Update 09/11/08: I received a very nice mail from Jelena in Dubrovnik, who is operating a web-site about Tereza Kesovija. The web-site is really great and shows a lot of pictures from Tereza`s long career and a big discography with scans from her records on Yugoton and other labels. At 70 Tereza still looks wonderful and seems to be full of energy and power. I hope to be like that when I`m her age…
This one looks even more strange and obviously I picked it because of the kid on the cover. I don`t know what he is protesting against but it was probably not against the communist dictatorship. Being a kid, I bet he had a lot of other good reasons.
My girlfriend Julia and I spent two nice weeks on vacation in Croatia on the Dalmatian coast. We mostly stayed at a little former fishers village called Bratus, went swimming and got a tan only from staying in the shade because it was so hot. We had a great time.
Before we went to Bratus, we spent a couple of days in Split. Always on the look-out for records, I asked the first people when we left the plane at the airport. As usual everybody was clueless. But I kept my eyes open and on our second night in Split, while we were looking for a place to eat I spotted a used book-store. Julia said:” Alll-right!” and I went for a quick look inside. No records. I asked but they didn`t know of any used record stores in Split. On my way out I asked if there was another used book-store nearby. Yes, there was one and some friendly customer from the store even took us there. The other book-store didn`t have any records either. I asked about old records and the owner didn`t know anything but just by coincidence a customer said, yes, he knew of one place and he had been planning to go there right now! That nice man was Miro Zupa and he lead us to a thrift-store in the basement of a side street that we would never have found by ourselves. It didn`t even have a sign. It was still very hot and the owner of the shop was sitting outside in a cafe and let us go into his shop by ourselves. By that time we were both very hungry but luckily Julia was very patient with me and I came away with 20 records for 6 euros!
This is a record from the Split music-festival 1968. Arsen Dedic was a big star in Yugoslavia as were the orchestra leader Stipica Kalogjera and the beat-group Grupa 220. The song “Razgovaram S Morem” (conversation with the sea) is a swinging soul/pop/beat number, sort of Tom Jones meets Karel Gott. I think it`s a beautiful song and I can`t get it out of my head. Listen!
More records from former Yugoslavia next week…
This is probably my find of the week, so for no other reason than that I`m posting this 45 by the Croatian band Dubrovacki Trubaduri. I bought a bunch of records at a thrift-store that I check regularly and almost left this one, thinking it was the usual, boring Yugoslav folk music. But for 50 cents a piece I gave it a chance and what a surprise! The b-side “Luda pjesma” is a lightning-fast beat stomper with a touch of soul music and great saxophone, trumpet and drum breaks!
Dubrovacki Trubaduri ( The troubadours from Dubrovnic ) were a popular pop/beat group from, you guessed it, Dubrovnic, Croatia. In 1968 they won the Yugoslav preliminaries to the European Song Contest and came out 7th in the finals, together with Belgium and Monaco. Most of their songs were a mixture of folk and pop music, hence the historical costumes.
Finding the Dubrovacki Trubaduri record has kind of inspired me to post three more of that style and period. I don`t really know how to call the style, a mix of pop, beat, soul, big band and a slight East-European touch.
Pro Arte, founded in 1967 by Dorde Novcovic, was a popular band in Yugoslavia. Novcovic became a successful songwriter in Yugoslavia and later Croatia. Pro Arte released many records and performed until 1980.
“Liza” is a fast pop/beat/soul number, with a touch of Tom Jones. I often see these kind of records advertised as “mod dancer” on eBay. I don`t know. Would a mod-DJ play this? I doubt it, but I`d be happy to be wrong…