Krakow

Marek Grechuta

more than a year ago
With his catchy spoken lyrics, roaring drinking habit and rumoured schizophrenia, Marek Grechuta was the embodiment of tortured genius. His place in Polish music history is cast in stone – think of this guy as the Polish Bob Dylan. Born in Zamość in 1945, he learned the piano from an early age and as a high school kid took his first tentative steps playing Sinatra and Presley with his mates. Moving to Kraków to study at the University of Technology, Grechuta teamed up Lennon-and-McCartney-style with Jan Kanty Pawluśkiewicz. Together they formed the 'Kabaret Architektów Anawa,' Grechuta penning the lyrics and the guy with the long name writing the music. In 1967 Grechuta scored his big break, taking second place in the annual Student Song Festival. Televised nationwide the competition catapulted him into the public eye and from there success followed success with a string of awards bestowed upon him. Although he left Anawa in 1971 his dealings with Pawluśkiewicz were far from over, and the two collaborated on a musical adaptation of Witkacy’s 'Crazy Locomotive.' For ten years he was a frequent performer in Kraków’s Pod Baranami, his popularity surviving the vicissitudes of time; his music is still broadcast regularly, and in 2003 he worked with Myslovitz, one of the biggest names in contemporary Polish music, on their hit 'Krakow.' Honoured at the Opole Music Festival for his contribution to music, Grechuta died the same year and is buried in the 'Alley of the Distinguished' in Kraków's Rakowicki Cemetery.

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