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Aida Vedishcheva, a Soviet singer of Jewish descent. Aida Vedishcheva, "Amazing Aida"

Great Russian women - Aida Vedishcheva

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Aida Vedishcheva

Aida Semionovna Vedishcheva is a Soviet singer of Jewish descent. She is most famous in the Soviet Union and Russian for contributing songs to several film soundtracks, including "The small song about bears", "Help me", "Forest deer", "Bear-mama lullaby", and "Chunga-changa".

Aida Vedishchev was born Ida Solomonovna Weis on 10 June 1941 in Kazan in the family of professor of medicine Solomon Vais. In 1951 her family relocated to Irkutsk in Siberia. There Vedishcheva finished her Music School, where she performed in the student theater of musical comedy. Afterward she enrolled (by her parents' request) into the Institute of foreign languages, where she studied both the German and English languages. Upon graduating from the institute, Vedishcheva left for Moscow, where she tried to enroll into the Supreme Theatrical Institute of Shchepkin, but did not succeed. After that she began her singing career due to her strong and beautiful voice.

She began her singing performance from the start of the 1960s in the Kharkiv philharmony. Vedishcheva sang in the Oleg Lundstrem orchestra and then Leonid Utesov orchestra. Since 1966 she was performing along with the "Meloton" ensemble as well as the Vocal-instrumental ensemble (VIE) "Blue Guitars" led by Igor Granov. The same year (1966) Vedishcheva became a laureate of the First "All-Union Concourse of a Soviet Song". She achieved national recognition after singing "The small song about bears" in 1967 for the movie Kidnapping, Caucasian Style (7 million records were released). In 1968 for her song "Geese, geese" ("Gusi, gusi") she received a diploma at the Sopot International song festival (the Polish Baltic Sea coast). That was followed by such songs as "Volcano of desires" ("Help me") for the movie The Diamond Arm (1968), "Comrade" ("For the friendship was carried by comrade on waves...", 1970), "Forest deer" for the movie Way to go Nastia! (1972), and others.

Despite her success among the listeners, she met numerous obstacles, as did several other song performers of Jewish descent: her name was not making into movies credits, concerts were cancelled, concert tours abroad prohibited, etc. She was blamed for being vulgar and lacking ideology.

From the mid-1970s Vedishcheva disappeared from the credits of movies and cartoons. She finally left with her mother and son for the United States in 1980.

When Vedischeva left Russia in 1980, she had sold more than 30 million albums. Her songs were featured on the soundtracks of the most popular Russian movies of the decade. She performed on the famed stages of Moscow and St. Petersburg. She was dubbed the "Marilyn Monroe of Russia" by her fans and called herself "Amazing Aida."

In America, Vedishcheva had to start her singing career from the ground up. She enrolled into the four-year theater college where she learned American cinematography and dance.

However despite fleeting moments in the spotlight - she performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York - in America, Amazing Aida was anonymous.

Vedishcheva, under the pseudonym Amazing Aida, was performing mostly the American repertoire: songs of popular Broadway musicals and Hollywood movies, and beside them the songs of Michel Legrand, Russian and Gypsy romance songs, as well as Jewish traditional songs.

In the beginning of the 1990s she was diagnosed with cancer of third degree. Despite doctors' precautions Vedishcheva insisted on her surgery, going through chemotherapy, after which the disease yielded.

In 1998 Vedishcheva put on the show Miss Liberty for the new millennium. After the September 11 attacks she wrote the musical "Masterpiece and the singing Liberty" and dedicated it to the Statue of Liberty. The musical was performed on Broadway in 2007.

The musical, which at different times has been called "Masterpiece" and "Singing Liberty" and later "Miss Liberty for the New Millennium," parallels the statue's journey from France to America with Aida's own exodus from Russia.

Vedishcheva has American citizenship and visits Russia at times.

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