The book about Tom is somewhat of a Nikšić story

Journalist Nikola Kankaraš published the book "Toma Zdravković - Recorded in Time". After the promotion at the Book Fair in Podgorica, there will be a presentation in Belgrade on Sunday, May 26

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Nikola Kankaraš at the Book Fair in Podgorica, Photo: mediabiro
Nikola Kankaraš at the Book Fair in Podgorica, Photo: mediabiro
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

In addition to numerous other reasons, the fact that he comes from the city of bohemians and artists, a young man from Nikšić, a journalist Nikola Kankaraš it encouraged research, writing, and then the publication of a book dedicated to one of the greatest Yugoslav bohemians, the poet of the soul and the tavern "Toma Zdravković - Written in Time", whose publishers are Belgrade's Kosmos izdavaštvo, Podgorica's Nova Knjiga and Nikšić Radio Television.

"I was definitely encouraged by the fact that I come from a city of bohemians, from a city of artists, a city of people who achieved success in various areas of social interest, and there are still such people today, and they should be encouraged to pass it on to other generations and other environments. Taking all that into account, this is, among other things, a Nikšić story. I tried to through writing about To Tom Zdravkovic I also weave the spirit of our Nikšić bohemians", said Kankaraš in response to Vijesti's question what attracted him as a young man to decades of work and research, but also to collecting records, cassettes, books, newspaper articles, photographs, after which he decided to try his hand at it. and as the author of a publication about the life and work of a man who became a classic in the world of (folk) music.

"It is interesting that in the meantime we have not received anything of better quality, not only in the sphere of music, but also in anything else that was created in Yugoslavia. We didn't get anything better, nothing that in terms of value surpassed what was created at that time. Then everything was created with the intention of lasting, that's why it lasts to this day and will outlast this time and these people. In the absence of something better, what was then considered kitsch or junk, meanwhile became a classic, an anthology, evergreen...", explained Kankaraš.

He presented the book about Tom at the 18th Podgorica International Book and Education Fair as part of the rich program on the fourth day of the event, and on that occasion, in addition to the author, the editor-in-chief of Radio-Television Nikšić spoke about this manuscript. Nikola Markovic, director and producer Branko Baletic who collaborated with Zdravković on the film "Balkan express" and spent time with him, and she was the moderator Jelena Krsmanović from the New Book.

The promotion of the book was also announced in Belgrade on Sunday, May 26, at the "Kosmos" bookstore in New Belgrade, at 19 p.m., and Kankaraš is pleased to point out that the interest is great, as evidenced by the fact that about half of the print run has already been sold.

"The book is dedicated to my father and my uncle who were the beacons of my childhood and growing up and who were exactly the type of people who, I think, would be happy to meet in a tavern with Tom Zdravković and talk about life and enjoy that story and conversation. As he stated in the review Saša Gajović, between the lines, the book reminds us of some forgotten values, of a past era in which people lived and functioned differently, as well as some people we have forgotten," Kankaraš told Vijesti.

Kankaraš pointed out that it is wrong to focus only on the tavern and folk music when talking about Tomi Zdravković, because it is, after all, a much broader and more complex story.

"That would be a really sad trivialization of his personality and his entire career. The story of Tomi Zdravković is the story of people from small, rural areas who experienced success without predestination. If we add to that his appearance, a physiognomy that might not have looked very appealing for television, although he had endless charm, charisma and energy that simply caused an avalanche of emotions in the listeners, he managed to make an international career out of those impossible conditions. We have to keep in mind that he never belonged to a typical variety show, because as Mr. Baletić said, Toma was more of a poet, a man who felt life, who lived for the moment, enjoying life and who loved endlessly and boundlessly people, was a brother of all people, a great humanist", Kankaraš said.

He also reminded of Zdravković's love for art, as a teenager he played in the Leskovac Theatre, to start playing music at a very early age, and later he was sympathetic to creators from all spheres, often bought works of art, participated in film productions and the like.

"Definitely, Toma is today a classic of folk music, although at that time he might have been considered a punk, but also avant-garde in a way, because he managed to combine both the countryside and the city, because his music came from urban areas. He overcame that groove that had existed until then and that looked at that kind of music from a rather pejorative aspect. When we talk about the artistic in his music and songs, we have to say that his musical role models were Frank Sinatra, Tony Dallara, Domenico Modugno), as well as Jacques Brel (Jacques Brel), of course, and Gilbert Bécaud, that he followed the then San Remo. So, again, these are some more conscious influences at the time when those songs were taken off the radio...", Kankaraš told Vijesta.

In addition to other things, "Toma Zdravković - Recorded in Time" on about 440 pages represents the most comprehensive collection of newspaper articles and interviews to date, and among Kankaraš's interlocutors are: Toma's wife Gordana, Zoran Kalezić, Milutin Popović Zahar, Duško Kuliš, Aleksandar Aca Ilić, Ljubiša Pavković, Boris Bizetić, Branko Baletic, Željko Samardžić, Žarko Laušević, as well as the former leaders of Jugoton, but also many others. Kankaraš also said that until now there was no rich biography of Tom Zdravković, although books were printed, but their contents were mostly based on newspaper articles or colleagues' memories of him. In his manuscript, he strove to avoid pathos and sensationalism, but to provide an insight into the chronological life of Toma Zdravković from childhood to death, without being somehow a banal devaluation of his personality.

"There are many anecdotal and personal moments in the book, because somehow we are all intimately connected to Toma, we all listen to it in our own intimacy, but if we speak from the artistic aspect of his songs, we must say that they are songs of exceptional textual and musical quality quality, as well as arrangement. He collaborated with, at that time, eminent orchestras and ensembles, he had the 'crème de la crème' of the then Yugoslav music scene in his albums, and we can see that he was no stranger to other trips to other spheres of cultural activity," said Kankaraš on promotion.

The book also contains about 300 photos from private life, as well as careers, some of which are now publicly presented for the first time...

"I tried so that every illustration evokes his life and creative path, which was extremely thorny," added Kankaraš.

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