Category Archives: Raimonds Pauls

Soviet Pop Music: Jaak Joala – I’m Drawing You

The song below was performed in 1981, and I listened to it on a vinyl disk throughout 1980s and early 1990s, for as long as my vynil disk player was OK. On my way back from Tallinn in 2002 I shared a compartment with a lady who told me that in the years since the USSR demise Jaak Joala denounced his work on the Soviet pop scene. I don’t know exactly what he meant, and he surely has the right for his own opinion, but I hope he didn’t mean to dismiss the songs by Raimonds Pauls, including the one you are about to listen.

Indeed, this is what the Soviet analogue to the Top of the Pops looked and felt like (it is called The Song of the Year and runs to this day). And the dashing Jaak Joala, tall, handsome, with a great voice has obviously helped to shape the type of men I like. Another Estonian who also impressed me as a child was an actor Lembit Ulfsak.

The song I’m Drawing You is about a guy who loves a girl and so draws her portraits, thus bring her in his life even before she crosses the threshold of his house. I think many of us have worn the guy’s shoes at least once in life. The lyrics by Andrei Dementiev, music by Raimonds Pauls.

Roses, Postcards, and Raimonds Pauls

As the author of the IMDb.com review points out, you wouldn’t find a single person not in love with the story told in the TV series, The Long Road in the Sand-hills (1980). It was shot in Latvia, directed by Aloiz Brench, with a score by Raimonds Pauls.

Raimonds Pauls has long been one of the best-loved Soviet composers, and I grew up listening not only to “adult” songs he wrote for established performers, like Alla Pugacheva, Laima Vaikule, Valery Leontiev, Jaak Joala, but also to the songs he composed for the children choir and band “A little cuckoo“, of which he has long been the head. Just as Mikael Tariverdiev brought the classical air to his compositions, so did Pauls successfully bridged the Soviet and Western music. As a pianist, he performed Gershwin and Scott Joplin, among others.

The postcards you are about to see has been my Mum’s life-long passion. She received her own postcard with a rose from her aunt in 1967, but the earliest postcard in this video actually dates back to 1961, and was printed in Bulgaria. As she recalls, in the early 1960s quite a lot of Bulgarian postcards circulated in the Soviet Union. The postcards from a would-be 16th republic were glossy, a novelty for the Soviet postal cards market that was saturated with paper cards. Since then my mother has been collecting these postcards that were sent to her by friends and colleagues from all corners of the U.S.S.R. It was her, as well, who scanned and remastered those postcards that required a bit of love.