1927 – Old One, Wind-Up the Gramophone

Photo: Panton

Today we continue with the year 1927, in the big poll of one hundred hits of the Republic, in which you pick the best and most famous Czech hit of the century.

Photo: Panton
By the early 1920’s, the first foreign jazz rhythms had begun to appear in Czechoslovakia. Naturally, musicians, songwriters and publishers did not let themselves be outdone, so this quite lucrative business was soon in full swing. In fact, they produced an ongoing flow of new modern dances.

One of these songs is the focus of this broadcast focused on 1927. The whole title is: Old One, Wind-Up the Gramophone, I Will Teach You Blackbottom. Even those rough words belonged to the deliberately provoking beginnings of jazz.

On May 27th the third election of President Masaryk took place.

On July 14th, a law on the organization of political governance was issued in Czechoslovakia, which meant a fundamental territorial reform of the country; the land was divided into administrative regions (Czech, Moravian-Silesian, Slovak and Podkarpatoruska).

On April 13th the Czech athlete and songwriter Jiřina Fikejzová was born.

So did the author's English pseudonym. Smith Kwiet was none other than František Alois Tichý, who at that time worked as a church organist and also as pianist in a bar. Only later did he start working as the bandmaster of the popular establishment. We are reminded of Tichý’s, (or rather Kwiet's) Blackbottom, thanks to a newer recording by the Original Prague Syncopated Orchestra and its singer Ondřej Havelka. In the meantime, the young people of this period strictly upheld the sound of the former bar groups, whose songs often consisted of only pianists and violinists playing on instruments equipped with some sort of an amplifying mechanism, or a so-called violin ‘phone’. You will hear it yourself: just as soon as the "old one winds-up the gramophone"!

Smith Kwiet/ Jan Volkov: Stará, natoč gramofon