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 1963.
On October 10th, Czechoslovakia ratified the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
On June 16th, Valentina Těreškova from the USSR was the first woman to be sent into space.
On November 22nd, U.S. President John Kennedy was assassinated.
For the first time in his career Karel Gott became the Golden Nightingale, the most popular singer of Czechoslovakia.
In the first half of 1963, a long existent void in the Czechoslovak music scene was finally filled. It was mainly students who were attracted to the flood of interesting new songs and chansons that had premiered in small theaters at the time. Much to their dismay, Rock ’n’ Roll was still banned. However, swing dance music was still quite popular and some of the latest hits from overseas were finally permitted. These included U.S., German, Italian and Greek productions, such as “The Children of Piraeus.”
Karel Vlach kept his title as the best Czechoslovak conductor and champion of modern popular music. Two of Vlach’s singers, Yvetta Simonová and Milan Chladil, gained widespread praise for their performance of the song “Sentimental” written by Zbyňek Vavřín and composed by Alfons Jindra. The song came to be widely appreciated by the Czechoslovak public, especially by those in love or in search of it. Starting in 1963 over 210 thousand records were sold.