In this series we present 100 songs which have gone down in the history of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic. On Czech Radio’s web pages you can find a poll, in which you can vote for the best hit from the past century. We look forward to your vote! We continue with the year 1958.
On January 1st, the European Economic Community was established.
Czechoslovakia was exceptionally successful at Expo 58 in Brussels.
On October 17th, a law on the permanent settlement of nomads was issued.
On January 5th, a hockey player World Championship gold medalist and a three-time winner of Stanley Cup, Jiří Hrdina, was born.
Amateur youth groups set out to continue the musical tradition behind the Liberated Theater, tramping groups and post-war theater productions. By using subtle satire and simple songs, they opposed dogmatism and simultaneously attempted to retain their original audiences.
One of the most significant of these bands was the Prague Amateur Club Akord. This group of young creative artists performed at the Reduta Jazz Club between 1956 and 1958, a time rife with propaganda. The singers were accompanied by harmonicas, two guitars and a double bass played by Jiří Suchý. Percussion instruments and a piano were later added to the mix.
The Akord Club’s program was especially appealing because of its so-called ‘text appeals’, including sections of monologues, satirical and critical commentaries and songs. They worked closely with their young audiences and valued improvisation.
Over time, several of their songs proved to be true hits, including “Blues for You,” which was first published by Jiří Suchý. The rhythmically sharp melody went on to sell 113,000 copies. It is important to note that in 1958 the author himself was not allowed to the microphone. Josef Zíma sang in his place and the recording was accompanied by Vlach’s Orchestra.