Sarolta Zalatnay Bookmark and Share


17 december 1947

Sarolta Zalatnay (born as Charlotte Sacher) grew up in Budapest. At the age of 16 she auditions as a singer with the folk/jazz band Bergendy. They started recording old fashioned melodies but soon enough changed into more modern material. With the band she appeared in the Hungarian Television's song contest named Táncdalfesztivál (Dance Song Contest) in 1963 with the song Hol jár az eszem? (Where is my mind running?). The band developed a style that would be known as Beat Ablak and Zalatnay was pushed forward as lead singer. In 1967 under her nickname Cini she won the contest with the song Nem várok holnapig (I am not waiting till tomorrow), which was accompanied by the Hungarian rock group Omega. It gave her a chance for a studytrip to Paris and London in 1968-69 during which she got acquainted with the members of the Bee Gees group. Back in Hungary in 1969 the musical climate already changed and underground bands like Omega and Metro. With the last band she records some singles before state label Qualitation releases her debut album ‘Ha fiú lehetnék’ in 1970. But her breakthough came when she performed in the alternative musical movie ‘Szép lányock, ne sírjatok’. In 1971 she wins first prize on the Dance Song Contest with ‘Fák, virágok, fény’ (Trees, flowers, light). With Locomotiv GT she started recording two follow up albums. The band also introduced her to songwriter Anna Adamis. Zalatnay was a big success and her albums sold over 400.000 copies.

In 1973 she broke with the LGT team to switch to Skorpio with whom she recorded the album ‘Hadd mondjam el’ including elements of funk, beat and synthesizer experiments. Responsible for this was pianist Gyula Papp. LGT meanwhile started to record with singer Kati Kovacs which turned competitive with Zalatnay. Both singers and band would perform in the music film ‘A kenguru’ in 1976. In 1974 she got married with Sándor Révész (the singer of the successful Hungarian rock group called Piramis), but they divorced later on.

At the start of the eighties Zalatnay’s star started to fade next to a whole new musical scene. She turned to writing an autobiography called ‘New vagyok en apaca’ (I’m no nun). In 1987 she married László Benedek and got a daughter in 1989. After the fall of communism in 1991 she became board member of the Felicity Party, since 1995 she also became active as chairman of the Hungarian Animal Protection and Nature Federation.

In 1995 she also married third husband Márton Csaba, a pornfilm director. Although not a very faithfull husband he swept Sarolta into a TV-production venture called CiNN TV. He also pursueded her to get a boob job at the age of 54 and pose for Playboy. In 2004 she appeared in the Hungarian Big Brother days before she had to sit out a three year prison sentence for tax fraud. This also was the end of her third marriage. In prison she worked in a new book and in 2009 she performed again for a documentary about her life. In february 2009 she released a second biography with a new album ’Magadat vállalni kell’

On the web:

- Sarolta's website: http://www.zalatnay.netau.net/

If you like this, you probably like... / european counterparts:

Anni-Frid Lyngstad (Sweden)

Maryla Rodowicz (Poland)

What do we think:

DB: Sarolta Zalatnay...roll that exotic name over your tongue a few times and you know this must be great stuff. And indeed it is. folkpopprog-singer/model/actress from Hungary Sarolta has the voice of Janis Joplin with a Hungarian temper and a nose for good music and bands. She was there at the forefront in the sixties and seventies with bands like Omega, Locomotiv GT and Skorpio. Made enemies just as quick as she made public appearances. A phenomena in Hungary and hardly known outside. Her career after 1990 has been laced with dodgy marriages, uncontroled TV appearances and being prey for the paparazzi. Lately she gets some recognition abroad due to a fine compilation the British finders-keepers label released in 2009..


♪♪ - Ha fiú lehetnék (If I Could Be A Boy) - 1970
♪♪- Zalatnay - 1971

♪♪♪♪ - Álmodj velem (Dream of Me) - 1972

♪♪♪♪♪ - Hadd mondjam el (Let Me Tell) - 1973

♪♪♪ - Szeretettel (With Love) - 1975

♪♪- Színes trikó, kopott farmer (Coloured Jerseys, Shabby Jeans) - 1976

♪♪♪- Minden szó egy dal (Each Word Is a Song) - 1978

- Tükörkép (Mirror-Image) - 1980

♪♪ - Nem vagyok én apáca - 1985

- Privát levél (Private Letter) - 1988

- Ave Maria - 1989

- Mindig kell egy barát - 1995

- Fák, virágok, fény - 1998

- Visszajöttem! - 2003

♪♪- Magadat vállalni kell - 2009

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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  EUROPOPMUSIC - Central Europe