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R.A. Dvorsky & The Melody Boys * Czechoslovak Swing * (Biography + Recordings)
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Sa Mär 19 2016, 19:59 Druck Ansicht
⇒ Mitglied seit ⇐: Mi Nov 25 2015, 22:12
Wohnort: Zutphen
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R. A. Dvorský

T. Břicháček
Translated by Timo Hovenkamp
Information and photos courtesy of CS Retromusic.
Link - Hier klicken

Anthony Rudolf Dvorsky was born in Dvur Kralove nad Labem in 1899, where he spent his childhood and graduated from business school. Since childhood, his life's passion was music; He learned to play the piano, guitar, harmonica and violin, and in his teenage years he began writing songs.

During World War II he had several job of the business and administrative type in Dvur Kralove and the surrounding area and in Trutnov, in the Kralovedvorsko brewery. In his free time he began composing melodies to songs, and on this field scored some successes, though many of these songs was released by music publishers (eg. Kralovedvorsko songs, 1917). At end of the war he worked as conductor of the Royal Court string orchestra and as a member of the local amateur theater group, where he met his future wife, Maria.

In the spring of 1919 he left the job in the brewery and hometown and moved to Prague, where he since had been permanently dedicated to music. First there from 1919 to 1924, he worked for a music Publisher, Springer. In his spare time he devoted himself to composing, particularly in the evenings featured as a pianist for various companies, such as Hašlerova. In 1920 he married in 1922 his son was born: Miroslav.

After leaving the publisher Springer has been alive only as a musician. He performed for different shows in restaurants, cafes and the newly starting radio. In 1925 he obtained permission from the authorities to change his name to R. A. Dvorsky. That same year he founded his own group of four Melody Makers, who in the late 20s became one of the major bands in the Czechoslovak music scene; also performed successfully abroad. The band, however, did not last long; in 1929 it fell apart.

In 1929, however, Dvorsky establishes a new set of Melody Boys, who, as it turned out, had the fame of the previous band to overcome. The ensemble was from the beginning brimming with quality musicians who dominated the musical game on multiple instruments (one of them was in the first phase trumpeter and singer-songwriter John Doe). Members of the group also well managed polyphonic singing, which became in the thirties, among others, with their assistance very popular.

Melody Boys took full advantage of modern technology: songs from their repertoire were recorded on gramophone records and they performed on the radio, which resulted in them becoming fairly well known fast to a broader public. Considerable success with audiences was in 1931, when Vackova Gypsy song was released: records with this recording sold a record amount. In the first half of the 30s in the repertoire the polkas, waltzes and tangos, prevailed still.

Since the early 30s Dvorsky appeared as an actor in many films in supporting roles (eg. From Saturday to Sunday), where he was engaged rather because of their appearance and reputation, than for acting abilities. More often in films he featured along with Melody Boys as a musician (eg. Men in Offside, Cácorka).

In 1936 Dvorsky started a new music publishing company, which in the coming years successfully developed into one of the largest in the country. The publishing house focused on the modern dance songs, but also entertaining folk music (esp. Brass bands).

In the second half of the 30s, and especially to their end, the Melody Boys begin to gradually focus more on modern dance music influenced by swing, while Dvorsky increasingly performing as a solo singer. The band becomes one of the most important and sought-after ensembles in the country. He plays on the radio, in movies, acting in the best companies such as Prague's Barrandov terraces or Carlsbad hotel Richmond.

In 1937 Dvorsky played along with Hana VÍTOVÁ major role in artistically undemanding but commercially successful film Fireplace without fire.

The Peak Dvorského career was in the bleak years 1938 to 1944. From this period come most of the songs from his repertoire, which are still known to a wider audience today. Then the Dvorského expanded orchestra, focused essentially on modern dance music swing style (although also was appropriate for the audience to continue to play polkas, waltzes, folk songs) while Dvorsky performed as a solo singer. At this time Dvorsky worked with the best and brightest contemporary Czech composers (eg. With Jiri Traxler, Kamil Běhounek, Leopold Korbařem, Alfons Jindra Vaclav Pokorny) and songwriters (eg. Karel Kozel and Jaroslav Moravec). In this period the Dvorsky orchestra performed a series of major concerts, among others. In Prague's Lucerna and on concert tours throughout the former Protectorate.

R. A. Dvorsky's peak of fame was long, but the end of his career came in essence, on the contrary, very quicklu. At one of the concerts for laborers in the autumn of 1944 in an unheated factory hall he caught cold, got pneumonia, and then he got a tuberculosis. He spent the end of the war and the liberation in a hospital bed. He left the hospital until early 1946.

After his release from the hospital he stopped working as bandleader for health reasons, he returned and continued only as music publisher. At least in this field excellent prospects loomed when he managed to establish relations with foreign companies. Promising developments, however, were put to a stop in February 1948. Before that, much more significantly, was another (family) tragedy - the loss of his only son Miroslav, who died in the fall of 1947.

In 1949 the publishing house Dvorsky was nationalized and placed under the state owned publisher Orbis. In the years 1949-1953 Dvorsky worked as a clerk for Orbis and for other state music publishers. His marriage, which for years was not harmonious, fell apart after the death of his son.

In this atmosphere he began to think about emigrating with the hope of getting a job in a music publishing company in the United States. In 1950 he joined the group that was planning to leave the country in small civilian aircraft. The plan ultimately did not materialize, however, after he was divulged and Dvorsky, along with other participants, in September 1953 was arrested and sentenced to five years imprisonment. The punishment was with a court of appeal reduced to three and a half years. Due to health reasons (again, he got a tuberculosis) he was conditionally released.

After returning from prison for Dvorsky appeared last ten years of his life in which, after many years of silence, again he pursued an active musical career. First, he returned to his former compositional activities; several songs which he composed music for became popular in his day. Since 1957 also again he performed in public, especially in various entertainments. On Suprahon records he sang a few more songs, the last of which was recorded just weeks before his death. He died prematurely aged, in 1966.
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So Mär 20 2016, 07:12
⇒ Mitglied seit ⇐: Mi Nov 25 2015, 22:12
Wohnort: Zutphen
Beiträge: 28

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