Of The Golden East’!
It is good to note that this veteran of the former Soviet Bloc is still going strong and is seemingly highly desireable, so thanks for that bit of education, Valinka and Miluška, as the worlds of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ and ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ often are educational!
To return to the purpose of this post please head on over to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ to play these songs out of my own record collection, where recording details and credits are available.
A Valinka Recording Anniversary is always a very special day at ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ and it is even more so when it involves the great year of 1973 and, furthermore, it is that combination that comes about today on the 48th Anniversaries of the recordings of ‘Pojď jen dál’ (‘Just Come On’) and ‘Sbohem, školní bráno’ (‘Farewell, School Gate’).
I still cannot improve on what I wrote now three years ago on an on-the-half-decade Recording Anniversary, since I was very pleased with those remarks that capture perfectly my sentiments regarding these two outstanding contributions to Valinka’s recorded music repertoire, so, as ever, please go over to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ to play these songs off my own copy of the record and to obtain the recording details and credits.
Hoping that ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ readers enjoy the second 1973 Anniversary, after ‘Tak měj mě rád’ (‘So Just Love Me’)/‘Mít aero a létat’ (‘To Have A Plane And To Fly’).
I was about to get together something reasonably extensive to celebrate the 47th Anniversaries of the recordings of the first batch of tracks for Valinka’s eponymous album, ‘Dál než nejdál’ (‘Further Than The Furthest’), ‘Padal déšť’ (‘The Rain Was Falling’) and ‘Píseň o kraji’ (‘Song About The Region’), but unfortunately got unavoidably detained elsewhere on Cyberspace.
Anything to do with that one and only LP by Valinka is a good ‘excuse’ to drop in what I think of as the almost unearthly front cover shot taken by Vladivoj Burjanek. I’ll leave the in many ways even more incredible rear cover shot for another day, since I featured that in the last ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ post celebrating what should have been Valinka’s 69th Birthday.
Unlike in the previous two years there’s been no ‘Birthday Walk’ with some of Valinka’s records this year to celebrate what should have been her 69th Birthday today, so, after racking my brains thinking of something fitting to do on this occasion and sort of ‘in sympathy’ with the locked-in times we are enduring at the moment, I’d just like to give ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ readers a virtual idea of the rather longer journey it was for Valinka from her birthplace of Michalovce to Prague – it was also quite a stretch to the Slovak capital of Bratislava! – and to take you back to the day in late August 2015 when I got out my ‘The Times Concise Atlas Of The World’ to look up where this Michalovce was where this new discovery over cyberspace, ‘Valérie Čižmárová’ had been born and I thought something like, “Oh! It’s that far east, is it?”.
It is helpfully highlighted in…well…what else but yellow – one of the two colours, with blue, of the town’s coat of arms, too – and the scale is included. One of the divisions on the left is twenty miles and one on the right is twenty kilometres, showing that Michalovce is all of between twenty and thirty miles or about forty kilometres away from Ukraine!
As an additional ‘Birthday Treat’ – and to continue the theme of searching for things – it’s particularly gratifying to note that I have discovered over this past few days that looking for ‘valinka’ on Google Images brings up not only one of the stunning images of Valinka performing at the Bratislavská Lýra on 18th June 1969, connecting through to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Pictures’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, but also some shorts made by Name It called ‘Valinka’, which remind me very much of those scalloped-hemmed suede hot pants which I have dubbed ‘Valinkas’! I was searching via the Czech-language Google site and ‘Kalhoty’ is Czech for ‘shorts’, these being the ‘Noční modrá’ (‘Midnight Blue’) colour of the model. Also, the ‘Skladem’ would mean ‘In Stock’.
Did Name It know about my ‘Valinkas’, I wonder? Maybe I should get in touch and request royalties!
On that subject I was amazed to find quite recently, at the Buffalo, NY-based Disco Party outfit retailers, Divine Finds, these scalloped-hemmed suede patchwork hot pants. They weren’t called ‘Valinka’/’Valinkas’, however, although they’re rather closer to my idea of ‘Valinkas’ than Name It’s ‘Valinka’!
As Divine Finds writes – “Seriously HOT pants!”
Well yes! 😉
What do little girls from Michalovce grow up to wear? Well, maybe not all of them…and certainly not like that! 😉 😉 😉