2017-11-18
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MISSION 3/3

 
     
     
 

During the 1970's and 1980's there was little work for teachers, my full-time profession. Nevertheless I was able to gather enough resources to record eight albums from 1978 - 1993. All of the recordings were done during school breaks. It took about ten days to record an album. (During those years, in music industry, recording an album took a few months.) Six days to record all of the instruments and the lead vocals, one evening for the background vocals, and the remainder of the time was spent mixing. I planned recording sessions between 3 AM to 7 AM. During those hours I could get a recording studio for half the price. Since I shared all of my school breaks with our two small children, I was with them during daytime and recorded at night.

Once the records were produced, advertised in Serbian newspapers, they were then distributed by mail. As records are heavy, the cost of mailing them denied any profit on their sales. In later years using cassettes and CDs, postage was less but pirated tapes and CDs again barred any profit. No record distributors wanted to distribute Chetnik songs for fear of offending the "red" government of Yugoslavia or maybe offending some people here or there, and because of the small, scattered Serbian market in North America.

Four decades later, I never dreamed of the results that have been achieved. My service of well over four decades is well noted and commended. I remain, as Serbs in these parts like to refer to me, as "our Mića" (naš Mića). Here in Toronto, Canada, we have recorded thirteen albums. Though I (with my wife's concurrence) have monetarily financed every album, without the help of 26 background singers and 18 musician friends, these songs would not have attained the predominantly 1940s village "prelo" folk style.

It is said that contributions to the success of this project lie in the fact that the qualities of an educated musician, arranger, admirer of Serbian patriotic music, and an emulator of Serbian patriotism through music genre, are found in one person. I am thankful that I share my life with my Kragujevcanka, my like-minded other half, who provided crucial support for the project.

In the span of all these years I have tried to record as many songs as possible from all of the regions that contributed to cica Draza's uprising. These songs are dedicated to those during WWII who arose under the slogan, "For the holy cross and the cherished freedom!" (Za krst casni i slobodu zlatnu!)

As it turns out, none of the perceived impediments prevented songs from reaching Serbian patriotic households world-wide. Like in the olden times, the songs were strewn about from person to person, from continent to continent. These recordings were eagerly received in Australia, North and South America, South Africa, Europe and finally back to their place of origin, the Serbian lands on both sides of river Drina.

"Ej sto Srbin jos te zivi kraj svih zala, pesma ga je odrzala - njojzi hvala!"
J. J. Zmaj

"Though a Serb yet lives in a world of disdain, thanks to a song, it helped him ease his pain!"

(My best effort in translating this appropriate quote by the poet Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj)

Milan-Mica Petrovic
(1978, 2014)

 

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