Carola (Carola Christina Standertskjöld)
The Finnish singer Carola Standerskjöld was an exceptionally gifted and versatile artist. She was born in 1941 to a family which spent much of her childhood out of the - at the time - stifling post-war conditions in Finland. Her versatility and talents in learning foreign languages emerged at an early age, especially during her studies in Switzerland, when she also had her first experience in appearing for a public - in Spain! Carola was especially interested of French chansons, which she would present at school parties and other smaller occasions, accompanying herself with her guitar. Read more... two of the Finnish jazz wizards of the time and who formed a band of their own in 1962, spotted the obvious talent of the young girl, and managed to persuade her to become their vocalist. Esa Pethman (saxophone) and Anssi (drums) with two other musicians formed a quartet which was very popular in both Finland and Sweden, they also made some fame in Poland and Tchechoslovakia. In 1963 Carola was ready to make a record: the Jewish folk-song "Hava Nagila" was her first tribute, and was published on the B-side of Laila Halmes - another shooting star of the period - version of "Telstar" (RCA). After leaving the Pethmans she was for a while engaged to the Swiss Hazy Osterwalds orchestra, and gathered fine experience and good name touring the European scene and performing in several popular television programs of the time. This period of her life would later pay off as she became a household name in her native Finland, where international connections and music from abroad were the marks of a true artist. Her covers of some great hits like Dusty Sprinfields "You are my world" and Herb Alperts " Taste of Honey" were hits, and other records sold very well too. Her career peaked during the sixties, but she was beginning to feel the strain of constantly being in the public eye: she wanted a life of her own. She realized this dream in the early 70s by practically ending her career as a public performer. Her love for jazz did however not leave her, so she made some public appearances on club level after that too, especially with UMO (Uuden musiikin orkesteri). Carola made a brief comeback in 1980 by publishing the Latino-style album "Maria, Maria" (Gold Disc), but after that she gave up her public appearances for good. At about 1985 the tragic news came out: Carola had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Regardless of her mind-crippling condition she appeared with UMO in 1987 and the pianist Iiro Rantala in 1989. In the early 90s she performed alone at some charity concerts. November 12th, 1997 the talented artist passed away at the age of 56 years.