Gabi Novak Bookmark and Share


(Berlin, 8 July 1936.)

Born in 1936 from a mixed marriage between a Croat father (from Hvar) and German mother. She spent her childhood in Berlin. At the beginning of the Second World War, the family moved to Hvar. Her father died at the end of the Second World War but the Gabi and her mother did not return to Germany. In Zagreb he finished graphic direction of the School of Applied Arts. She worked in Vjesnik, and then to Zagreb as a stage designer fro films. In that line of work she was asked to overdub the voices of animated characters in popular Disney movies. Her vocal abilities got the attention of Bojan Adamič  who invited her to appear at concerts with his big band in Ljubljana. With that band she sang the themesong ‘Sretan put’ (Happy time) for the movie H-8. Her first solo performance was at Zagrebfest in 1958 with ‘Ljubav ili šala’ followed by a duet with Louis Armstrong at The Bled jazz festival. A first album appeared in 1961 which compiled EP’s that were released until then. In 1964 she received an offer to move to the US and sing for the western market. She declined feeling that the Anglo-American light music did not fit her voice. During the sixties she entered a period of partial silence only performing at certain occasions and carefully chosing the material. She married Stipica Kalogjera in 1964, but they divorced after a few years. Her second marriage, which lasts until today, was with singer/songwriter Arsen Dedic in 1970. Arsen found his muze in Gabi writing all her solo material from then on (next to his own albums) and sometimes record together. In 1973 their son Matija Dedic won. But for a long time Gabi was seen as the wife of Dedic. After 1988 and all through the war she stopped recording and performing at all. Being a war-child herself it is to be imagined she was appaled by the violence. A sign of life came in 1997 with a compilation of rare radio recordings. It was not until that she won a Porin music award for best female vocal performance for the performances on the album " Pjesma je moj život " in 2003 that she showed herself again. On the album she performs songs written by her son, now a renowned jazz pianist. In 2006 this is topped with a Porin for special contribution to the Croatian light music.

On the web:

- There is no website dedicated to Gabi

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

What do we think:

DB: For fans of the light-pop genre within Europopmusic Gabi Novak is absolutely a singer that is worth seeking out. In Croatia you could say that Tereza is the folk-side of the spectrum while Novak is more the jazzy-pop side. Being a person with a strong character she may not have a huge catalogue but almost every album is worth listening to. You might say she owes a lot to Dedic but as it is with muzes what would Dedic be without Novak.

Recommended albums:

- Pjeva Gabi Novak - 1961

♪♪ - Gabi - 1971

♪♪♪♪ - Samo žena - 1974

 ♪♪♪♪♪ - Gabi 77 - 1977

- Najveći uspjesi - 1978

- Gabi & Arsen - 1980

- Gabi - 1982

  - Nada - 1985

 ♪♪♪ - Hrabri ljudi (Gabi i Arsen) - 1988

- Adrese moje mladosti - 1997

 ♪♪♪♪ - Pjesma je moj život - 2002

♪♪♪♪♪ = 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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