Dou Souvenir and chanson

Chanson takes an important place in our life and work. Our memories are about the fascinating and interesting but sometimes also a difficult road that we have traveled to the world’s favorite musical genre.

Being a musician instrumentalist and also a husband of the wonderful singer Lyalya Rubleva, who at that time was not yet named Lyalya Rubleva, I repeatedly thought, like many other musicians, that it would great to try to become a composer.

This thought of becoming a composer is a joke, I thought to myself, perfectly aware that composers are Tchaikovsky, Dunaevsky, Ostrovsky … And what?! Suddenly Lyudkovsky! But one day I get acquainted with the poet Yan Galperin, who lived five minutes from me in the center of the Israeli town of Bat Yam, and we became friends.

“White tablecloth” – our chanson debut

We got to work fast!. I wrote my first composition for Yan’s lyrics, and we called it our masterpiece”The White Tablecloth”. Later on NTV we shot a video clip for this song, and our first chanson record “The White Tablecloth” was released. We recorded in the studio belonging to a musician form Yugoslavia, Petr Paich (bass guitarist of Georgi Marjanovich and Radmila Karaklaich band). It was recorded by first-class musicians Nick Kishenevsky, Ilya Bershadsky, Alex Slutsky, Alex Kantsberg, Igor Perchuk and my oldest son Andrey Lyudkovsky.

Right after the first album, we started recording the second album,”Ah, life of an emigrant.” In total, almost seventy co-written, dear to heart songs, were born from our creative alliance with Yan Galperin, mostly in the style of Russian chanson, and at that time, in those years, when there was not yet such an abundance of sibilant, creaking and purring singers, our business went well. After I finished composing and recording our songs, I decided to make a small edition of CD’s so that I would not come empty-handed to Moscow and join the Russian show business.

Writing songs is not hard!

Boris Lyudkovsky and Yan Galperin were immediately surprised by the fact that the singer Lyalya does not have her own repertoire. “Borya, you’re a great musician,”Yan told me, “but what’s next?” Next to such a beautiful singer you have to become a composer and start writing songs for her. It’s easy, now every other person does that, so you can too, and I will help you!”

And it was done! Yan Galperin was an enterprising person, with his go get attitude the world heard song performed by many singers from the Russian show business industry. Among the performers, to name a few, are the band “Na-Na”, Larisa Dolina, and even Pugacheva herself, with the song “Robot”, however, there was some kind of a sketchy story there. Yan said that those were his lyrics, and Mihail Tanich claimed that he wrote the lyrics for that song, but that was just what I heard from Yan.

Eventually, Galperin supplied me with first few lyrics: He said: “We will make your wife a chanson singer, give her a stage name Rubleva. and she will become Lyalya Rubleva, and everyone will call her Rubliha, like Pugacheva-Pugachikha! “Fortunately, that was also Laylay’s great-grandmother” name.

“Moscow’s music hit” – another important step”

Seeing the clip “White Tablecloth” on TV, Lyalya was noticed by editors of the TV channel TV-6 and was invited to conduct together with Irina Saltykova the music program “Moscow’s music Hit”, which was a great opportunity for us to promote.

Invitations to perform in concerts started to roll. These were the days when casinos were working in Moscow. The times of the cooperative movement, of muddy water and big bucks. Russian chanson was heard from all the bars and taverns. Lyalya and I performed with pop stars, and with chanson crowd. At that time, the first music radio station “Rox” was born and aired for the first time from Leningrad. It was organized by the pioneer, music lover, enthusiast, Alexander Frumin, who unfortunately passed away in 2017 at the age of 51.

Chanson and frumin – synonyms

I want to stop and and talk about a very important persona in Chanson, Alexander Frumin. Frumin was a kind and talented person, thanks to whom in fact, the phrase “Russian Chanson” started.

Sasha was the first organizer and founder of the radio “Chanson”, as well as the “Russian Radio”. it’s with his determination, the world got to hear the records of Alexander Rosenbaum, Michael Krug, Elena Vaenga, Arcadia Severnogo and many, many others. We were also lucky to make friends with Sasha Frumin and to release two of our albums at his studio “Night Taxi”.

We first met in 1998 in Leningrad at the Concert Hall “Oktyabrsky”, where one of the first gala of concerts was held under the title “Russian chanson”, which was organized and produced by Alexander Frumin. Lyalya and I arrived from Moscow together with our good friend Misha Gulko, a real legend of the

chanson genre, and who first recorded the most intimate immigrant songs that people listened and sobbed to all over, including in America, Western countries, filled with immigrants from the former republics of the Union, and in mother Russia. Everyone heard the magical songs “Poruchik Golitsyn”, “Murka”, “White Birch”, “Years of Youth”, “The Blue Skies of Russia” …

About misha gulko – separately!

About Misha Gulko I will have a separate story, since this man has done a lot for us and helped us in our formation in America. So, in 1998 when Lyalya and I came to St. Petersburg to perform, we were very surprised: only male artists took part in the concert, and Lyalya was the only female singer.
The concert was fabulous! The audience was ecstatic, Mikhail Krug performed before Lyalya and Frumin, who was also the host of the concert, announced: “And now about to perform before you, please welcome Lyalya Rubleva !”

The audience froze. This was our first performance in such a huge hall, where the audience were true lovers of the chanson genre. After Lyalya finished her performance, at first there was a dead silence, it seemed like a wave of shock went through the audience. But a second later a burst of applause took over the hall! And we realized that this is a victory. we’ve been accepted!

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