Pogodin Arkady


Arkady Pogodin was born in 1901 in the family of Odessa doctor Solomon Piliver. The entire family members were keen on theatre and music. Young Arkady undertook his first steps on the way to stage at the age of nineteen, the revolutionary and civil war period. It was not surprising since it was a time when a great number of amateur and semi-professional theatres emerged. In the mid-twenties, Arkady from Odessa to Moscow following the invitation to participate in the “Blue Blouse” theater performances. In parallel with it, Arkady performed in the so-called “torn genre” – he was singing funny songs of “Parisian gamin” and made a shot at cinema. Silent film comedy of 1927 “The Unpaid Letter” by the noteless film director Leonid Molchanov has been preserved until the present time days. In 1929, Pogodin was invited to the Theater that was affiliated to the Moscow House of Press. Composer Konstantin Listov, the musical director of this theater was another Odessa citizen. He was the future author of the popular songs “Tachanka”, “Dugout”, “Sevastopol Waltz” and others. Being the friend of Arkady Pogodin, the composer recommended him to bone up on vocalism. Staying in the same place and continuing his work in the theater of “small forms”, Pogodin began studying to prep for the operatic career.

In 1938, the singer got the role Albert in the musical comedy “Subtle Diplomacy” by J. Strauss. Later the famous art director A. Arnold offered him the star part in the operetta “The Chocolate Soldier”, composed by the Pokrass brothers and based on the pieces by Bernard Shaw. This performance, which opened the summer season of the 1939th in the Central House of the Red Army, played a decisive role in the singer’s life and career. The jazz orchestra directed by Alexander Tsfasman took part in this performance and the composer invited Arkady Pogodin to become the soloist of his orchestra. Arkady sang popular songs before cinema performances in the “Khudozhestvenniy” film theater – the most popular in Moscow at that period. When the program was completed, he rushed to record his voice on gramophone records, later he broadcasted during the All-Union Radio night air as well. Pogodin performed couplets, sketches and one-act performances together with his charming wife Olga Aroseva, the actress of the Moscow Satire Theatre.

His friend - composer Konstantin Listov made a wonderful gift to the singer, offering him to become the first performer of his song “In Chair Park”.

Chair Park is one of the popular Yalta attractions, the former estate of the Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich Romanov and his wife Anastasia Nikolaevna. According to eyewitnesses, two thousands of rose bushes bloomed there all year round, which inspired many poets and artists. One of them being Pavel Arskiy, at one time rather famous poet, moreover, a participant in the Winter Palace combat assault. He created many revolutionary verses, but the future generations, most likely, will remember Arskiy forever as the author of the words to the Konstantin Listov’s smash-hit song.

This song made Arkady Pogodin a sought-after and “fashionable performer”. The plot of the romance is based on the memories of a sailor that left for a distant northern voyage. Very simple dance melody “In Chair Park” sounded everywhere –it was heard from the open windows, from dancing floors, in the parks and was broadcasted on the national radio.

Famous soviet writer Yuri Nagibin recalls in one of his stories that during the pre-war years he and his then beloved girl regularly visited one Moscow restaurant to hear Arkady Pogodin singing there, which they both liked.

In the fall of 1939, the First All-Union Contest of Variety Artists was announced. In terms of the level of the jury members and the star-studded participants’ contingent, this creative competition was second to none. The fifth place and the title of laureate, which Arkady Pogodin won at the competition, was a significant success. The singer's career went uphill; in 1940, he was incorporate in the final concert within the framework of the Soviet Variety Show Decade. Nobody knows how the artist's creative career would have developed, if it was not for the Great Patriotic war. From the very beginning, Arkady Pogodin was integrated in the front line patronage team. He mainly performed at the Northern Fleet, at the North of the Arctic Circle. Long-time separation from the capital, the impossibility, therefore to record his voice on gramophone records affected the post-war career of the singer. In fact he was pushed back to the cultural periphery, giving concerts mainly in the far provinces. The singer had to endure harsh criticism in the press during the notorious period of the “the struggle against rootless cosmopolitans”. During the late 1950s, he practically quitted the stage. At the end of his life, Arkady Pogodin began to write his memoirs. Arkady Pogodin passed in 1975. The urn with his ashes is buried in the Donskoy cemetery.