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Farewell Violetta Villas (10 June 1938 – 5 December 2011)

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Farewell Violetta Villas (10 June 1938 – 5 December 2011)

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The night of John Waters’s Christmas show at Royal Festival Hall, I came home to learn that the great, tempestuous Polish diva Violetta Villas (10 June 1938 – 5 December 2011) had died earlier that day at her home in the village of Lewin Klodzki aged 73. My Polish friend, work colleague and fellow Violetta fan Marta (the village where Marta is from borders Lewin Klodzki) had both texted me and Facebooked me alerting me of her death. I first learned of the existence of Violetta Villas from the reliably excellent The Homoerratic Radio Show blog on 25 January 2011. It described her as a “Polska Yma Sumac” and provided a link to an MP3 of Villas singing an intoxicatingly strange but appealing Polka-Mambo hybrid entitled “Czterdziesci Kasztanów (Forty Chestnuts)”: think Latin exotica from behind the Iron Curtain. You can listen to it here , and I recommend you do. I downloaded the song and frequently drop it into my Dr Sketchy set lists, especially towards the end when I’m drunk.

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Farewell Violetta Villas (10 June 1938 – 5 December 2011)

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