« In today's Sun, interview with Pulitzer winner Kevin Puts | Main | National Symphony to tour Europe in early 2013 with Eschenbach »

June 4, 2012

Russian entertainer Eduard Khil, famed for his "Trololo" song, dies at 77

Sad news from Russia. Eduard Khil, the entertainer who became an Internet sensation through a Soviet-era video, died Monday in St. Petersburg from complications of a stroke. He was 77.

Like zillions of others, I found his performance of the so-called "Trololo" song irresistible, even before I learned its background -- the original, sentimental lyrics about a cowboy heading back to the girl left behind were considered too pro-American by Soviet authorities, so Mr. Khil turned the tune into a vocalise.

Personally, I find that story a little hard to believe, but, hey, I don't care how the song came to be, or what it was supposed to be about. I'm just glad it was preserved.

When video from the 1970s of a broadly smiling Mr. Khil performing his hit began floating on the Web about three years ago, it soon went viral. According to news reports, Mr. Khil learned of his new fame and savored it.

Just the other day, I found a recent performance of "Trololo" and posted it as part of my Midweek Madness series. If you missed it, check it out. This guy definitely had something. I'm not sure what it was, but he sure had it in abundance.

Posted by Tim Smith at 2:34 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Clef Notes

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
View the Artsmash blog

Baltimore Sun coverage
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop
Famous faces in classical music
Sign up for FREE entertainment alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Most Recent Comments
Stay connected