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My credo is for life –

He was born on July 14, 1939 in Pilsen. When he decided how to start his life, he wanted a career as a painter. But his dream was lost when he failed to try to study fine arts at the School of Applied Arts. So he practiced as an electrician and devoted himself to other hobbies, music. He did not forgive the painting.

Already in the fifties he participated in various singing and singing competitions in Prague cafes. By doing so, he worked in the CKD. However, in 1960, he left the company and accepted him at Prague State Conservatory and he continued his journey as a professional singer.

"My beginning is not always pleasant, so I remember it carefully. In other words, I tried to remember only the good ones. Such experiences included the fact that I came to the scene when young pop music was here. Something newly formed, formed and people want to hear it. They miss popular songs, they go to our shows from afar, they want to be there. In addition, this industry is a friendly atmosphere, very collegial and healthy competition, there is no revenge. we talked about who among us would be better, and that motivated us, "recalled Karel Gott in an interview that gave Supraphon, the media who published his albums, on the occasion of his life's jubilee.

The worst is not impressed

The first single was released to Karel Gott in 1962. It was a duet When we were twice as many as he sang with jazz singer Vlasta Průchová. In 1963 he got a permanent engagement at the Semaphore Theater, where he sang his first hit with Snow in the Snow. Jiří Šlitr and Jiří Suchý were signed by him.
Gott met Jiří and Ladislav Štaidl in the theater. Thanks to this, the history of the Golden and Czech Nightingales collections began in 1964. He had the first forty-two, five second places and three-thirds. He won the first in 1963, although he did not have a single record at that time and only received three points in the same year.

Karel Gott in 1967.

Karel Gott in 1967.


"What did I not like about that time? There will be more, but there is only one thing, even though I actually saved it at first. Editor-in-chief of television music editor, composer, pianist and dramaturist Jiří Malásek told me years later that besides the positive letters, there were also a number of threatening letters that reacted negatively to my first TV appearance. Today I received it with humor and insight, but who knows what will happen if I read all the letters at that time. But at the same time, I think it's good. The worst is, if someone does not give an impression, whether positive or negative, and no one cares. At the same time, that means he is not at all attractive to everyone, "Gott said.

At that time he was doing more and more abroad, both in the East and West blocs. In 1967 he received a six-month engagement at a hotel in Las Vegas, visiting New York, Los Angeles and Hollywood. In the US he met Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, Sammy Davis Jr. or Cher. He got a serious offer to stay and build a career in America. But he always refused.

After appearing at the MIDEM International Fair in Cannes in 1968, the French press wrote about it as a natural phenomenon.

He has established himself abroad

In 1968 Karel Gott held his first independent concert in West Germany and soon became one of the most successful singers in German-speaking countries. That must be because he sang and published a German album there.

"It's difficult to go abroad. It's difficult to change the opinions of world producers who decide who buys and who doesn't. Only our hockey players are interested in the world, not singers and groups. It seems paradoxical to me, but I feel that in the 1960s cultural exchanges were far more interested than they are now. And it's far from just a matter of some special singers. I remember that at Bratislava Lyre, there were various talent seekers who could attract anyone's attention. In the seventies, interest began to decline, but to me it seemed that he was still more interested than today. The world is open, but interest – with some honorable exceptions – is lacking. And it's not just about music, "he compared the era of music.

In German-speaking countries, Karel Gott is still popular. One of the most famous songs is Die Biene Maja (Maya Maya, 1977) by Karel Svoboda.

They see the quality in the song

Apparently, at the height of his career, Gott was in the 1980s. In 1985 he received the title of National Artist. Later, when he was best known for his age, he did not try to climb to the top of the charts where young and new players governed, but focused on making his songs good.

He carefully selected his repertoire, carefully considering how he would present himself and how he presented the song. After all, he sang pop songs, classics, rock and roll, opera arias, jazz and folk. In September 2008 he recorded the cover version of Forever Young by Alphaville with German rapper Bushid.

Karel Gott in 1983.

Karel Gott in 1983.


"How many times have I thought something might be better or different. And this is not just about the past. I will give an example. Some time ago I did some television and radio talk shows in Germany, and I just left the studio, immediately knowing what to add and what to say was better. But there is little time, I have to respond immediately. But in general – how many things can I do differently in my life! Or how many things I don't have to go! But it happened and could not leave, "said Gott.

The repertoire includes hundreds of regular albums and more than a hundred albums. The last line is Ta Pravá's collection from 2018. Two special choices of Singly / 300 songs from 1962-2019 and 80/80 Greatest Hits 1964-2019 are also presented at Supraphon in June 2019., it contains his most famous songs, including a new duet with his daughter Charlotte Ellou Hearts, but also lesser-known songs.

"To be honest, it won't be without the help of the audience. Actually, I do everything I do for a lifetime to my listeners and viewers. If I don't feel the physical response from them – and more than fifty-five years ago – I can't do my job anymore. It never occurred to me that I could sing and publish albums until the age of eighty, "Gott said on the occasion of the release of the last two sets.

PHOTO: Petr Hloušek, Právo

When asked if he still wanted something, he said, "I would not say that. Also, when someone wants something very hard, it usually doesn't work either. Right when the force pushes the saw, often only things must be done. Therefore, I prefer daily work, often ants, and often not seen. But when the results of this work become successful, I always enjoy being a child. And music, believe me, it is a faithful lover for life. "

Fighting disease

On January 7, 2008 he married in Las Vegas with his longtime colleague, Ivana Macháčková, with whom he had daughters, Charlotte Ella and Nelly Sofia. He has daughters from Dominica and Lucia from a previous relationship. This singer since 2010 is the grandfather of Lucie's daughter.

In October 2015, he was diagnosed with lymph node cancer, called Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He underwent a demanding treatment and after a while he managed to overcome the tumor with the help of a doctor.

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