14 Facts About Alexander Vertinsky


Alexander Vertinsky and his elder sister Nadezhda were born in Kiev out of wedlock: their parents couldn't marry since his father's first wife refused a divorce, so he had to adopt his own children.


Alexander Vertinsky recognised that he had some Ukrainian ancestry and Ukrainian as one of his native languages.


Alexander Vertinsky died when Alexander was only three years old from sepsis after an unsuccessful surgery, and in two years his father died from tuberculosis.


Alexander Vertinsky was brought up by his mother's sister Maria Stepanovna, while Nadezhda was raised by her other sister, Lidia Stepanovna.


Alexander Vertinsky was expelled from the second grade and moved to the less prestigious 4th Kyiv Gymnasium.


Alexander Vertinsky didn't enjoy studying, blaming his aunt who "knew nothing about raising children".


Alexander Vertinsky tried various jobs before starting to earn his living by contributing short stories to the Kievan periodicals.


Alexander Vertinsky performed in Constantinople and toured Romanian Bessarabia, where he was declared a Soviet agent.


In 1926, Alexander Vertinsky made one of the earliest recordings of the song "Dorogoi dlinnoyu", written by Boris Fomin with words by the poet Konstantin Podrevskii, which, with English lyrics by Gene Raskin, was a major hit for Mary Hopkin in 1968 as "Those Were the Days".


Alexander Vertinsky was buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.


Alexander Vertinsky is still influential in Russian musical culture, and has been covered by the likes of Vladimir Vysotsky and Boris Grebenshchikov.


Between 1923 and 1941 Alexander Vertinsky was married to Irina Vladimirovna Vertidis.


From 1942 and till his death Alexander Vertinsky was married to the actress and artist Lidiya Vertinskaya.


Alexander Vertinsky had a long-lasting relationship with the theatre director Oleg Yefremov.