How Sergey Zakharov's career after prison: the complicated story of the famous baritone of the USSR

The singer in question could have been a radio technician, a soccer player, a worker... But his unique voice was incomparable to others, and everyone liked it. The focus of our article is Sergei Zakharov and his creative path.

The Life of the Pop Singer Sergey Zakharov

Estrada appeared in the 1960s of the last century as Inimitable style of Soviet song. Compared to modern Russian by pop music it is considered to be more elitist, classical and induces a sense of inexplicable nostalgia. Muslim Magomaev, Joseph Kobzon, Ludmila Zykina, Anna German and other performers gave prestige to the genre and made it world famous. But if these names are remembered without difficulty, the name Sergei Zakharov, another of a pop singer from the USSR remains forgotten, although this "Mr. X." has made a tremendous contribution to musical history Soviet Union.

The early years, shrouded in a passion for singing

Sergey Zakharov was born in 1950 into a military family. At first, together with his family, he often moved around different cities, so he could not concentrate on his future. Singing the future maestro of the Soviet variety Started when he was 5 years oldI was not even thinking about a music career at first.

"I think my passion for music began with my love for the radio: as a child I listened to a lot of music, tried to imitate the vocals of famous singers of the time, such as Georg Ots...," Zakharov said in one interview.

Then the boy learned to play on his own On guitar and accordion, accompanied in the dance ensemble and that's when he started singing. And the first "tour" of the young Zakharov happened in the army - he was appointed company choirboy.

Sergey Zakharov as a young man
Sergey Zakharov as a young man

After fulfilling his military duty, Sergei went to Moscow. In 1971 he entered the department of musical comedy of the Gnessin Collegewhere he studied for two years. Here Zakharov was noticed by the legendary Leonid Utesov and offered a job at State Variety Orchestra. Finished studying music and singing the future pop singer in Leningrad.

"Margarita Landa, Yulia Lordkipanidze - they were my teachers. And I'm very grateful to them for giving me my breath and my voice...," Zakharov shared about his teenage years.

Career Launch and All-Union Success

Velvet baritone. It was this peculiarity of the singer's voice that helped him to succeed on the the all-union musical arena. Zakharov's career didn't take off right away: he had time to international song festivalsBut a large audience was quite far from knowing the singer.

Sergey Zakharov on Stage
Sergey Zakharov on Stage

The search for himself brought Sergei in cinema: director Leonid Kvinikhidze offered the singer a starring role in the film "Heavenly Swallows.". In it, Zakharov played the handsome young lieutenant and is remembered for his luxurious mustache.

About his role in "Sky Swallows" the singer said: "I really got infected with the movie, I liked it all very much. New things inspire me a lot, and they offered me a great role, I immediately appreciated how similar we are to the lieutenant...".

Sergei Zakharov in the film "Heavenly Swallows"
Sergei Zakharov in the film "Heavenly Swallows"

The All-Union success seemed impossible to lose: the singer ascended to the stage like a true star. of the Leningrad State Music Hallwhere he worked very well with the director Ilya Rakhlin. Regular tours, performances, fame...

Troubled times...

The radical turning point in the singer's career occurred at the peak of his performing career. In 1977 Zakharov was convicted of fighting and went to serve one-year sentence to the town of Slantsy. The maestro himself believes that he was provoked because the Soviet authorities were not happy about the star baritone's refusals to perform at private events for the nomenklatura. There was also the story of the Ludmila SenchinaZakharov toured with her. The singer was then courted by a party official Grigory Romanovwho tried to "eliminate" a competitor in the person of Zakharov.

"In those days ... it could have meant the end of a creative career ...," the singer said of the incident.

Troubled times in the Slantsy He was shaken by the fact that people close to him had turned away from him, but on the other hand he was pleasantly surprised that his admirers remained. The criminal record was later expungedand with slow steps the former prisoner began to return to the stage. It was difficult, but he made it and even gave in 1983 great recital in Oktyabrsky Concert Hallwhich was attended by the entire Soviet elite.

In the '90s, the pop went to the second planBut Zakharov did not adjust to modern realities. In the new Russia the singer supported Boris Yeltsinand has often spoken in his support. In 1996. heavy loads have become a cause of overwork, and Sergei miraculously survivedHaving survived suspended animation. But it did not become an obstacle in the way of the singer either.

Sergey Zakharov during the performance
Sergey Zakharov during the performance

Friendship and Conflicts with the Masters of Soviet Pop

Sergey Zakharov had a huge layer of connections in the musical sphere, both positive and negative. For example, among his mentors he named the pop composer Arno Babadjanyan, poet Robert Rozhdestvensky, composer Matvey Blanter, Aleksandr Pakhmutov. The singer managed to work with these celebrities, and he was very grateful to them.

However, Zakharov's vocal career might have turned out differently if not for another pop singer Joseph Kobzon.

"His career may not have been as bright because of Kobzon, who through his connections tried to 'slow down' the St. Petersburg baritone in Moscow," recalled one journalist familiar with Zakharov.

At the end of the day...

The last years of the Soviet pop master's life were spent doing what he loved. He took a great interest in studio recordings and started CD with his own songs and compositions of other pop singers, as well as continued to speak for a small audience.

Singer Sergey Zakharov
Singer Sergey Zakharov

Zakharov's influence on the Soviet stage is hard to overestimate: his performance of the legendary "Mr. X's Aria.", "The Three White Horses." will forever be remembered in history.

"My principle: don't regret anything, no matter what happens!" was the motto with which the singer lived.

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