1965–48th Segment: “Teresa”

'If a Thousand Clarinets', 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 1965.


Louis Armstrong performed at the Lucerna Palace in March.

After several years, student celebrations were officially permitted, and the American Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg was named the ‘King of May’.

On December 19th, Charles de Gaulle re-elected as the French president.

In 1965, the Semafor Theater continued to be one of the most interesting cultural scenes in Prague, especially for young people. It introduced two new musicals that year. In June, it premiered “A Well Paid Walk,” starring a girl named Vanilla and her millionaire aunt from the west. The other musical premiered even earlier, in January 1965. Even though “If a Thousand Clarinets” was released as a film, it was also noteworthy for its music. It remains popular in its theater form to this day.

'If a Thousand Clarinets', photo: Czech Television
In addition to the clever elaboration of basic humanism, the production featured impressive songs created by Mr. Suchý and Mr. Šlitr - sometime referred to as ‘clarinets.’ These were performed by nearly all of the leading Czechoslovak singers and musicians. The spectacular show revolved around the love affair between the film soldier Waldemar Matuška and the television editor Teresa in the performance of Jana Brejchová.

The first version of this song was only accompanied by a piano and a rhythmic band. It was so well received that it sold over 150 thousand records in the 1960’s alone.

Vote for the best song of the century!