Boldog 45. születésnapot, ‘Slova kolem nás’!

This is just a quick-ish note that Valinka wound up the recording of her eponymous LP of 1975 on 10th April 1974 with the final track, ‘Slova kolem nás’ (‘Words Around Us’).

A new YouTube video to replace the one I uploaded on this date last year, specially recorded on the four-and-a-half-decade anniversary is now at ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’.

Since it had a section on Lancelot Link and The Evolution Revolution (admittedly very brief!), the group behind the song that gave rise to Valinka’s ‘Dávno nejsem hloupá’ (‘I Haven’t Been Crazy For A Long Time’), ‘Sha-La Love You’, I recently ordered a copy of Mark Voger’s excellent book, ‘Groovy: When Flower Power Bloomed In Pop Culture’, from the on-line book shop, Wordery – which happens to be based in the city of my football team, Norwich City! – so it seemed logical, in view of the song’s title, to pose Valinka’s LP next to the book – a book being full of words, of course! – and the packaging from Wordery.

In the ‘Sedmička pionýrů’ magazine interview Valinka gave in 1973, she named Jimi Hendrix as a favourite singer – along with Tom Jones and Aretha ‘Franklinová’ – so I am sure she’d have been delighted to be posed next door to a musical hero!

So, these are three very good words to put together, then – ‘Groovy, Valérie and Čižmárová’!

…and feel the ‘Flower Power’ of Valinka’s magnificent top emblazoned with what I think are stylised chrysanthemums!


Boldog születésnapot, ‘Za sluncem, za vodou’!

On 5th April 1971 Valinka paid her first visit to the recording studio in Dejvice, Prague – the studio where she would go on to record her eponymous LP in 1974 – which I long had in my imagination as a fairly Modernist structure in the out-of-town location where it was, to contrast with the more traditional architecture of the recording studio at Mozarteum, in Prague’s centre, but which I have subsequently discovered was in a then-disused church, now re-consecrated as Kostel Svatého Vojtěcha v Dejvicích (The Church of St Vojtěch in Dejvice).


This was to record her song for the Děčínská Kotva festival, ‘Za sluncem, za vodou’ (‘In Sunshine, In Water’), so it’s a ‘Happy (forty-eighth) Birthday’ to that recording today.

Also as in the case of the then-forthcoming LP, the instrumental accompaniment was to come – also a ‘first’ for Valinka – from the orchestra of the long-standing legend of Popular Music in first the Wartime Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia then Post-War Czechoslovakia, Karel Vlach.

For the full composition and performance credits please go to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’.

Valinka having taken me back to a period when the music of Wartime had a revival at the end of the 1960s and into the earlier part of the 1970s, my experiencing it at Derby’s King’s Hall in 1973, thanks to the fact that family members had complimentary tickets for concerts by the Syd Lawrence Orchestra (my uncle, Frank Dixon, was Lead Trombonist) who played all of the old Glenn Miller material, it is perhaps quite apposite that Valinka should be recording with that ‘Great’ in a year like 1971, since I still have the record our family had around that time, “The Real Glenn Miller and his Orchestra play the original music of the film ‘The Glenn Miller Story'” and I wrote a note in pencil on it showing that it entered the UK Album Chart on Christmas Day 1971, got to No. 28 and stayed in the Chart for two weeks.

Here it is, together with 1969’s ‘Syd Lawrence With the Glenn Miller Sound’ and the centrefold of the double LP I picked up during my holiday in the Czech Republic and Slovakia last October at the Antivkariát MLHA shop at the rail station in Žďár nad Sázavou, ‘Pozdravy Orchestru Karla Vlacha 1947 – 1982’ (‘Greetings From The Karel Vlach Orchestra 1947 – 1982’).


In the third photo along of the top row, by the way, one can see those ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ of a rather earlier era than the 1970s, the Allanovy Sestry (The Allan Sisters) (Jiřina Salačová, Máša Horová, Věra Kočvarová) for whom Karel Vlach’s Orchestra were regular accompanists in Wartime and shortly thereafter.

When I wrote this ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ post in December the year before last I had yet fully to appreciate just how long a career Karel Vlach had had previous to the 1970s and was perhaps still in a mind-set that, when it comes to Popular Music, it’s the Eastern Europeans who learn from the Western Europeans. I now think it may well have been more Ivor Raymonde asking for Karel Vlach’s advice rather than the other way around!

On this page of the Hudební arch­ív české a slovenské hudby (Musical Archive Of Czech And Slovak Music) site, you will see Valinka’s ‘Oči nelžou’ (‘Eyes Don’t Lie’)/’Říkáš pořád jak ti na mě záleží’ (‘You Always Say How You Care For Me’) right next-door to the Czech-language cover of Chelsea F.C’s ‘Blue Is The Colour’, ‘Zelena je tráva’ (‘Green Is The Pitch’), on which Karel Vlach’s Orchestra is featured.

One, two, three (to the tune of ‘Guantanamera’, in football chant mode).

“One Karel Vlach! There’s only one Karel Vlach! One Karel Vlach! One Karel Vla-a-ch! There’s only one Karel Vla-a-ch!”

Finally, to bring this giant of Twentieth Century Popular Music right into the here and now, the opening bars of ‘Za sluncem, za vodou’ are the ringtone for my mobile phone, ‘Valinka’.

If you’re becoming a ‘Valinker’ why not be a true fan, support Valinka’s music and download ‘Za sluncem, za vodou’ from Supraphonline and turn it into your ringtone?

The first voice call you get after that will tell you why I chose it!






Boldog 45. születésnapot, ‘Směs písní’!

The day immediately after 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’) Valinka laid down the opening track of her eponymous LP of 1975 – a medley of four ‘Oldies’, those being, ‘Koko’, ‘Léta letí’, ‘Sunny’ and ‘Koukej, se mnou si píseň broukej’ (‘Look, Hum The Song With Me’), the final one of these being the song she had performed on Petra Černocká’s behalf at the Bratislavská Lýra of 1973 in the event of the composer’s indisposition, just missing out on the ‘podium’ by one place.

My own YouTube version of this medley is now embedded at ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’, together with recording details and credits.

In the video I set up a series of suitable accompanying images, in a pleasingly symmetrical arrangement on an old projector screen that I ‘rescued’ from my previous address. Here is that series in the form of a photo.


Top Left – Still from performance of ‘Koko’ on TV show ‘Písničky ke kávě’

Top Centre – Front cover photo from album (Vladivoj Burjanek)

Top Right – Still from performance of ‘Léta letí’ on TV show ‘Kabinet 71’

Centre – Photo of performance of ‘Sunny’ at the Bratislavská Lýra of 1969 (M. Borodáčová)

Bottom Left – Still from TV show ‘Za písničkou do Jihlavy’ from performance of ‘Sunny’ on talent show ‘Mladá Píseň’

Bottom Centre – Rear cover photo from album (Vladivoj Burjanek)

Bottom Right – Photo of performance of ‘Koukej, se mnou si píseň broukej’ at the Bratislavská Lýra of 1973 (unknown photographer)

I hope these delightful visuals add handsomely to the listening pleasure!


Boldog 45. születésnapot ‘Proč si to brát’, ‘Démantová zem’ és ‘Byl’s má bój’!

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’ (?) 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 think I have now changed that opinion to being something to do with a ‘buoy’, so, when I have more time, I’ll have to revise the lyrics I have for the song.

Furthermore, I thought I’d do a blow-up of what I think of as Valinka’s ‘Blingy Platforms’, referenced at ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Pictures’, to accompany the ‘Démantová zem’ video, in view of the meaning of the title and in the process of that I became somewhat doubtful about my ‘good story’ about the objects in the heels and soles being crystals. I now think they may well be a sort of ‘Swiss Cheese’ and also may well have been hollow to make them light as air.


Finally, in the ‘Proč si to brát’ video, there are three photos (taken by a photographer unknown to me) of Valinka’s wedding to Dr. Jaromír Langer. I still cannot pretend to keep up with the Czech lyrics as they are sung, but I do wonder, taking into consideration the meaning of the song’s title, if Petr Janda, on accompanying vocals duty, may have been expressing the probable thoughts of much of the general public of Czechoslovakia vis-à-vis Dr. Jaromír Langer – “How did he manage that???”

Oh well! We can all dream!

…and I’ll keep on dreaming that those really were crystals in Valinka’s platforms, even though holes would have been more practical and would have been a built-in air-conditioning system to keep one’s feet cool on the sort of hot, sunny days on which one would wear shoes like that!

If they were holes that would itself be a neat reference to portholes, to keep the nautical theme going…what with sailors and buoys!






Boldog 45. születésnapot ‘Námořník šel cik cak’ és ‘Šer-chán’ és Boldog születésnapot ‘To je zvyk’ és ‘Návrat uvítám’!

The multi-layered significance of today’s date to the world of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ is spelled out in this post at ‘Girls Of The Golden East’.

I am also continuing the process of uploading to YouTube, four-and-a-half decades to the day down the line, tracks off Valinka’s eponymous LP from 1975, today with the magnificently (and appropriately!) rambling ‘Námořník šel cik cak’ (‘The Sailor Went Zig-Zag’), complete with a bottle of rum for the drunken sailor in question in the video (sorry it’s nearly empty!) and ‘Šer-chán’ – for which I have had endless difficulty in trying to find a suitable translation into English, but which I think I have finally worked out is the Czech-language rendering of the name of the Bengal Tiger character in ‘The Jungle Book’, Shere Khan – which is another one of those Valinka songs from the Early Mid-1970s with a vibe to it like those swinging 1970s sitcom signature tunes, like ‘Spousta příběhů’ (‘Lots Of Stories’), which was also to the accompaniment of Karel Vlach se svým Orchestrem (Karel Vlach and His Orchestra).

‘Šer-chán’ was, incidentally, used as the background music during a scene in the Moskvanka restaurant at the still-extant Hotel Imperial, Ostrava, very early on in the 1975 crime film ‘Město nic neví’ (‘The City Knows Nothing’). If, indeed, the title is a reference to a ‘Jungle Book’ character, maybe the placing of that song at that juncture was a way of saying to those watching, “welcome to the ‘Urban Jungle’!”

Both ‘Námořník šel cik cak’ and ‘Šer-chán’, together with recording details and credits, are now at the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’.

Quite a date!

I might raise a glass of that rum, to polish it off, to Valinka in ‘Musical Heaven’ later!

Boldog 45. születésnapot ‘Koňskou dráhou’ és ‘Žokej’!

It is exactly four-and-a-half decades ago to the day, today, when Valinka recorded ‘Koňskou dráhou’ (‘On The Horse Tram’) for her eponymous LP and – continuing the equestrian theme – ‘Žokej’ (‘Jockey’), dedicated to the brave participants in the Velká Pardubická steeplechase, for later single release.

I have previously had a critical remark on YouTube that my version of ‘Koňskou dráhou’ was far too fast. Now I have at last sorted out a way of channeling Valinka’s huge voice through my ‘famous’ ‘super-woofer’ from a turntable that plays at a more accurate speed there is now a new version on YouTube and it is now at the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’. It can also be enjoyed in a larger format – together with lyrics and translation – at the ‘The wider context surrounding BFB: Why I am a ‘Valinker’ (Plus Links)’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’.

While studying Geography with German at the University of Derby for my Final-Year Project I investigated the possibilities of comparing the public transport system in and around my home city of Derby with three cities in Germany of a comparable population. These were Aachen, Hagen and Krefeld. One of the souvenirs of that project is the book ‘Die Pferdebahnära: Die Geschichte der Hagener Straßenbahn 1884 – 1898’ (‘The Horse Tram Era: The History Of Hagen Tramways 1884 – 1898’). It seemed quite fitting to feature that book in the video, which I hope is another improvement on the original ‘Koňskou dráhou’ video.

Finally, in the ‘wrong speed’ video of ‘Koňskou dráhou’, the view of Vladivoj Burjanek’s stunner of a photograph of Valinka on the rear of her LP – ‘riding’ the back of a park bench, as it were 😉 – was, to say the least, ‘murky’.

We can enjoy it in all its clarity now, while also enjoying what was one of Valinka’s very best releases!

Boldog születésnapot, ‘Správnej hoch’ és ‘Mám už toho dost’!

I promised, in this ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ Blog post exactly a year ago, that there’d be a YouTube video uploaded on this day to complete the duo of recordings by Valinka on 10th February 1976 – ‘Správnej hoch’ (‘Office Boy’) and ‘Mám už toho dost’ (‘I’ve Already Had Enough Of That’). The latter made it to YouTube on 10th February 2018. Now the former has made it on 10th February 2019!…and can now be enjoyed, together with the recording details and credits, at the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’. The video would have been shot, incidentally, using my now-defunct record player at my old address, since which time quite a lot of water has passed under my personal bridge! I find it almost impossible to believe that the Winter Olympics events alluded to in the aforementioned post were just twelve months ago!

It is rather interesting to note that there was this sporting ‘thing’ going on on this date a year ago, since today has seen the wonderfully-named ‘Old Farm Derby’ between my beloved Norwich City and their deadly rivals, Ipswich Town, ending in a 3-0 scoreline to the Canaries! It is all the more fitting that this date should be so closely identified, in my mind, with the Canaries, since I think Valinka’s stylish checked jacket she wore for her performance of ‘Správnej hoch’ on the TV show, ‘Našich deväť’ has a clear touch of the Canaries about it, as can be seen below in this caught-in-the-moment still where we see a highly seductive look come over in Valinka’s eyes!


Here are Karel Šíp’s lyrics for ‘Správnej hoch’, together with an ImTranslator-based translation.

Pátý den zvoní telefon
A v něm jen brouká ten známý bas
Pátý den stejný basbaryton
Ty můj typ nejsi a ztrácíš čas

On the fifth day the phone rings
And it just hums the familiar bass
The fifth day, the same baritone
You’re not my type and wasting time

Správnej hoch
Má snědou pleť
Máchův Máj zná nazpaměť
Zná tanců pár obstojně
Správnej hoch byl na vojně

Office boy
He has dark skin
Macha’s Maj knows by heart
He knows a few fairly dances
Office boy was in the army

Správnej hoch
Má pevnou dlaň
Vousy jak sám D’Artagnan
Na toho já čekám dál
No čekám dál

Office boy
He has a firm hand
Has D’Artagnan’s beard
The one I keep waiting
Well, keep waiting

Pátý den stejné legrácky
Jsem z nich už málem šílená
Vím, jak jsi světácký
Ty Don Chuany už dávno znám

The fifth day of the same horseplay
I am of those who are almost crazy
I know how you are urbane
You Don Juan had long known

Maybe the ‘Office Boy’ in question had been somewhere in the German Democratic Republic in 1974, when Valinka dropped in on ‘Our Boys in East Germany’! 😉