One of Czechoslovakia's most pioneering pop groups before the crackdown following the Prague Spring of 1968 (and its after-effects), the Golden Kids -- made up of former Rokoko Theater members Helena Vondrackova, Marta Kubisová, and Vaclav Neckar -- made a name for themselves as the first Czech group to embrace movement and dynamics in performance, marking a shift from the standard, which was usually a singer standing in one place and not making much of a show of things. More than that, the Golden Kids were a youthful pop group, something relatively unheard of on the eastern side of the Iron Curtain during the first half of the Cold War. Begun in November of 1968, the Golden Kids came together after producer and composer Bohuslave Ondracek (aka Boban) suggested to the three Kids that they should leave behind the theater troupe and set out on a new path. Their first concert program, Music Box No. 1, was a success, and over the next few years the Golden Kids became hits and stars in their country (they also played a well-received show in Cannes, France), releasing two hit albums. Unfortunately, the world political climate was undergoing a major shift in the late '60s and early '70s, and the opening up brought by Prague Spring soon slammed shut. The Golden Kids, through coercion and official "suggestion," were no more by 1970. While Vaclav Neckar would go on to a successful acting and music career, Kubisová was not so lucky. One story has it that there were doctored photos showing singer Kubisová in a rather compromising set of positions. Kubisová's career would eventually -- after 19 years -- rebound, and Vondrackova would go on to a very successful pop career, but the legacy of the Golden Kids in the former Soviet satellite remained a testament to the attempts to bring some self-expression to a repressive time in Eastern Europe.
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