1931 – 14th segment: Gipsy


In this series we introduce 100 songs that have gone down in the history of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic. Vote in the big poll of the 100 Hits of the Republic and pick the greatest hit today. We continue with the year 1931.

Many protests led by unemployed workers took place throughout the year.

May 1st marked the official opening of the Empire State Building in New York City.

On September 28th, the Prague Zoo opened for the first time.

On February 9th, the Czechoslovak football international and winner of the Golden Ball award, Josef Masopust, was born.

Today the term folk song brings to mind names like Karel Vacek, Jaromír Vejvoda, Josef Poncar and, of course, a number of other successful songwriters who have made their way into history books. The first three named are noteworthy, not only because they were all born in the same year (1902) but because they also caught the attention of large audiences at home and abroad nearly simultaneously, at the turn of the 1920s and the 1930s.

Karel Vacek was the first to reach the hearts of listeners at the beginning of the 1930s with his hit Gypsy. The song, which took the form of a sentimental tango, was successful at home and even in very distant countries. Perhaps the only difference was that the German-speaking countries sang it in the male gender: "Du, schwarzer Zigouner" while the English and the Americans chose to use either gender with their translation "Play To Me, Gipsy".