Natasza Zylska, real name Natasza Zygelman, the biggest Polish pop music star in the 1950s., was born in 1933 in Vilnius and died in Tel Aviv at the age of 62. Her hits: “Bajo Bongo”, “Mambo Italiano”, “Mexicana”, “Do you dance twist” and “Chestnuts” have successfully passed the test of time. They are still considered entertaining.
She was a wonder child endowed with musical talent. She performed on stage from an early age, which was only interrupted by the war. She survived it, hiding in a tenement house in Katowice. After the war, she graduated from a technical school, where she learnt to be a miner’s technician. However, she never worked in this profession. Instead, she performed with the music band of the miners’ union. She also briefly studied at the Warsaw Theatre School.
Natasza was discovered by Waldemar Kaznecki from the Katowice Orchestra of the Polish Radio. She performed with the dance orchestras of Jerzy Harald, Jan Cajmer, Waldemar Kazanecki and Zygmunt Wichary, as well as with Janusz Gniatkowski.
“She was never offered more serious lyrics, so she sang about flirting and boys, and did it with charm and grace.”
Big money never followed her fame. Quite unexpectedly, she interrupted her career and left for Israel in 1960, where she married for a second time. She visited Poland only sporadically.
In Israel, Natasza was trying to continue her music career singing in Hebrew, but she was not successful. For a moment she even considered working in a mine. Ultimately, she became an artist-sculptor, specialising in ceramic reliefs.
There is still little information about Natasha’s Israeli life, and her decision to emigrate remains shrouded in mystery. Her music heritage remained in Poland, and is still waiting for new interpretations.