1959 – 42nd Segment: “Under One Roof”

Illustrationsfoto: congerdesign, Pixabay / CC0

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 1959.


The reservoir Lipno was built in South Bohemia.

On September 1 the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Technical University in Brno was established.

On December 10 Jaroslav Heyrovsky received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his discovery and development of the analytical polarography method.

In the 1950s a bright new star came to shine alongside Karel Vacek, Jaromír Vejvoda, Josef Poncar, Antonín Borovička and other folk veterans. Karel Valdauf’s achievements quickly multiplied. He not only impressed his large audience – he also appealed to officials by addressing rural collectivization and the departure of young people from rural to urban areas.

At the end of the decade Valdauf’s new polka became a hit, probably due to the text. It was a common life story: a normal childhood sitting at a school desk, followed by young love and disappointment.

Photo: congerdesign, Pixabay / CC0
Valdauf and his lyricist Ladislav Jacura knew this audience, most of whom had grown up in the countryside, and were very familiar with their taste. To this day, the polka “Under One Roof” brings back memories for many listeners. Even those who do not appreciate the song can give it credit for selling over 150,000 copies.

Vote for the best song of the century!