It would be difficult to find a Lithuanian citizen, who never heard (or sang) the nostalgic song “My love has drowned in the sea of Palanga…”. The author of this song and many other popular Lithuanian songs, the pioneer of Lithuania pop music and one-person theatre was a Jewish polyglot Danielius Dolskis.
Danielius Dolskis was born in the Vilna Jewish merchants’ family in 1891, but he got famous in Lithuanian Kaunas and he is mostly associated with this city. Dolskis was a true cosmopolitan – he lived in Riga, Berlin, traveled through many European countries with the orchestra before settling down in Kaunas. He was invited to Kaunas by his musician friend with the same name – Danielius Pomerancas. Dolskis came to Kaunas in 1929 and soon successfully integrated into the Kaunas music scene. He had not only a great ear for music but for languages as well – his friends in Kaunas were amazed by how fast he learned Lithuanian and began writing songs in this language. The cheerful singer was loved by public and other musicians, he became a very close friend with one of the most famous people in the Lithuanian music scene of that time – Kipras Petrauskas. Kipras was the one, who encouraged Danielius to have live shows in Kaunas restaurants and to make records of his songs in order to present them to the wider Lithuanian public.
Unfortunately, the bright star of Danielius Dolskis was not destined to shine for a long – after few successful and inspirational years that he spent in Kaunas, in 1931 he died from pneumonia.
Another famous Lithuanian singer – Vytautas Kernagis – sang in his own way many songs from the repertoire of Danielius Dolskis, and he was the one who initiated that the sculpture of Danielius Dolskis would be built in Kaunas in 2007. The sculpture was created by Romualdas Kvintas and it represents a real size elegant posture of the legendary singer. The sculpture stands in a symbolical place – right in front of the previous building of the “Metropolis” restaurant, where Dolskis used to sing.
Danielius Dolskis is buried in Žaliakalnis Jewish cemetery in Kaunas and his tombstone has been recently restored. And his creative legacy is saved in the Music department of Kaunas public library.
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