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Folk singer Wabi Daněk, tramping song icon, dies

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Prague, Nov 16 (CTK) – Czech folk singer Wabi Danek, whose songs became popular in the country in the 1970s and 1980s, died after a long illness at the age of 70 on Thursday, his family told CTK without elaborating.

The songs of Wabi Danek became famous in the scouting and tramping movement and one of them, Rosa na kolejich (Dew on the Tracks), became an unofficial hymn of the people who were meeting around camp fires on Friday and Saturday nights.

Critics compared Danek to the country music legend Kris Kristofferson.

Wabi Danek, an ambulance driver by profession, won the main prize of the Czech annual folk song festival Porta several times. He wrote more than 150 songs. He played for Czech expatriates in Australia, the United States and Canada.

In May, he had one of his last performances in Prague within a concert marking the 80th birthday of Jiri Tichota, founder of the Spiritual Kvintet folk band.

Music critic Jiri Cerny said Wabi Danek was a natural singer able to write melodic songs with good texts. Along with Jan Nedved, Wabi Danek was the most prominent figure of the new wave of the Czech tramping music and he can also be considered a folk singer, he said.

Danek’s first album Dew on the Tracks (1984) is one of the best debuts in Czech pop music, Cerny said.

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