1961 - 44th Segment: “Grandma, Teach Me the Charleston”

Edita Štaubertová, photo: Czech Television

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 1961.


The census took place on March 1 (Czechoslovakia had 13,745,377 inhabitants). For the first time in its history, Prague's population reached a million.

April 12 saw Yuri Gagarin become the first man to make a space flight aboard the Soviet ship Vostok 1.

The turn of the decade brought a great dance sensation. While various attempts to create new socialist dances failed, the 1920s Charleston returned to Czechoslovakia’s dance halls. Its old-fashioned spell captured young dancers and composers of propaganda music alike.

One of these was Ludvík Podéšť, who was chief of the Army Artistic Ensemble in the mid-1950s and composed songs like Red Army Tanks (Tanky Rudé armády) and Where We Are, Spring Does Not End (U nás jaro nekončí), which we remembered as the hit of 1953.

Edita Štaubertová,  photo: Czech Television
This talented composer wrote hits that won over the general public regardless of the day and a recording of his comically named song “Grandma, Teach Me the Charleston!” sold nearly 280,000 copies.

The success of the song also proved a boon to the young singer Edita Štaubertová. Her vocals were accompanied by the experienced and upbeat orchestra of Karel Vlach. Let’s follow in their shoes and learn the Charleston from our dear Grandma!

Vote for the best song of the century!