Shulzhenko Klavdiya Ivanovna (1906-1984) Soviet songstress, actress. People's Artist of the USSR. Participated in the Great Patriotic War. Born on March 24 in Kharkov in the family of the railway accountant. Her father was fond of singing Ukrainian songs, he hoped that his daughter become a singer. Hence, the girl dreamed of becoming a drama actress. Klavdiya Ivanovna later wrote that it was due to the movie with Vera Kholodnaya and Ivan Morzhukhin and the Kharkov Drama Theater, headed by the prominent director of those years, Sinelnikov.
Klavdiya was admitted in the theater troupe in spring of 1923. She served there for five years. However, her desire to sing was overwhelming and Shulzhenko moved to Leningrad. On the stage of the Music Hall, she sang two songs in the music performance "Conditionally killed" to the music by Dmitri Shostakovich. Isaac Dunaevsky was conducting. There she met her future husband Vladimir Coralli. He worked as the entertainer, satirical couplets performer and tap dancer. Their son George was born in 1930 but despite of it the creative couple toured a lot.
Nine years later in 1939, Shulzhenko became the winner of the first all-Union Competition of pop singers. The jury really liked three songs - “Girl, Farewell”, “Chelita” and “Memo” performed by the singer. When the concert ended the singer immediately received the invitation to the House of Sound Recordings. She recorded five songs there – this fact meant entering the all-Union scene. Discs with her songs, made by Aprelevka and Noginsk factories, were distributed throughout the country.
The theatre jazz orchestra directed by Shulzhenko and Coralli was created in 1940. When the Great Patriotic War began, Shulzhenko joined the army – she became a soloist of the front ensemble. Her concert dress and heels - whether it is the House of Culture, the airfield or the forest edge were her constant companions. During the siege of Leningrad, she participated in more than 500 concerts. Klavdiya Ivanovna was awarded with the medal "For the Defense of Leningrad" and the Order of the Red Star.
Soldiers especially cared for the song “The Blue Scarf”. This song became the singer’s visit card of the singer for many years. After the end of the war, Klavdiya Shulzhenko continued her concert activity. In 1954, the singer’s first LP record was released. In March 1954, she took part in the movie "Merry Stars” directed by V. Stroyeva. The same year she divorced Coralli and married camera operator George Epifanov. In November 1962, for the great achievements in the field of Soviet variety art Klavdiya Shulzhenko was awarded with the title of The People's Artist of the RSFR.
Klavdiya Shulzhenko became a symbol of the era. Unpretentious songs that she performed became the stories of life, animated either with castanets, or with a bunch of letters, with a lilac branch or a blue scarf. Since 1950, the singer has closely cooperating with the famous composer Isaac Dunaevsky. During this period, the songs "Letter to mother", "The School Waltz" and others were created.
The last record "Portrait" was recorded by Klavdiya Shulzhenko in 1980, the same time she wrote memoirs "When you ask me...". In 1983, the documentary "You are invited by Klavdiya Shulzhenko" — a story about the life of the singer that she narrated herself was released on TV. One of the most popular songs of the time "Waltz about Waltz" by composer Eduard Kolmanovsky, words by Yevgeny Yevtushenko.
K. I. Shulzhenko died on June 17, 1984 in Moscow. She was buried at the Novodevichy cemetery.
Based on adopted texts from the popular science publication "One Hundred Great Vocalists"; LLC "Publishing House" Veche ", Moscow