TV shows and festivals: The birth of Slovak popular music show business

The hype at the birth of the “cult of the celebrities”, like in the world, took on a real form in the song contest Malá televízna hitparáda – Small Television Hit Parade (1967 – 1973), which followed the tradition of the previous programmes Zlatá kamera – The Golden Camera and Vyberte si pesničku – Choose a song. They were competition shows, in which viewers’ votes decided about the winner. In the 1970s and 1980s further shows came: Našich deväť- Our nine, 5xP and Triangel – Triangle. In this way mainstream singers got popular, a new singing generation took the lead (H. Bleharova, M. Docolomansky, A. Duchon, E. Duricova, A. Gondolan, D. Grun, I. Heller, T. Hubinska, J. Kocianova, Z. Kollarova, Z. Kolinska, K. Konarik, E. Kostolanyiova, I. Krajicek, M. Laiferova, M. Licko, Z. Lonska, E. Mazikova, M. Medvedova, V. Oravec, D. Ruzicka, P. Sedlak, E. Sepesiova, Z. Sychra, O. Szaboova, D. Ruzicka, A. Ticha, E.M. Uhrikova and others). Despite the fact that their popularity was created artificially by the media, we cannot deny the high interpretative level of some singers, for example. in the case of K. Duchon, D. Grun, J. Kocianova, E. Kostolányiova and M. Laiferová. In the 1990s songs of this period became an important element in some TV shows (Repete, Šlágerparáda or evenings with R. Kazík or P. Stašak).
An important step in bringing the entertainment nearer to the western methods in connection with show business was an author’s contest Bratislavská Lýra – Bratislava Lyre, organised once a year from 1966 for nearly three decades. The festival had a great importance as a form of social entertainment and it was also the confrontation of domestic and foreign song creation. Singers and composers were given the opportunity to establish themselves in public. Even more significant foreign singers and bands had concerts there. After 1989 Bratislava Lyre gradually disappeared. Another important competition on the national level was the Festival politickej piesne – Political song contest in Martin (1972 –1989). It was also the illustration of a new “committed” production. As a result of cheap conformity of that time, the festival was not very prestigious. However, it presented the then popular music scene in the best way. It gave space to less known bands and singers mainly from the field of young performers and creators, allowing us to gain a fresh insight into the background of newly emerging popular music. A significant role was played by regional festivals Detvianska zlatá ruža – The golden rose of Detva, Banskobystrické zvony – Bells of Banská Bystrica and Košický zlatý poklad Gold Treasure of Košice. The festival Děčínska kotva – Děčín anchor was the most important for Slovak singers, as at this festival contestants from Slovakia had a unique opportunity to perform at the Czech festival.