The Golden Voice of Prague
The Golden Nightingale, Sinatra of the East, the Golden Voice of Prague, the Maestro, Divine Karel, or the Bringer of Good Tidings. These are just a few of the nicknames that Karel Gott has earned over the course of his 60-year career. He began in the cafés of Prague, where the young Gott fervently listened to jazz improvisation and danced to Western rock ‘n’ roll. He first performed in front of a live audience at a campfire gathering in 1957. Soon thereafter, he participated in amateur competitions that helped him win his first gig at the Vltava Café. The same year, he earned his apprenticeship papers and began working at the ČKD Stalingrad machine works – but singing enticed him so much that he left his job and began attending the State Conservatory. On the stage of the Semafor Theatre, he brought the bel canto opera technique to popular songs, and by the second half of the 1960s he was a part of the international world of show business, appearing on stage in Monte Carlo, Cannes, Moscow, Montreal, London, Las Vegas, and Rio de Janeiro with hits such as C’est la vie, Pošli to dál (Pass it On), Bum Bum Bum, and Lady Carneval. The amateur singer had become a star of Czechoslovak pop music.