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 1953.
On March 21st, Antonín Zápotocký became the second president of communist Czechoslovakia.
Dagmar Havlová, the Czech actress and second wife of President Václav Havel, was born on March 22nd.
May 1st marked the start of regular broadcasts of Czechoslovak Television.
On June 1st, there was a monetary reform that devalued most people’s savings.
The year 1953’s biggest hit may come as a surprise, but it is statistically verified based on the number of records sold in Czechoslovakia by the Supraphon Music Publishing Company. The song “Where We Are, Spring Does Not End,” composed by Ludvík Podéšt’ and written by Vlastimil Pantůček, was the main melody in the film „Písnička za groš” (Song for a Penny).
It could have easily been considered to be a foxtrot. However, music from the West was not permitted in Czechoslovakia at that time. The filmmakers therefore turned to the pseudo-folklore ensemble of Július Móži, who recorded the song together with the singer Milan Směták from Brno.
The lyrics themselves were not problematic, they fully complied with the communist propaganda of the time, and easily won the approval of the authorities. It was the foxtrot element in the music that caught the attention of the dance-thirsty public. One hundred and forty-five records were sold by the Supraphon record label. To this day it is hard to conceive the level of optimism and the resonance of the song at the time of its release.