‘Motter Alustyle’, ‘Davida’, ‘Question Mark’

Thanks to the recent chance discovery of a mention of Valinka at the excellent and informative ‘Fonts In Use’ site I have actually managed to put an actual name to the font used for Gustav Šeďa’s funky design for the sleeve for her singles from 1974 to 1977. Here is the base of that design with the ‘Zhurnalnaya Roublennaya’ overprint removed, which I was thinking of using for a ‘fantasy LP’ cover for her singles recorded in 1973, since that Vilém Sochůrek photo dated from that year.

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This would have been the rear cover of that ‘fantasy LP’, with another work by Vilém Sochůrek.

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It’s called ‘Motter Alustyle’ – designed by Othmar Motter and released in 1972, so fairly new to the scene at that time.

I also happened, at ‘Fonts In Use’, to stumble across the ‘Davida’ font – designed by Louis Minott in 1965 – used, with the 1972-vintage photo taken by Luboš Svátek, both for the sleeves of her singles from 1971 to 1973 and for the ‘Singly (1969 – 1973)’ Supraphon compilation album, with a slightly modified top left-hand corner – the ‘To je léto’ (‘It’s Summer’)/‘Synu můj’ (‘Son Of Mine’), ‘Oči nelžou’ (‘Eyes Don’t Lie’)/‘Říkáš pořád, jak ti na mně záleží’ (‘You Keep Saying How You Care About Me’) and ‘Tak měj mě rád’ (‘So Just Love Me’)/‘Mít aero a létat’ (‘To Have A Plane And To Fly’) sleeves you see here being taken from my own copies.

Wouldn’t you know, furthermore, that when Mieko Hirota, who, like Valinka, had recorded a version of Bobby Hebb’s ‘Sunny’ and Salena Jones, who, also like Valinka, has the birthday of 29th January got together at the Zlatniyat Orfey (Golden Orpheus) festival of 1973, ‘Davida’ was the font chosen for the cover of their album of recordings taken at the Zlatniyat Orfey! So, I simply had to make these my first use submissions at ‘Fonts In Use’!

I would absolutely love, however, to know what this font used is – with photos respectively by Luboš Svátek, once again and by Vladivoj Burjanek – both for some singles from 1973, including my copy of ‘Pojď jen dál’ (‘Just Come On’)/‘Sbohem, školní bráno’ (‘Farewell, School Gate’) and for the cover of the ‘Valerie Čižmárová’ LP, since that might have been the closest Valinka got to a ‘brand’, as such.

VČ_PJD_SŠB_VČ_FrontVČ_PJD_SŠB_VČ_Rear

So, what is the the font I currently simply know as ‘Question Mark’, I wonder!

Boldog születésnapot, ‘Tak se pozná dáma’!

Sorry!

Frightfully busy day today!

…but because she was a Lady at least one cannot totally overlook Valinka’s 10th January 1978-recorded ‘Tak se pozná dáma’ (‘So You Know I’m A Lady’)!

Here was the ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ Blog post celebrating its four-decades Anniversary, at any rate!

It can be played via that link.

Boldog születésnapot, ‘Tak měj mě rád’ és ‘Mít aero a létat’!

I don’t think there’s a great deal I could add to the story I built up around the YouTube uploadings of ‘Tak měj mě rád’ (‘So Just Love Me’) and ‘Mít aero a létat’ (‘To Have A Plane And To Fly’) I made one year ago to the day, as mentioned at this ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ post, celebrating, if not quite the four-and-a-half-decades Anniversary of their respective recordings, the four-and-a-half-decades-plus-one-year Anniversary thereof.

It does have to be said, however, that, in view of my subsequent purchase, also at that British Heart Foundation furniture and electricals shop on Babington Lane, Derby, of a ‘proper’ Ferguson FTURN01 turntable to add to my home-constructed system, thereby giving a better tone to reproductions, although it would of course be ridiculous to attempt another ‘replacement’ YouTube uploading just one year on, if I still have this set-up when the ‘Golden Anniversary’ comes around on 9th January 2023 I may well be tempted to try again then!

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Hearing the full, rich sound of Valinka’s voice as her ‘flight’ through the singles recordings of 1973 took to the sky through ‘that’ speaker – next door to my Pye VHF 3D ‘Stereophonic’ valve radio – uploaded to YouTube exactly fifty years on will most assuredly be a ‘Golden’ experience for ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ followers!

For the time being, readers can still enjoy the not-quite-perfect sound of these two recordings and see information on recording details and credits at ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’!

Boldog születésnapot, ‘Tikot všech hodin’!

After having, in yesterday’s ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ post, talked of a possible ‘Golden Age’ of Kostel Svatého Vojtěcha v Dejvicích (The Church of St Vojtěch in Dejvice) as the Dejvice recording studio there is perhaps yet more irony in the fact that – regarding the Disco song Valinka recorded there one day under a year before her cover of Boney M’s ‘Belfast’, ‘Tikot všech hodin’ (‘Ticking All The Time’), her cover of Donna Summer’s ‘Wasted’, like ‘Léta letí’ (‘Time Flies’), out of the Giorgio Moroder stable – in this ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ post, pre-dating the inauguration of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, celebrating the big, four-decades anniversary, I talk of a saint’s day and in this other ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ post, also pre-dating ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, I talk of ‘Heaven’.

In this case, perhaps this isn’t the literal Heaven – rather, what I think of as ‘Musical Heaven’!

The performance of ‘Tikot všech hodin’ at ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ comes from the TV show, ‘Chvíle pro písničku’ (‘A Little Time For Songs’), originally broadcast on St. Valérie’s Day (18th April) 1978.

At “From ‘La Donna Summer blanche’ to ‘Bílá Donna Summer’” I refer also to my confusion of ‘Tikot všech hodin’ with ‘Huascarán’, Valinka’s song about the 1970 Ancash Earthquake that caused the deaths of fifteen Czechoslovak mountaineers, amongst the tens of thousands of locals.

I think that ‘Tikot všech hodin’ is something of ‘summit’ of a cover of a song by Ms Summer, as Valinka ascends to that ‘Musical Heaven’!

Boldog születésnapot, ‘Belfast’!

I have, just yesterday, celebrated the beginning of the ‘Golden Age’ over on the ‘Sister Blog’ to ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ – at this post.

Although – specifically in the case of Czechoslovakia – this ‘Golden Age’ of Female Pop in my opinion may not have been such a ‘Golden’ time politically, as the Gustáv Husák regime’s policy of ‘Normalizace’ (‘Normalisation’) set in, it does occur to me that – at risk of readers of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ who lived through those times in that place jumping down my throat with remarks like, “how dare you draw this kind of equivalence!” – Seventies Pop Music nostalgia in this country has the same kind of inconvenience…that brings forth mixed feelings about the period.

On 2nd January 1978, at the recording studio in Dejvice, having had Boney M releasing their own version of what had been Valinka’s first single, ‘Sunny’, the compliment was returned in the shape of Valinka’s cover of Boney M’s ‘Belfast’, addressing, as Valinka’s cover of Paul McCartney’s ‘Give Ireland Back To The Irish’, ‘Synu můj’ (‘Son Of Mine’) had indirectly done nearly six years earlier, the phenomenon that I think lends a very similar feel, looking back on that era, to ‘Normalizace’, the Northern Irish ‘Troubles’, which were at a high watermark during the Seventies.

To play this song and to see the full recording details and credits, please go to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’.

It’s strange, also, to note that there may also be a little bit of a ‘mixed feeling’ about what I also think was a ‘Golden Age’ of the church, Kostel Svatého Vojtěcha v Dejvicích (The Church of St Vojtěch in Dejvice), that at that time was disused in that purpose, being used as the Dejvice recording studio instead.

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It is perhaps an over-simplification of the ‘Troubles’ to lay the blame for them at the feet of the Christian faith – the conflict between the Protestant and Roman Catholic branches of Christianity – but is it not almost symbolic, in that context, that ‘Belfast’ was recorded in a building stripped of its Christian identity, freeing it to be a place to pass comment on the ‘Troubles’ from a neutral point of view?

Was this ‘unfree’ time the freeest of Kostel Svatého Vojtěcha v Dejvicích’s history?

Mixed feelings, indeed!

Boldog 50. születésnapot, ‘Když mě chceš’ és ‘Proč se ti zdá’ és boldog születésnapot ‘Rock and roller’!

At ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ we have now reached the highly auspicious occasion of the Golden Anniversary of the recordings of ‘Když mě chceš’ (‘When You Want Me’) and ‘Proč se ti zdá’ (‘Why Does It Seem To You’)! 31st December also happens to be the day – eight years to the day after these recordings – Valinka made one of her most dramatic and scene-stealing appearances on television, performing Kati Kovács’ ‘Rock and roller’, in its native Hungarian, on the New Year’s Eve show, ‘Silvestr na přání aneb Čí jsou hory Kavčí?’ (‘New Year’s Eve On Request Or Whose Are The Kavčí Hory?’).

Many of the sentiments I expressed in this ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ post of two years ago, regarding these anniversaries, are the same as on the day I initially wrote them. However, thanks to this article by the great Record Producer, Miloš Skalka, which appeared in ‘Melodie’ magazine No. 7 of 1971, I have subsequently discovered that there was some public awareness that Valinka’s native language was Hungarian long before her ‘Rock and roller’ performance.

Melodie_7_1971_Léta_Letí

All that remains is to recommend your dropping by ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ to share in the magic of Studio FYSIO fifty years ago, as Valinka laid down on vinyl what would perhaps be the final ‘Sound Of The 60s’ – I’d love to know about any other Pop songs recorded that day! – on the day that a certain eight-year-old boy in the United Kingdom watched ‘Pop Go The Sixties!’ – talking of New Year’s Eve television entertainment shows – and thought, “damn! missed it!” If I knew how the seventeen-year-old Valinka was about to make the Seventies sound I might have thought differently!

Also, to gaze in awe on Vilém Sochůrek’s ‘Whirlwind from the East’ photo, as I know it, of the miraculous talent that had blown into Prague from distant Michalovce, for the sleeve of ‘Když mě chceš’/’Proč se ti zdá’.

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Valinka: The Magical, Miraculous Magyar from Michalovce!

This Sixties Girl is going to be quite some Seventies Woman!

 

 

Valérie Čižmárová + Karel Vlach + 1973 =…

Having just yesterday celebrated the 46th ‘Birthday’ of ‘Spousta příběhů’ (‘Lots Of Stories’) and ‘Zrzek’ (‘Redhead’), which came from the session that, together with the one from earlier in 1973 (8th February), ‘Pojď jen dál’ (‘Just Come On’) and ‘Sbohem, školní bráno’ (‘Farewell, School Gate’) ‘bookended’ Valinka’s singles-recording sessions at Mozarteum that year with Skupina Svatopluka Čecha (The Svatopluk Čech Group) with singles-recording sessions with Karel Vlach se svým orchestrem (Karel Vlach and his Orchestra) and being made aware of a whole raft of juicy ‘Valérie Čižmárová – Topic’ and ‘Various Artists – Topic’ YouTube uploadings by Supraphon over this last half-year or so featuring Valinka, the song that has most leapt out at me from ‘Various Artists – Topic’ has been one of which I have been aware since downloading the ‘Divám se, divám’ (‘I Wonder, I Wonder’) album, substantially of radio-based recordings – ‘Matějská pouť’ (‘St. Matthew’s Fair’).

Not being in Valinka’s regular run of singles that is not at ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’, but now I know definitely that there is a YouTube video that can be embedded this would be an ideal opportunity to demonstrate that, as the title of this post says, ‘Valérie Čižmárová + Karel Vlach + 1973 =…’ can equal more than just ‘Pojď jen dál’, ‘Sbohem, školní bráno’, ‘Spousta příběhů’ and ‘Zrzek’, since ‘Matějská pouť’, with its tune, by Vladimír Popelka, that, I think, positively drips Seventies Easy Listening cool in the vein of a sitcom signature tune, was to the accompaniment of Karel Vlach and was recorded in 1973. The lyrics were by Vladimír Poštulka, deceased earlier this year, on 1st May, the provider of the lyrics for Valinka’s ‘Signature Tune’, ‘Léta letí’ (‘Time Flies’) and the backing vocals – a sort of ‘star of the show’ in their own right – came from Babety.

If ever there was a sound that perfectly captures the vibe of ’73, ‘Matějská pouť’ would be a ‘fair’ candidate to choose.

Enjoy ‘swinging’ along to the fair with Valinka and Vlach!

Boldog születésnapot, ‘Spousta příběhů’ és ‘Zrzek’!

As well as today being the 46th ‘Birthday’ of the recordings of ‘Spousta příběhů’ (‘Lots Of Stories’) and ‘Zrzek’ (‘Redhead’) – please see this previous ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ post marking the four-and-a-half decades since those recordings at Čs. televize (Czechoslovak Television) for further details – it is also the First ‘Birthday’ of the day when I decided to use that auspicious occasion to rectify the lack of a YouTube video of the almost effortlessly cool Vladimír Rukavička tune that is ‘Spousta příběhů’, delivered by the great Karel Vlach se svým orchestrem (Karel Vlach and His Orchestra), which I note may have spurred on Supraphon themselves to upload ‘Spousta příběhů’ to YouTube on 24th July.

It appears that we are scoring more or less evenly in terms of views relative to time since mine is at 57 views and Supraphon’s is at 21 views. However, in my own humble opinion, although obviously the sound quality is going to be superior in Supraphon’s case one only gets the correct visuals of the colour shots taken by Vilém Sochůrek for the sleeve of ‘Spousta příběhů’/’Zrzek’, the Gustav Šeďa-designed graphics, plus the charming additional black and white photos from clearly the same photo shoot, in the case of my video!

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Turning my attention to ‘Zrzek’, since, musically-speaking, that is, in my consciousness a completion of the ‘journey’ started some two-and-three-quarters years beforehand at the Dejvice recording studio with ‘Za sluncem, za vodou’ (‘In Sunshine, In Water’), this would also be an opportunity to drop a link off here to another previous ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ post, setting out the outline of the incredible background of Karel Vlach.

Yes, the work Valinka had done in 1973 with Skupina Svatopluka Čecha (The Svatopluk Čech Group) had been a veritable brief and dramatic ‘supernova’, but what better way to bring down the curtain on that year of getting the best of Valinka down on vinyl for posterity – in the year she fully came of age, of course – than to turn to a true, all-time legend!

The Best of the Best, accompanied by the Best!

…well, apart from 1972’s – and Vladimír Rukavička’s – ‘Říkáš pořád, jak ti na mně záleží’ (‘You Keep Saying How You Care About Me’), that is! 😉

Actually, given the fact that – at ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ – ‘Říkáš pořád, jak ti na mně záleží’ and my first-ever YouTube uploading of a Valinka record, ‘Oči nelžou’ (‘Eyes Don’t Lie’), are sorted into ‘The Herbert Strutt Days’, can I claim those two recordings as honorary members of ‘The 1973 Club’?…thereby getting me out of that little fix! 😉 😉

Boldog 40. születésnapot, ‘Můj chlap’!

Four decades ago to the day, at Čs. rozhlas (Czechoslovak Radio), Prague on 17th December 1979, Valinka recorded her cover of Etta Cameron’s ‘Wild Widow’, ‘Můj chlap’ (‘My Guy’), thereby bringing to a close her fabulous vinyl-based output of the 1970s to a somewhat sad but defiant-sounding close. So, it’s a ‘Happy 40th Birthday!’ to that song, admittedly now rather late in the day!

To hear how ‘defiant-sounding’ I mean, please go to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ to play that song and for information on the full credits.

‘Time Flies’…twenty years into the future

I have long had some difficulty with the translation into English of the ostensibly simple title of the ‘Signature Tune’, ‘Léta letí’ (‘Time Flies’) Valinka recorded, along with my erstwhile All-Time Valinka No. 1, ‘Dávno nejsem hloupá’ (‘I’ve Not Been Crazy For A Long Time’) forty-nine years ago to the day at Studio A Karlín, but, considering the sentiments of the song, I suppose ‘Time Flies’ is about as fitting an English-language rendering of that title. I happen to think that ‘Time Flies’ also captures perfectly the fleeting nature of fame for artists in general and Valinka in particular as the title of the edition in the ‘Příběhy slavných’ (‘Stories Of The Famous’) Czech TV documentary series devoted to Valinka, ‘Příběhy slavných – Léta letí’.

Here is a translation – partly with the aid of ImTranslator and partly freehand – of those lyrics by the late, great Vladimír Poštulka, who was still alive at the last ‘Léta letí’ recording anniversary, but who passed away earlier this year, aged 76, on 1st May.

Léta letí a já denně 
čekám kdy se vrátíš ke mně 
s pokáním.
Za pár let už budeš kmet 
a já se sotva svodům světa 
ubráním.

Time flies and every day
I wait for you to come back to me
with apologies.
In a few years you’ll be old
and I defend myself with barely the temptations of the World.

Léta letí. (Už ti moli snědli celou skříň)
Léta letí. (Boží mlýny sotva melou míň)
Léta letí a tvůj syn už má hlas jak Šaljapin.

Time flies. (The moths ate the entire wardrobe)
Time flies. (God’s mills barely grind less)
Time flies and your son already has a voice like Shalyapin.

A-ma-má-má pa-pa a-ma-má-má.
A-ma-má-má pa-pa a-ma-má-má.
A-ma-má-má pa-pa a-ma-má-má.

A-ma-mah-mah pa-pa a-ma-mah-mah.
A-ma-mah-mah pa-pa a-ma-mah-mah.
A-ma-mah-mah pa-pa a-ma-mah-mah.

Léta letí jako cvoci
a já vařím ve dne v noci 
co máš rád. (A-ma-má-má pa-pa a-ma-má-má)
Už ti hochu není dvacet 
už by ses měl občas vracet 
domů spát. (A-ma-má-má pa-pa a-ma-má-má)

Time flies like crazy
and I cook day and night
what you like. (A-ma-mah-mah pa-pa a-ma-mah-mah)
Your lad already isn’t twenty
already you should occasionally come
back home. (A-ma-mah-mah pa-pa a-ma-mah-mah)

Léta letí. (Už tě někde občas zapíchá)
Léta letí. (Léta letí a čas pospíchá)
A tvůj syn se pořád ptá, proč jsem sama, samotná.

Time flies. (Already it stings you somewhere)
Time flies. (Time flies and rushes along)
And your son keeps asking, why I am alone, free.

A-ma-má-má pa-pa a-ma-má-má.
A-ma-má-má pa-pa a-ma-má-má.
A-ma-má-má pa-pa a-ma-má-má.

A-ma-mah-mah pa-pa a-ma-mah-mah.
A-ma-mah-mah pa-pa a-ma-mah-mah.
A-ma-mah-mah pa-pa a-ma-mah-mah.

Pro tvůj věk už není v louži spát,
ani živit se listím jívovým,
vím, že by ses dávno vrátil rád, 
bál ses mě, já vím.

At your age it already isn’t time for sleeping in the meadows,
or even living on barley leaves,
I know, that you would love to go back to a long time ago,
you were afraid of me, I know.

A-ma-má-má pa-pa a-ma-má-má.

A-ma-mah-mah pa-pa a-ma-mah-mah.

Léta letí a já denně 
čekám kdy se vrátíš ke mně 
s pokáním. (A-ma-má-má pa-pa a-ma-má-má)
Za pár let už budeš kmet 
a já se sotva svodům světa 
ubráním. (A-ma-má-má pa-pa a-ma-má-má)

Time flies and every day
I wait for you to come back to me
with apologies. (A-ma-mah-mah pa-pa a-ma-mah-mah)
In a few years you’ll be old
and I defend myself with barely the temptations of the World. (A-ma-mah-mah pa-pa a-ma-mah-mah)

Léta letí. (Už tě někde občas zapíchá)
Léta letí. (Léta letí a čas pospíchá)
A tvůj syn se pořád ptá, proč jsem sama, samotná.

Time flies. (Already it stings you somewhere)
Time flies. (Time flies and rushes along)
And your son keeps asking, why I am alone, free.

The YouTube user ’59fanfan’ has recently uploaded a performance of ‘Léta letí’ by Valinka circa twenty years on from the original recording of that song on the show ‘Rokokokoktejl’ (‘Rokoko Cocktail’), so now would be a good time to embed that here.

For the full recording details and credits of both ‘Léta letí’ and ‘Dávno nejsem hloupá’ and to play the original recordings of those songs please go to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’.

Next time, ‘Time’ will fly fifty years into the future!