Franciszek Walicki was born in Łódź in 1921, and died in Gdynia aged 94. He is considered the “godfather” of Polish rock.
Journalist, lyricist, founder of rock bands, "godfather" of Polish rock music.
Franciszek Walicki was born into a family which had close ties with Vilnius, but he resided in Gdynia from 1945. He was a journalist and lyricist (Jacek Grań) and had a keen eye for spotting talent. He organized the first Jazz Festival in Sopot (1956-1957). In order to prevent hostile reactions from the communist authorities towards the Western word "rock and roll" he coined the term "Big Beat" for the genre of music which developed in Poland in the 60s. He founded a number of important Polish rock bands: Rhythm and Blues, Czerwono-Czarni, and Niebiesko-Czarni. He opened the Non-Stop club in Sopot in 1961, the first disco venue in Poland (1970), and he founded the first Polish rock magazine (Musicorama). He was a manager of such bands as Breakout and SBB.
Franciszek was a visionary who through his energy, perseverance and ingenuity introduced music novelties onto the Polish market which contributed to the erosion of an inhuman system. Beyond any doubt he was one of the most distinguished “driving forces” in the field of culture in post-war Poland.
–says Marcin Jacobson.
Franciszek Walicki received many state awards, including the Gloria Artis Medal for Merit to Culture in 2009. The same year, on the 50th anniversary of rock'n'roll in Poland, Eopot celebrated the opening of Franciszek Walicki Avenue and the Musical Theatre in Gdynia held a benefit performance and a concert honouring Walicki.
Source: Culture.pl, transl. GS, October 2015