Tonika was first formed in Burgas in 1969 by a graduate of Bulgaria's National Music Academy, Stefan Diomov. Tonika grew in national recognition and was part of the 1974 New Year’s celebration on Bulgarian National Television In 1975, the group moved to Sofia and released their debut LP on the Balkan-ton label, which was the national record label for Bulgaria. In both 1976 and 1977, Tonika won the Bulgarian national music award Zlatniyat Orfey (Bulgarian: Златният Орфей), or Golden Orpheus, which further confirmed their status as pop stars. In 1978, Tonika released their second LP, which featured many of the best studio musicians in Bulgaria. Tonika won many awards during the yearly music festival in Aytos for over two decades, particularly in the 1970s. Music has always been very important in the culture of this former Iron Curtain republic and Tonika still has a considerable following today. Tonika performed more than 200 concerts per year in the 1970s in addition to their TV appearances, recordings, and rehearsals. Tonika is also known as Tonica, Tonica SV, Domino, and Familia Tonica (Tonika Family).
Tonika Family Members
- Stefan Diomov – producer (1969 to 1986)
- Georgi Naidenov – guitar, vocals (original member of Tonika) (joined Domino 1981)
- Eva Kostadinova-Naidenova – vocals (original member of Tonika) (joined Domino 1983)
- Anastasia Bincheva-Vladowski – vocals (original member of Tonika) (until 1979)
- Yakim Yakimov – guitar, vocals (original member of Tonika) (until 1974)
- Harry Sherikan – guitar, vocals (Tonika 1974 to 1975)
- Ivan Hristov – guitar, vocals (joined Tonika 1975) (joined Domino 1981)
- Krassimir Gyulmezov – vocals (joined Domino 1981)
- Violeta Ivanova-Gyulmezova – vocals (joined Domino 1981)
- Vanya Kostova – vocals (Tonika SV 1981 to 1986)
- Militsa Bozhinova – vocals (joined Tonika SV 1981)
- Ralitsa Angelova – vocals (joined Tonika SV 1981)
- Dragomir Dimitrov – vocals (joined Tonika SV 1981)
- Theodore Shishmanov – vocals (Tonika SV 1981 to 1982)
- Emil Vassilev – vocals (joined Tonica SV 1982)
- Songs as TONIKA
Lado Le (1976) S. Dimitrov - Z. Petrov Let It Be Summer (1977) S. Dimitrov - M. Basheva If I Caress You (1978) S. Dimitrov - N. Kunchev A Farewell (1975) S. Diomov - S. Gotzov Sea (1975) M. Ganeva - A. Yordanova Day after Day (1976) M. Ganeva - P. Stoykov Light (1974) D. Mihaylov - N. Andreev (Cover of Sugar Baby Love in Bulgarian) My Friend (1974) S. Gotzov - K. Dragnev (Cover of Amazing Grace in Bulgarian)
- Songs as TONICA SV
My Girl and I (1981) S. Diomov - V. Vulchev Like a Dream (1981) S. Diomov - M. Belchev - P. Slavchev The Boy from the Barge (1981) D. Kerelezov - N. Troshanov Auld Lang Syne (1983) Scottish folk song on lyrics by R. Burns (Bulgarian translation by V. Svintila) If We Could (1983) A. Yossifov - D. Damyanov - S. Marinov Malayka (1983) Tanzanian folk song (arranged by S. Diomov) Oh, Malyao (1983) Portuguese folk song (arranged by S. Diomov) No Problems (1987) M. Stoyanov - H. Yotsov
- Songs as DOMINO
This Wonderful World (1985) by Czesław Niemen, words by E. Mihailova (arranged by K. Gyulmezov) A Window Still Alight (1983) Y. Popov - D. Kerelezov - I. Kutikov Modern and Retro (1983) G. Naidenov
- In 1979, Almost all of Tonika’s records and taped TV appearances (except a few hidden copies) were destroyed by the Bulgarian government and banned due to a political scandal that occurred during a tour of Western Europe and Asia. The group was forced to disband and they were not allowed to perform for a period of two years.
- In 1994, The entire cast of The Tonika Family reunited (including the four original members) and did four concerts in Burgas and Sofia. In 2000, a CD of the music performed at these concerts was released on the StefKos Music Label.
- In 2001, the Balkanton label released a compilation LP entitled, The Gold Hits of Bulgarian CLASSICAL POP Music which includes the Tonika favorite, "Let It Be Summer."
- Anastasia (Sia) Vladowski of Tonika is the mother of American Idol (season 3) finalist Leah LaBelle.