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The foundations for the Yugoslavian pop scene are just as colorfull as the countries that make out the former republic. Strings of folkmusic called Narodna muzika (Cyrillic: Народна музика) also called 'фолк музика' ('folk muzika') or ' фолклорна музика' ('folklorna muzika'). Elements of the Kolo dance (Serbian Cyrillic: Коло , Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian Latin: Kolo) of which each region as its own unique form. And Sevdalinka music. Sevdalinka is the national music of the Bosniaks, but it is popular across the former Yugoslav region, especially in Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. Its roots reach back to the age of Ottoman Empire rule on the Balkan peninsula, but the actual composers of many sevdalinkas are unknown. The origin of the name is a Turkish word sevda meaning 'love' which brings in the oriental element. And last but not least is the influence of Italy and the cantautore tradition and light jazz music. The Slovenian Original Jazz Negode (around Miljutin Negode) was popular in the region around the 1920's.

Ivo Robić follows this Italian example and becomes one of the first internationally acclaimed artists just after WW2. He emerged in the Yugoslav music scene in the late 1940s. and the author of Strangers in the Night which was later popularized by Frank Sinatra in 1966. Robić was nicknamed 'Mister Morgen' following the success of his first international hit, 'Morgen' ('Tomorrow'), in 1959. That song was the first collaboration between Robić and German producer Bert Kaempfert.

Another popular artist was Đorđe Marjanović and his Plavog Ansambla (sometimes also called the Plavi Ansambl). As the house orchestra of Radio Begrado they introduced modern dances like the rumba but then with a Yugoslavian twist. Đorđe would go solo in the fifties and sixties he become well known for cover versions of French chanson. He had big hits with 'Natalie' by Gilbert Bécaud, 'Milord' by Edith Piaf and 'Igramo tvist' ('Let's twist again') by Chubby Checker. His biggest hit however was 'Zvižduk u osam' ('Whistle at eight') released in 1958. He was one of the first to translate and write his own lyrics over popular music. In Slovenia the same happened with popular folkduo the Avsenik brothers. Their 1953 recording of 'Na Golici' is considered a Slovenian national anthem.

The rock scene in Yugoslavia started to emerge in the 1950s influenced by the rock ‘n roll wave from the USA. Many young people started to play this new electric music, as they called it, naming themselves električari (compared to akustičari (acoustic), but one of the first who rose to prominence was the guitarist Mile Lojpur from Belgrade (born in Zrenjanin in 1930). Other eminent act that started in the 1950s rock ‘n roll scene was Karlo Metikoš from Zagreb, who after moving to Paris started an international career under the pseudonym Matt Collins.

•              Janjatović, Petar. Ilustrovana Enciklopedija Yu Rocka 1960-1997, publisher: Geopoetika, 1997 (Serbian)
•              Petar Janjatović "EX YU ROCK enciklopedija 1960-2006" ISBN 978-86-905317-1-4 (Serbian)
•              Janjatović, Petar. Drugom stranom - Almanah novog talasa u SFRJ (co-authors David Albahari and Dragan Kremer), 1983 (Serbian)
•              Dragan Pavlov and Dejan Šunjka Punk u Jugoslaviji (Punk in Yugoslavia), publisher:
•              Peter Stankovic, Slovene popular music as cultural heritage, University of Ljubljana