Searching for Vadim Kozin, the Soviet tango king

[from the BBC News website]

_87375908_zhukov_band976Vadim Kozin was one of the most famous singers in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, but in 1944 he disappeared – banished to Siberia. Half a century later the British singer, Marc Almond, heard some surviving recordings and became a devoted fan. Together, he and I set out to discover the story of Kozin’s long and strange life.

Marc Almond knew nothing of Kozin when he first encountered his music during a concert tour of Russia in 1992.

“I had no idea about Russia, or the Soviet Union then,” he says. “We went to Siberia and Omsk and Novosibirsk. It was winter and I played in these freezing places with paint peeling off the walls, a ropey piano and one overhead lightbulb. But the audiences were just wonderful. People would come up after the show and give me what they had – a jar of jam or a bunch of flowers, or a cassette. It was magical – it opened up a new world to me.”

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