Monday, 8 June 2009

Legendary Czech singer dies in Florida

Waldemar Matuška in the 1970s

Lilly Pavlak reports that during the recent Strakonice Jamboree in the Czech Republic, the news came that the legendary Czech country singer Waldemar Matuška had died at his home in Florida, USA, on 30 May at the age of 76. The audience honoured his memory with a minute's silence and the singing of one of his trademark songs.

A multi-instrumentalist known mainly as a banjo-player, 'Walda' was enormously popular, and in a long career made some thirty albums and starred in over twenty films. He toured overseas with his band K.T.O. and emigrated to the USA in 1986, revisiting his homeland frequently after the fall of the communist regime. His last wish was to be buried in the Czech Republic. A farewell ceremony will be held in Prague later this month.

Read a full report by Lilly here.

Waldemar Matuška sings in front of his band K.T.O. at the Strakonice Jamboree 2004 (photo: Lilly Pavlak)