November 1, 1942 |
České Budějovice, Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
(present day Czech Republic)
|Associated acts||The Golden Kids|
Marta Kubišová (born 1 November 1942 in České Budějovice) is a Czech singer of iconic significance. By the time of the Prague Spring of 1968, with her song "Modlitba pro Martu" ("A prayer for Marta"), she was one of the most popular female singers in Czechoslovakia.
In 1967 she won Zlatý slavík award (English: Golden Nightingale). Her song "Prayer for Marta" became a symbol of national resistance against the occupation of Warsaw Pact troops in 1968. During the Prague Spring, she recorded over 200 SP records and one LP, Songy a Balady (Songs and Ballads, released in 1969), which was immediately banned from stores. In 1970, the government falsely accused her of making pornographic photographs leading to a ban from performing in the country until 1989. She was a signatory of the Charter 77 proclamation. Her first LPs after the Velvet Revolution in 1989 were a re-issue of Songy a Balady and a compilation of old songs, titled Lampa.
Born 1 November 1942 in České Budějovice, Kubišová's father was a cardiologist, her mother was a housewife, who later sold records in Celetná street in Prague. In 1952 the family moved to Poděbrady. Wanting to get to college after graduating from high school, she started to work in Poděbrady glassworks. Her singing career began with a dance group which performed in Nymburk at the afternoon teas. In 1961, she reached the finals in Hledáme nové talenty ("The Search for Talent"). In 1962, she lost her job in the glass factory, and auditioned for the Stop Theatre in Pardubice. In 1963, she moved to Theatre Alpha in Plzeň to perform in Black Dream, a production by Ludvík Aškenazy. She began collaborating with Václav Neckář and Helena Vondráčková in December 1965, when preparing for performances of Waiting for Fame. In 1967 she won Zlatý slavík. A song, "Prayer for Marta", with lyrics by Petr Rada, became a symbol of national resistance against the occupation of Warsaw Pact troops in 1968. On 1 November of that year, she joined with Neckář and Vondráčková to create the popular group, 'Golden Kids'. In 1969 she won her second Zlatý slavík award and married film director Jan Němec. A year later, she won the Zlatý slavík a third time, but she had to receive the award in secrecy of the office of the Mladý svět magazine due to the commencing normalization. The last performance of the Golden Kids took place on 27 January 1970 in Ostrava.
In February 1970, the government banned her from performing in the country on the pretext of alleged pornography, based on the three falsified photo-montages as evidence. She took the director of record label Supraphon, Hrabal, to court for libel, and although she won, she only had her rights fully restored 20 years later, after the Czechoslovak communist regime fell in 1989. During that time, she could only perform at underground invitation-only events. In the late 1980s, she auditioned to become singer of the group The Plastic People of the Universe, but this was disallowed by the secret police.
In 1971, she suffered a miscarriage in the eighth month of pregnancy and survived clinical death. She married director Jan Moravec after divorcing her husband Jan Nemec, who had emigrated to the United States. After signing Charter 77, her prosecution and monitoring by the communist state secret police escalated. From 1977 to 1978 she participated as a spokesperson for Charter 77.
On 1 June 1979, she gave birth to her daughter Kateřina. On 10 December 1988 after a long absence from the public eye, she appeared at a demonstration on the 40th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, during which she sang the Czechoslovak national anthem. On 22 November 1989, during the Velvet Revolution, she sang "Prayer for Martha" and the Czechoslovak national anthem from a balcony on Wenceslas Square. Then followed the reissue of Songy a Balady, and in 1990 she returned to the studio and the stage. On 2 June 1990 she performed the famous show "Marta v Lucerně", for which she was awarded the Golden Nightingale in 1970. The music was performed by the group Energit and directed by Lubos Andršt, with whom she then went on tour to perform 60 concerts around Czechoslovakia, as well as shows in Japan, Paris and Berlin. In 1991 she co-hosted Advent concerts. Two years later she rejoined with Vondráčková and Neckář in a Golden Kids comeback. On 28 October 1995 she received the a state award – the Medal of Merit – from President Václav Havel. Adam Georgiev released her biography, Chytat slunce (Catching the Sun), in 1995. On 7 March 1998, she was awarded the Honorary Medal of T.G. Masaryk at a ceremony in the ballroom of Prague Castle. In October 2002, she was bestowed with the St. Wenceslas Honours. Three years later, her second biographical book Asi to tak sám Bůh chtěl, written by Luboš Nečas, was published.
For several years, she regularly prepared recitals her home stage at the Prague Ungelt Theatre. There she also appeared in a chamber musical Líp se loučí v neděli, and was awarded the Thalia prize for her performance. In 2005 she released a novelty album, Vítej, lásko, the full text to which was written by John Schneider. In 2008 Supraphon released her first DVD.
- Micro magic circus (Supraphon, 1969)
- Golden Kids 1 (Supraphon, 1970)
- Songy a balady (1969, 1996)
- Lampa (1990)
- Někdy si zpívám (1991)
- Singly 1 (1996)
- Nechte zvony znít (Singly 2) (1997)
- Dejte mi kousek louky (Singly 3) (1998)
- Modlitba (Singly 4) (1999)
Films and TV
- Pátrání po Ester (2005)
- Kameňák 2 (2004)
- Zdivočelá země II (2001)
- Zpověď Ungelt (2000)
- Noční hovory s matkou (1999)
- Stalo se na podzim (1994)
- Hodnota tváře (1992)
- Zvláštní bytosti (1990)
- Vražda ing. Čerta (1970)
- Proudy lásku odnesou (1969) (TV)
- Bylo čtvrt a bude půl (1968)
- Kulhavý ďábel (1968)
- Gramo / Hit 68 (1968) (TV)
- Náhrdelník melancholie - Sedm písní Marty Kubišové (1968)
- Jak se krade milión (1967)
- Píseň pro Rudolfa III. (1967)
- Mučedníci lásky (1966)
- Vysílá studio A (1966)
- Revue v mlze (1966)
- Mareček, Luboš (8 November 2009). "Marta Kubišová v Brně ukázala, že je ikona nejen na parádu" (in Czech). Mladá fronta DNES. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
- Jan Sedmidubský: Husáku, proč? Příběh Marty Kubišové, Český rozhlas. In: Téma: Ozvěny normalizace. 40.–42. minuta. 29 July 2007 (repríza)
- Milan, Hlavsa; Pelc, Jan (2001). Bez ohňů je underground. Praha: Maťa. ISBN 80-7287-020-3.
- Müllerová, Alena; Hanzel, Vladimír (2009). "Slovníček". Albertov 16:00 Příběhy sametové revoluce (in Czech). Praha: Nakladatelství Lidové noviny. p. 274. ISBN 978-80-7422-002-9.
- Media related to Marta Kubišová at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- Prayer for Marta (Modlitba pro Martu)
- Those who were in the Revolution, are still riding on it - An interview with Marta Kubisova published in the Slovak internet weekly inzine.sk and the Czech daily Blisty in 2003