American music and film producer, businessman, a native of Kiev Leonard Lev in the author’s program of the founder of the online edition "GORDON" Dmitry Gordon told how it began the singing career of the late singer Willy Tokarev, who had previously worked as a taxi driver in the United States.
"Willy Tokarev, whom I loved very much, died recently. And he always told how he began his career. He said:" I came to Leonard Lev to the restaurant " Odessa "and said that I really want to sing," began Dmitry Gordon.
"No, he didn’t say that. "I'm Willy Tokarev." I say: "So what?" And he came in this black hat ... (...) He went with Irina Ola, who told him where to go. He told jokes that black wanted to kill him ... "I told him" Baku commissars. "He laughed - and let me go." . He did not say a single word in English, firstly ... The kingdom of heaven to him. He was a good man ... And nobody wanted to get in a taxi when there was an outsider. This is America. You understand? Now, he came and says: "I am Willy Tokarev." "So what?" “I wrote the song“ Skyscrapers, skyscrapers, and I’m so small. ”I say:“ Well, sit down. ”He set the table. He didn’t drink, he drank very little. I thought ... We have a bar downstairs, it’s idle. I ask:“ Do you want to work as a musician? "He says:“ Yes? ”Said Leo.
The producer noted that it was possible to earn good money in American restaurants, but the work was hard.
"I can’t even explain how hard their work was with the musicians. And everything happens: they get drunk and insult, and ... Of course, it was like that. And Willy sat down to work with me. But his cassettes hit the Soviet Union. By the way, when I talked with Jan Abramovich Frenkel the deceased, he says: "You know, Willy had such melodies worthy, very worthy." And indeed, of course, “Wise Man, Wise Man” is one story. And Willy had good texts, "he said ..
The full text version of the interview can be read HERE .
Tokarev passed away on August 4 2019 of the year in one of the cancer centers of Moscow.
Leonard Lev became the first producer of Willy Tokarev and the first organizer of his tour, as well as concerts of Mikhail Shufutinsky in the USSR.