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 1970.
On May 10th, the second Czechoslovak Television program began broadcasting.
On June 8th, a Czech Airlines flight on the Prague/Karlovy Vary route was taken over by former RAF members and flown to Nuremberg, Germany.
A census was held in Czechoslovakia to count population, houses and apartments. As of then there were 14,344,987 inhabitants.
The invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact troops marked the unfortunate end of the political liberation known as the 1968 Prague Spring. The totalitarian screws began to tighten, though at first only slowly and almost unnoticeably. New songs of defiance were produced and could even be bought on records at the time.
These musical protests against the Soviet occupation ended with the Bratislava Lyra festival in 1969. The Communists leadership realized that this occasion could be used to spread heresies through mere singing - and popular music had to return to the role of communist propaganda.
Starting in 1970, the Czechoslovak state and political parties adopted a number of measures to try to control artistic work. As a result, the public’s mood worsened and creative power was weakened. The hits associated with 1968 disappeared from broadcasting - and new ones were created.
When we look at the 1970 ranking of the best-selling singles in the country, the most popular Czechoslovak singer, Karel Gott, is in the top ten. Petr Spálený and Pavel Bobek appear twice, but in their case the songs originated abroad. Today’s song “Dynamite” was originally written by Petr Janda and Zdeněk Rytíř and played by the Czech band Olympic.
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