A Dream Come True

ABC Records become the first Square Dance label in Eastern Europe.

by Jirka Scobak, Caller of Karolina SDC Bratislava & ABC Records Producer

In the beginning, there was a dream. The dream of my best friend Slamak to publish at least one Square Dance record. I admit, I did not believe it would be possible for a long time. Later on, this idea excited another friend of mine, the caller-beginner Ond� "oukup. He began to plan together with Slam� which kind of songs would be possible to remake into the Square Dance form. In the end it was not only one record. They met a musical band that was willing to spend a lot of hours with music, thinking which instrument is suitable for which passage and to learn how music for square dancing is made. In the autumn of 1997 we were sitting in the studio listening how the first guitar was being recorded. I began to believe that the dream might come true.

A new trademark, ABC Records, was introduced at the beginning of summer 1998. ABC Records is also the first publishing company of the Square Dance records in Eastern Europe. The company resides in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. At the beginning a set of seven singing calls was prepared. They are going to be published by the beginning of 1999. Production of these calls was being prepared by three callers-producers Ji�"lamak" Slaby, Jirka Scobak and Ond� "oukup together with the band DOMUNO for more than three years.

For us the miracle is that our first records are finished and are being distributed around the world. Several hundred records have been already sold. If somebody told us something like this one year ago, we would consider him to be crazy. We intended to sell them mainly in Europe. Finally, a German record businessman, Lothar Weidlich, persuaded us to go for the biggest market in this area - the USA. We received two answers on our inquiries from distributors. One of them was from Bill Heyman from Supreme Audio. We choose Bill Heyman as we had known him for long time. He supported our first caller school couple of years ago and all our callers own his demo cassettes. He had a lot of patience with us. He was willing to answer all our questions and helped orientate ourselves in the market that we had known so far only from a consumer point of view.

The band DOMUNO has been playing for 15 years and they are very universal. The base of their music is dixieland and country, similarly to many other bands in our country where country music and country style have a tradition of around ten years. A lot of instruments are played on our records. In this way music gets variability and brightness which the electronically made compositions do not have. The solo instruments include electric guitar, violin, saxophone, and piano. We tried to make every passage with the different instrument or in a different way.

Callers in Eastern Europe have a different style of calling; when we learned how to call, we did not have any callers to follow, so we developed independently. Generally, callers in the Czech and Slovak Republic are focused very technically. We usually call DBD and we use sight calling mostly. The reason is that the age average of our dancers is 25 years and they like DBD a lot. In our singing calls we try to warm our dancers up mainly by creating a good atmosphere, by giving an energy and laughter.

Detailed information about our records is on the Web Site.

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