Karel Gott kicks off 50th anniversary tour

07-11-2008

Most Czechs agree there is no other pop singer like Karel Gott, the famous Czech crooner known as the Sinatra of the East, who has won the country’s Cesky slavik (Czech Nightingale award) a remarkable 31 times. At 69, the singer is showing no signs of letting up. In fact, to mark his 50th anniversary in show business, he just kicked off a new tour in the Czech Republic this week.

Karel Gott, photo: CTKKarel Gott, photo: CTK Karel Gott has been the most famous pop singer in the Czech Republic for the better part of 50 years. Gott, sometimes referred to as the Golden Voice of Prague, captured hit after hit over the decades and if anybody thought he would slow with age, they were dead wrong. Now, he has begun a new Czech tour – from Plzeň to Prague to Pardubice this and next month. Could this be his final one, as some have hinted? The singer has responded ‘not a chance’. Karel Vagner, a producer and close friend who worked with Mr Gott on countless projects agrees it is unlikely Mr Gott will ever give up. He also says that when it comes to Mr Gott’s calibre as a singer, there is only “one”:

“Karel Gott is an extraordinary personality, and sometimes it seems almost like he’s from another world! Leaving aside that he is my friend, as a producer I can say his talent is unique. He is a consummate professional: when he sings he always puts everything into it. Always. Others sing well but they can go through the motions. Karel always gives it his ‘all’. He is a great example for up-and-coming performers.”

The singer also often tours in other parts of Europe, such as Germany and Russia where he also draws large crowds. Karel Vagner says the singer would have even more fans, had history been a little different:

“They say they know him in Germany and Austria but they know him in France as well. I’ll tell you one story: one time we arrived in Paris, it was at four in the morning, and there was a cleaning lady at the airport, who looked up from her work recognised him. She shouted ‘Hey, it’s Charlie Gott!’ It was a moment of surprise, in a place you wouldn’t have expected it. Had the conditions been a little different in the past, or had he lived in a different time, I think Gott would have been even a bigger star around the world. As it is, he’s still a top star in Europe.”

07-11-2008