|Also known as||The Tigers, Golden Boys|
|Origin||Belgrade, Serbia, Yugoslavia|
|Genres||Beat music, instrumental rock, rock|
|Years active||1962 – 1967|
|Labels||Fontana Records, Jugoton|
|Associated acts||Tomi Sovilj i Njegove Siluete, Korni Grupa|
|Past members||Boba Stefanović
The band was formed in 1962 by high school friends: Slobodan "Boba" Stefanović (vocals), Velibor "Borko" Kacl (guitar), Predrag Lukić (keyboards), Dušan Banović (drums), and Vidoje "Vili" Brajević. Initially, the band was named The Tigers, but changed the name after a suggestion of journalist and chess master Nikola Karaklajić.
The band regularly performed at the dances held in club Euridika in Belgrade. During these evenings Stefanović performed both with Zlatni Dečaci and with Saša Radojčić's jazz trio. Moma Davidović and Tomi Sovilj performed with the band occasionally, but after some time, Stefanović remained the only vocalist.
Zlatni Dečaci wanted to break through to Yugoslav radio stations, which were at the time closed for beat music, so they started recording beat covers of classical music pieces. Karaklajić took those recordings to the Netherlands, where he participated in a chess tournament, managing to broadcast them on radio, so the editors of the label Fontana Records became interested in the band. The band, under the name Golden Boys, released the single "Swan Lake" (a theme from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's opera Swan Lake) and "Humoresque" (a version of a humoresque by Antonín Dvořák) through the label, becoming the first Yugoslav rock band to release a record for the foreign market. A year later, those two recordings, alongside versions of the theme from Charles Gounod's opera Faust and the Ion Ivanovici's waltz "Waves of the Danube", were released on the EP Humoreska, released by Jugoton. With these compositions the band gained nationwide popularity and performed across Yugoslavia. Their next EP, released during the same year, featured the songs "Čudna devojka" ("Strange Girl", a cover of Marty Robbins' song "Devil Woman"), "Sadko" (a theme from Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's opera Sadko), "Napušteni dom" ("Deserted Home", a cover of The Four Pennies song "A Place Where No One Goes"), and "Foxtrot Oriental". The single was sold in more than 100,000 copies.
In April 1966, thanks to Karaklajić, they left to England. Karaklajić was invited to a chess tournament, and to acquire visas more easily, he represented the band members as young chess players. The band performed in Bognor Regis in front of some 1,500 people. They performed covers of rock hits, but their cover of Macedonian folk song "Jovano Jovanke" saw greatest success with the audience. Before returning home, the band also performed in the club Shoreline. During the same year, Brajević left the band, and was replaced by Gradimir Janković.
In 1967, the band released their third and the final EP with the songs "Sam" ("Alone", a cover of Bobby Vinton song "Mr. Lonely"), "Samo ti" ("Only You", a cover of The Who song "It's Not True"), "Pamtim taj dan" ("I Remember the Day", a cover of the song "Skokiaan" written by August Msarurgwa), and "Ne želim kraj" ("I Don't Want the End to Come", a cover of The Zombies song "Kind of Girl"). During the same year, after the performance on the Belgrade Spring Festival, Stefanović left the band. The rest of the band continued with the vocalist Moma Davidović, but soon ended their activity.
Stefanović started a successful career as a pop music singer and composer, recording five studio albums and about fifty 7" singles, and winning numerous awards at Yugoslav and international pop music festivals. In 2015, he died in Belgrade, at the age of 69.
Davidović moved to France, where he recorded several 7" singles under the names David Colsberry and David Loris.
Brajević moved to the United States. He self-released a CD with all recordings made by Zlatni Dečaci in a limited number of copies. He wrote the book Album sa sličicama iz mog života (Album with Pictures from My Life), originally published in Washington, D.C. (1985), and later in Belgrade (2000).
Zlatni Dečaci played as a backing band on Miki Jevremović's highly successful EP 18 žutih ruža (18 Yellow Roses), released in 1964, and on Zlatko Golubović EP Op Hop, released in 1967. For Vladan Slijepčević's 1967 film Where to After the Rain? they recorded the songs "Ti, samo ti" ("You, Only You") and "Jovano Jovanke", released on plastic foil by Jugoton.
- Labuđe jezero (1966)
- Čudna devojka (1966)
- Sadko (1967)
- "Swan Lake" / "Humoresque" (1967)
- EX YU ROCK enciklopedija 1960-2006, Janjatović Petar; ISBN 978-86-905317-1-4