January 01, 2009

In Search of Bards

How It All Began

In the fall of 1986, Soviet television broadcast a landmark event. It was a two-hour program called “Let’s Join Hands, My Friends” (Возьмемся за руки, друзья), whose title was taken from a famous song by Bulat Okudzhava.

It’s not that there’d never been any previous mention about the two or three generations of guitar-playing poets – known here as “bards.” Yet mentioning the name of the exiled, avowedly anti-Soviet singer Alexander Galich had been tacitly prohibited, and Yuly Kim had just said farewell to his required pseudonym, “Yuly Mikhailov,” which he’d used when songs he’d written appeared in film credits. What was remarkable is that this was the first time in the many years of television, which didn’t have independent channels yet (and now it doesn’t have them anymore) that people whose songs the entire country was singing were broadcast.

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See Also

Vladimir Vysotsky Site

Vladimir Vysotsky Site

The official site of the Vladimir Vysotsky Fund. Vysotsky’s poems, songs and prose are here, and you can create your own selection of your favorite songs. The sections “Vysotsky in the Theater” and “Vysotsky in Film” offer a nearly complete profile of this poet and artist beloved by all Russians. The site is as useful for those extremely well-versed in all things Vysotsky, as it is for the novitiate.

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