Google Doodle praises the Soviet musician, singer, and actor Leonid Utyosov’s 125th birthday celebration on March 21, 2020. Leonid Utyosov was credited with leading one of the Soviet Union’s initial jazz bands.
Leonid Osipovich Utyosov or Utesov (Russian: Леони́д О́сипович Утёсов); real name Lazar (Leyzer) Iosifovich Vaysbeyn or Weissbein (Russian: Ла́зарь (Ле́йзер) Ио́сифович Вайсбе́йн), was a famous Soviet jazz singer and comic actor of Jewish origin, who became the first pop singer to be awarded the prestigious title of People’s Artist of the USSR in 1965.
Lazar Iosifovich Weissbein was born on this day 1895 to a middle-class family in Odessa (presently part of Ukraine). Leonid Utyosov was raised in Odessa, Russian Empire and went to the Faig School of Commerce, from which he dropped out and joined the Borodanov Circus troupe as an acrobat. He began his stage career in 1911 in Kremenchuk, at that point came back to Odessa, changed his artistic name to Leonid Utyosov, and proceeded as an outstanding comedian with the Rosanov troupe and with the Rishelyavsky Theater. In 1917, he won a singing competition in Gomel, Belarus, at that point acted in Moscow.
Before the finish of his teenage years, he had taken work as a circus acrobat, stand-up comedian, and theater actor, expecting the stage name Leonid Utyosov. After winning a singing competition, the multi-skilled Utyosov formed a band and started visiting Moscow, showing up routinely at the city’s famed Hermitage Theater.
While on tour in 1928, Leonid Utyosov encountered his first experience with American jazz, and he was hooked. The next year, he appeared the Tea-Jazz Orchestra, which mixed diverse styles, including American jazz, Jewish people music, Argentinian tangos, and Russian lullabies, and accomplished significant prominence.
In arrival to acting, Leonid Utyosov featured in the Hollywood-style hit film Vesyolye rebyata (Jolly Fellows, 1934) which acquainted Soviet crowds with a variety of new music and earned him expanded presentation the nation over.
For his considerable contributions to music and film, Leonid Utyosov was assigned the 1965 People’s Artist of the USSR, and in 2000, a statue was raised in his respect in his hometown of Odessa.
Leonid Utyosov lived in Moscow for the rest of his life, yet in a significant number of his songs he alluded to his native town of Odessa, where a monument to him was devoted in 2000.
A minor planet, 5944 Utesov, found on 2 May 1984, is named after him.