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The Rangers is a Czech pop folk band formed in 1964 by Milan Dufek and Antonín Hájek, playing country music as well. Its classical ensemble consisted of Milan Dufek (1944–2005; tenor), Antonín Hájek (1944–1989; baritone), Miroslav Řihošek, Jan Vančura (countertenor), Jiří Veisser, and Radek Tomášek. The band sold over one million carriers.
The Rangers quickly became famous for singing qualities of its members, from bass of Jiří Veisser to countertenor of Jan Vančura. Musical repertoire of the Rangers in that time consisted of Anglo-American Traditionals, Folk Pop and Country music with Czech lyrics.
Between 1966–1969 Jarka Hadrabová sang in the band and they won the first two Portas (1967 and 1968) in the category Country & Western. The Rangers' hits were cover versions of The Water Is Wide (1724, Rákosí), Cotton Fields (1941, Pole s bavlnou) sung as Gospel music, King of the Road (1965, Král silnic), Come the Day (1966, Ave Dies), or Nose For Trouble, (1966, Nos pro trable). Exceptional success was Milan Dufek's Vysočina (Highlands).
In 1971 the Rangers were forced to rename into Plavci (Swimmers). The official reason was that a Czech band name cannot be the same as of "American killers in Vietnam". Rivalry between Milan Dufek and Radek Tomášek caused Tomášek left the band in 1973. The host Petr Nárožný left the band as well and was replaced by Luděk Nekuda (1942–1988). Plavci were often part of TV shows and their popularity became nation wide. Although between 1974–1976 Nekuda was not with the band, enormous success of Plavci continued. After he rejoined Plavci they became No 1 music band of the Czechoslovakia. Nekuda definitely left the band in 1978 and popularity of Plavci suffered steady decline.
only Czech sung LPs.
- The Rangers (I, 1969)
- Rangers 1970 (II, 1970)
- Rangers (III, 1971)
- Plavci (IV, 1973)
- Plavci (V, 1974)
- Sláva (1975)
- Chvála písni (1977)
- Plavci na Poříčí (1978), live
- Otvíráme plovárnu (1980)
- Galaportrét (1984), compilation
- Erb toulavého rodu (1984)
- Výzkumný ústav vodních radostí (1986)
- Official page of the Rangers (Czech)
- Official page of Rangers Band (Czech)
- Official page of New Rangers (Czech)
- Complete discography
- Lyrics (English) (Czech)
- Official page of Radek Tomášek (Czech)
- Info about Antonín Hájek (Slovak)
- Obituary of Milan Dufek (Czech)
- Encyklopedie Country music (Czech)
- Staré televizní pořady s Rangers (Czech)
- To nejlepší – samples with names of original songs (English) (Czech)
- Balíček karet (original version) (1969) (English) (Czech)
- Balíček karet (new version) (Czech)
- Mám radost (1971, I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am, 1968) (Czech)
- Láska je věc kouzelná (1971, Love Is Kind Love is Wine, 1967) (Czech)
- Orchidej (1973) (Czech)
- Vysočina (1973) (Czech)