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8 December 1945

Maryla Rodowicz, born in Zielona Góra, began performing in 1967 at student festivals. In that year she won first prize at the Krakow student festival with the song 'Jak cię miły zatrzymać?'. In 1968 she featured as an actris in the tv film 'Kulig'. The soundtrack of the show featured three songs from Maryla namely 'Trzy, moze nawet cztery dni', 'Jeszcze zima' and 'Snieg na trzy', her first recorded songs. This gave her the chance to record a full album under the title 'Żyj mój świecie' ('Live, my world'), released in 1970. In 1973 she won the Grand prix du disque at the Sopot music festival with the song 'Małgośka' with lyrics by poet Agnieszka Osiecka. A year later, during the World Cup Opening Ceremony in Munich, she performed a song 'Futbol' ('Football'). This success triggered the DDR record company Amiga to release an album in the german language. The album featured some translated Katarzyna-Gaertner-Hits and a new song written by Czesław Niemens. Translated titles were (amongst others) 'Der Teufel sitzt vorm Paradies' ('Diabeł i raj'), 'Es zieht ein Lied durchs Land' ('Powołanie'), 'Und es fahren bunte Wagen' ('Jadą wozy kolorowe') and 'Marja' ('Małgośka').

Midway the seventies Maryla made a musical change to mix folk with to more pop, rock and even funk kind of elements. The albums 'Rok' (with her essential hit ‘Do lezki lezka' (‘Tear to tear') and 'Sing-Sing' mark this change. At this time Maryla also started to take more interest in het costumes she wore on stage. Flamboyant colours, boa’s, big hats are since then a part of her shows. In 1977 she even got awarded the Przekrój Award for outstanding accomplishments in the field of fashion and costume design. In 1978 she starred in another tv music film called 'Dziewczynka z zapałkami', directed by A.Minkiewicz. This also resulted in the more blues like album 'Wsiąść do pociągu' ('To enter a train'). 

During the seventies Maryla often performed abroad, even outside the communist union. She performed in France, together with chansonsier Joe Dassin, Italy, England and the USA.

At the start of the eighties rockmusic was allowed to enter the Opole competition. Oddly enough Maryla entered with the folky ballad 'Hej, żeglujże żeglarzu' sung in close harmony. She did not win but the song is featured on the album 'Święty spokój' ('The sacred peace'). The success of Maryla was obviously declining at the start of the Eighties. With the 1984 albums 'Był sobie król' ('There once was a king') and 'Gejsza nocy' ('Geisha of the night') she tried to incorporate modern genres like new wave and synthipop. Her fanbase didn’t approve. Due to this she decided to move USSR to tour and record there. In Russia she was still treated like a superstar.

In 1987 Maryla returned to Poland with the very political influenced album 'Polska Madonna'. The album written by Agnieszka Osiecka gives an emotional portrait of an average Polish woman trying to make ends meet in the communist era in Poland. In this song, the author questions whether the "Polish Madonna" (or, in other words, the Catholic Saint Mary, usually portrayed as holding the small Jesus in her hands) has enough money to pay for rent, promising her that the child will get a welcome allowance to the public kindergarten. The old communist promises were never fulfilled for her, and her dreams of having a lipstick "made in France" can only come true in her dreams. This open critisism was unthinkable in the years before 1987. In 1989 the communist party fell.

The start of the nineties were a autobriographical period for Maryla with a compelation album Full and an autobiography under the title of 'Niech żyje bal' ('Long live the ball') (1992). In her autobiography she states: “I like songs that enable people to see the beauty of life even in the smallest things”. During the nineties she also keeps recording irregularly. On march 3, 1997 the poet Agnieszka Osiecka dies of longcancer at the age of 60. Being Maryla’s inspiration and songwriter on several occasions, it was more then suitable she recorded an album in tribute called 'Łatwopalni' ('Inflammables').

She also tries the Latin genre, but only for a one off project. In 2000 she participates in the National Pilgrimage to Rome for the 80th birthday of the Polish pop. A series of concerts 'Niebieskie lato z Marylą' ('Blue summer with Maryla') organized by Radio Zet accompagnies the pilgrimage. In 2001 she undertakes a series of tv shows, focussing on several European pop scenes. For instance the tv show 'Tour de Maryla - Viva Italia!'  features Italian songs, 'Tour de Maryla - Ole!' Spanish songs. In 2005 she recorded an album 'Kochać' with lyrics by Katarzyna Nosowska. On the occasion of World Cup 2006, she recorded the song 'Za Janasa' ('For Janas') with the same songwriter's lyrics.

In 2008 Maryla is back with a very mature album, 'Jest cudnie'. With an acoustic combo, she sings a variety of serious ballads and mid tempo songs, influenced by South American rhythms. The lyrics of one of the songs are written by Kayah, another songs is composed by Czesław Niemen. In 2011 she teams up with Agnieszka Osiecka, the poet who translated Dylan songs for her in the sixties for the album 'Buty 2'. In 2013 her sixties and seventies catalogue is released on CD for the first time (previously they were only available as a special newspaper insert). Added to that is a series of albums called 'Rarytazy' filled with live performances and rare singles.

Maryla has a very active polish fanclub called Marylomania.

On the web:

- Maryla's official website: http://www.marylarodowicz.pl

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

Gabriella Ferri (Italy)

Josipa Lisac (Croatia)

What do we think:

DB: If i ever wanted to have a wild night in Warschau i think Maryla is the woman to give a call. The eleborate clothing, the Joplin-like act, and the loud voice al make up the picture of a woman who knows how to party. On the other hand Maryla also has a soft spot with comes out when singing the more folky ballad songs. Her albums are just as diverse as her personality. And just for the record, I do like Gejsza nocy album but I guess it's much to new wave synthipop for her folke followers. Oh well...

PR: Great, flamboyant personality. And a very outspoken singer with a great voice. She build a long lasting career during difficult communist years, but maintained her popularity after the fall of the iron curtain. She recorded albums in many different styles, so you better listen before buying. Her 2008 record 'Jest cudnie' might be a great introduction - it combines high quality songs and production and at the same time it has a familiar sound to it.

Recommended albums:

♪♪♪ - Żyj mój świecie (Live, my world) -1970

♪♪♪♪ - Rok (A year) - 1974

♪♪♪♪♪ - Sing-Sing - 1976

♪♪♪ - Wsiąść do pociągu (To enter a train) - 1978

♪♪♪ - Święty spokój ('The sacred peace') -1982

♪♪♪ - Gejsza nocy (The geisha of a night) - 1984

  ♪♪ - Był sobie król (There once was a king) - 1984

Polska Madonna (Polish Madonna) - 1987

Full - 1991

Absolutnie nic (Absolutely Nothing) - 1992

♪♪♪♪ - Marysia Biesiadna (Drinking Marysia) - 1994

Złota Maryla (Golden Maryla) -1995

♪♪♪♪ Łatwopalni (... Inflammables, 2cd tribute to Agnieszka Osiecka) - 1997

♪♪♪♪- Przed zakrętem (Before the turn), 1998

Karnawał 2000 (The 2000 Carnaval), 1999

♪♪♪ - Niebieska Maryla (Blue Maryla), live - 2000

Życie ładna rzecz (Life, a nice thing) - 2002

♪♪♪ - Kochać (To love) - 2005

♪♪♪♪ - Jest cudnie - 2008

♪♪♪ - "50" - 2010

♪♪♪♪- Buty 2 - 2011

♪♪♪ - Rarytazy I, II, III - 2013

Further listening :

Wyznanie ('Confession') - 1972; Maryla Rodowiczova (Czechoslovakian release) - 1972; Maryla Rodowicz (East Germany release) - 1973; Cyrk nocą ('A circus at night/A night lark') - 1979; 12 Najpiękniejszych kolęd ('The 12 most beautiful Christmas carols') - 2001; Maryla i przyjaciele ('Maryla and friends') - 2003

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