Radoslav – Rade Jovanović was born on 15.04.1928 in Goražde. The famous poet and composer, folk artist, left a lasting mark on folk music throughout the former Yugoslavia, especially in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Bosnian Sevdalinka. Behind the name Radoslav – Rade Jovanović is one of the most famous writers and composers of folk music of the former Yugoslavia.
In the fifties of the last century his first song “Često mlađan prošetam kraj Drine” was written, which corresponded to the folk melody. He wrote it, as he always said later, on the train, at the moment of inspiration, on a simple packet of cigarettes. He wrote songs for adults and children. Among the first songs was “Na obali Drine”, which was sung by Zaim Imamović. Then Nada Mamula sang “Negdje u daljine” and the songs “Sjecaš li se ratni druže” and “Bolan ti ležim jarane” were sung by Gvozden Radičević. He then took part in the festival Ilidža ’64, where he won with the song “Jablani se povijaju”, sung by Safet Isović.
This song won the audience and jury prize for lyrics and music. Rade took part in this festival with 3 songs and all won a prize. At the following Ilidža in 1965, he won again with the song “Ne pitaj me stara majko”, sung by Nedeljko Bilkić.
After that, it became quiet around him, because the UDBA interfered directly in the matter, which did not fit that a former prisoner of Goli Otok celebrated such a meteoric rise and that his songs were recorded, sung, rewarded by the people. He was confronted with numerous hurdles with the intention of denigrating Rade’s songs (Šemsudin Gegić confirmed this with his documentary film “National Artist – Enemy of Category A” from 2001), but Rade tries to survive by recording occasionally.
Many songs of Rade’s were recorded for which it was thought that they were folk songs and also got this attribute during his life.
Safet Isović first sang “Kad sretneš Hanku” at the Belgrade Sabor in 1970.
Many journalists noted then that the audience in the Gewerktschaftshaus had protested against the jury’s decision, as “Hanka” and Safet were only awarded third place. Later, however, the Sevdalinka lovers had given the recognition that the jury lacked, and so “Hanka” became one of the greatest hits.
Seven years later, the Yugoslav music critics declared the Sevdalinka “Hanka” the folk song of the decade in a survey by Radio Belgrade.
As an author and man, he was an inspiration for many theatre and music authors who had found a source for their films, documentaries, series and radio broadcasts in his life and work, especially Šemsudin Gegić and Vehid Gunić.
He committed suicide on 15 April 1986.
In memory of the poet and composer Rade Jovanović, the international music and sevdah festival “Rade Jovanović Goražde 2005” was organised in Goražde on 18 June 2005 and 2006.
He wrote over 500 songs.
The river Drina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, nature, people and their destinies were the inexhaustible source and Rade’s constant theme, such as:
• Jablani se povijaju
• Negdje u daljine
• Seja kose raspletala
• Malenim sokakom ne prolazim više
• Kad sretneš Hanku
• Prođoh Bosnom kroz gradove (koautorska sa Dragišom Nedovićem)
• Šta se ovo Bosnom čuje
• Ah, meraka u večeri rane
• Sumorna jesen
• Ne pitaj me stara majko
• Kad u maju ruže procvetaju
• Tebi, majko, misli lete
• Svjetla moga grada
• Prolazi jesen
• Goražde jedino u srcu mom
• Na obali Drine
• Bolan ti ležim jarane
• U tuđoj zemlji
• Još ove noći čaše nam dajte
• Sve što mine, povratka mu nema
• Ne mogu te više svojom zvati
• Pomiluj mi pjesmo dušu