Friday, October 29, 2004


We all know what fan mail is, don't we - it's something sent from the fan to the idol, isn't it? Not necessarily! I recently saw the name "Ailamari Vehviläinen" in my inbox. I assumed it was from a fellow fan; but closer examination revealed that the name was in the "sender" column, not the "subject", and the message was from the super-wonderful Ailamari herself. The message was "thank you for admiring my singing so much", and she will be appearing in the Vanhan Kellari in January. Naturally I'll be there!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Arja's high-priced single

I have all of Arja Koriseva's records except one - Kun ilta saapuu kaupunkiin. I was looking for this, and any other Arja-related goodies, on ebay. There was one item on offer: a single called "All my Life", sung by Arja Koriseva and Helmut Lotti. I had never heard of this title, or, come to that, Helmut Lotti. The price? 75 euros! I wrote to the Arja fansite The organiser said that this was a promo record which was sold for 5 euros (considered rather expensive at the time) to publicise the album "Helmut Lotti Goes Classic III" and perhaps Arja's fans bought up most of the supply, leaving Helmut's fans without.

I didn't bid for the single, but I did get the album. The duet with Arja is sung in English and Finnish, and according to the sleeve notes the tune is Concerto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo. The other numbers are classical and operatic numbers in a variety of languages, those in English being written by Helmut Lotti himself. It would be wandering from the subject of Finnish tango to go very far into the subject of Helmut Lotti. He is a very talented Belgian singer whose repertoire includes opera, Latin music (including tangos), African, Russian and other folk songs, Elvis hits and Belgian pop. It is worth checking out his official website:

Anyone who is interested in the Arja duet please note: it only appears on the Finnish edition of "Helmut Lotti Goes Classic III". Editions sold in other countries do not have it. It is worth going to a Finnish supplier such as Ariman at and even then checking that it has the Arja duet.