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Hana and Petr Ulrych

Hana and Petr Ulrych

Musicians

Radio Luxembourg simply started a total revolution!

Hana Ulrychová – I loved jazz programmes...
Did you listen to Radio Luxembourg?
Of course we all  listened to Radio Luxembourg – because they played music  that we could not hear on our radio. There  we heard  the Beatles and similarly amazing things that we were completely keen on. Personally, I loved jazz programmes presented by a Czech guy. Unfortunately I don´t remember his name anymore but it was absolutely great, the number one for me. I was looking forward to these programmes and I  listened to those very often.
Do you remember on which radio you used to  listen to Radio Luxembourg?
It was a crazy radio, with a kind of little bluegreen light. It was an old radio from the ´50 and we had to tune it in a crazy way. There was always something wrong with it, so we used to keep repairing it. (laugh)
What do you associate  listening to Radio Luxembourg associate with?
I associate it with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, to the beginning of bigbeat and, as I am saying, to the jazz music bands. There for the first time, I heard Dave Brubeck and that kind of jazz music bands and it gripped me. And I also listened to Oscar Peterson that I am in love with till today and whose CDs I all have. And later, coming of the era of soul music, I listened to Aretha Franklin, one of my biggest singing icons.
When  did you listen to Radio Luxembourg? Did you already then start with music?
It was in the ´60. Yes, then I started to sing and so I tried to imitate Aretha Franklin faithfully. And I don´t even know if I managed (laugh). I think  there were more of us in the republic. Recently, I listened to some records of Maruška Rottrová and Věrka Špinarová singing  Aretha Franklin´s song as well.

Petr Ulrych – Radio Luxembourg started up a real revolution!
What do you  associate Radio Luxembourg to?

I associate Radio Luxembourg  with  our youth, the atmosphere of the sixties, hippies, bigbeat. It was amazing! Especially the hit parade of Radio Luxembourg was amazing, because there were so many music bands, each of them was very specific, each had its sound, each was bringing something new. The most amazing bands, we noticed, were the Stones and of course the Beatles. They brought something different to the music, absolute naturalness, natural expression without any artifice. And they were not alone, I could mention many more names,. All that culminated in the Woodstock festival. It was our kind of iconic picture of music, because there was everything, Joe Cocker...beside that, there were already on drugs and so on, but the music was amazing.
Did you get this  information on  bands via Radio Luxembourg?
Yes. Just before records, singles and this stuff, we simply listened to Radio Luxembourg. It had a huge positiv impact with hippies, a  kind of breath of freedom and so on. It was a phenomenon for me. I remember, when I was about 17 or 18 and I in the military service, we made jokes about the way the radio DJ´s presented shows and were speaking with „giant-mouth American English“. And then it turned into a routine.
What do you mean?
Radio Luxembourg was a new thing – that thing has, like everything,  a positive and  a negative side. This loud „Radio Luxembourg, your station of the stars!“ has kind of started the era of celebrities and music stars. The era when suddenly one star was born after another. I  always remembered Albert Einstein´s sentence that a person should be respected but not adored. And there were suddenly new pop music stars forming a certain uniformity. I call it „hamburger sound“ – everything is suddenly so similar. But, watch out, it denies the thing that Radio Luxembourg initiated. That Kings sounded different than Manfred Mann, Cream then Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Right Radio Luxembourg denied the uniformity, they played different, specific music bands. Radio Luxembourg simply started a total revolution. With the coming complex showbusiness started also the huge uniformity that I mind today. This is a contradiction of what Radio Luxembourg came with, where every band was different and that was amazing.
Did Radio Luxembourg influence you in some way?
Sure. I like perceiving miscellaneous ethnic music, we make a little bit of klezmer-stylemusic. We try to absorb all the things as  broadly as possible. Radio Luxembourg influenced us with the variety that we saw in it. While here were played soviet mass songs, people heard chastushka´s  and such singing. Anyway, we simply  grew up on what we heard on Radio Luxembourg.






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