A Very Special Tribute...

 


KVITKA (KACEY) CISYK
April 4, 1953 – March 29, 1998)

"... Have you driven a Ford, lately?"
 

 


Kvitka Cisyk (Kveet-ka Chee-sik) was an American, classically trained coloratura soprano of Ukrainian ethnicity. Using the first name Kacey, a name born of her initials "KC",  she successfully pursued a career in four different musical genres: popular music, classical opera, Ukrainian folk music and commercial jingles for radio and TV advertisements.

A personal note: Kacey Cisyk in my view was a multi-talented vocalist whose life's career created hundreds of television and radio spots. Her volumes of work in popular, Ukrainian, commercial tv/radio and movie music are internationally known. She was the voice of the 1978 movie "You Light Up My Life" singing the film's 5 tunes. The main theme song, "You Light Up My Life" received an Academy Award but there was no mention of Kacey in the music credits.  She later receive some monetary compensation, however many still think that Debbie Boone performed the hit song in the movie. In fact, the single record which was later released for sale utilized the film's actual orchestral tracks with Debbie Boone's voice replacing Kacey's.  Despite this missed opportunity, Kacey rose to become the most desired and admired commercial artist of the 1970s and 80s. Her Ukrainian albums remain the most outstanding in history.  In recognition of these works, a street has been named after her and an annual festival held is held in her honor, fully seventeen years after her death...




A plaque was recently unveiled in Lviv on the house where Kvitka Cisyk's family lived, (Kvitka Cisyk Street)

The plaque honoring Kvitka states that the house was the 1944 residence of the Cisyk family and documents the birth of Kvitka Cisyk, a well-known American Singer of Ukrainian decent in 1953.

To quote from the more extensive biography below...

"... In addition to Ford Motor Company, (her commercial heard by over 1 billion persons,) Cisyk sang for automakers General Motors and Toyota. She recorded spots for the three national television networks in the 1980s (ABC, NBC and CBS), four major airlines (American, Delta, Eastern and TWA), two national retailers Sears and JC Penney and the two most popular soft drinks: Coca-Cola and Pepsi.  She is know for "You deserve a break today... at McDonalds" and Burger King commercials."

"According to her New York Times obituary, "a typical day, she later recalled, would begin with a 9 am session for Trans World Airlines, followed by Coca-Cola at 11, Hartz Mountain at 1 pm, Eastern Airlines at 2, Datsun at 3, L'Eggs at 5, McDonald's at 6, and, after all that, a recording session from 8:30 pm to 3 am". Cisyk's list of commercial credits also include Mr. Pibb, Safeway grocery stores and Starburst candies."

I believe that Kvitka Cisyk is a role model, for working, women everywhere.  I hope that this tribute will bring to the attention of the reader, the accomplishments of this reliable and multi-talented artist who despite the inequities that she was  to face, went on to make an indelible mark in the industry that she superbly and eloquently graced.     -Maestro-

An extensive biography (Wikipedia)

 

Kacey Cisyk - An Audio-Visual Tribute

   
 



Interview with (Kacey) Cisyk
You might brush up on your Ukrainian!
(click picture above)
 

 

The Voice of "You Light Up My Life" and The Ford Motor Company.

 



Kacey Cisyk on the Movie Set
of "You Light Up My Life"

 



On the Movie Set of her
famous Ford commercial in 1988.

 
    
    
     Songs from the movie: YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE
      Words and music by Joe Brooks and sung by Kacey Cisyk

   
Read a March 23, 1978 article from The Prescott Courier
 
       You Light Up My Life
      You Light Up My Life - Video  Didi Conn Lipsync
       You Light Up My Life - Video  Debbie Boone Version  (See the article below)
       The Morning of My Life
       Rolling the Chords
       It's a Long Way from Brooklyn
       Do You Have a Piano?
      You Light Up My Life Song Book, Complete
       Visit Maestro's Guitar and Violin sections for transcriptions of selected Kacey Cisyk numbers.
      Links to News Articles: a must read!
 
    Was Kacey Cisyk the inspiration for the lead character in You Light Up My Life?
    Kacey's husband feels that there are similarities between Laurie Robinson and Kacey Cisyk
    and that since Joe Brooks had worked with Kacey and knew her to be the "real deal" that her 
    participation in the project most probably "morphed" the story-line.

    You Light Up My Life is the story of a director who took certain liberties with a voice over
    artist and then cast her off for another.  Kacey reported that similar advances were in fact the
    reason for her being written out of the credits and the subsequent use of Debbie Boone for the
    song's commercial release. 
   
    Later events in Mr. Brooks' life might lead one to ask... Did art imitate life or perhaps...
    vice-versa? 
Read about...   The Curious Case of Joseph and Nicholas Brooks
 

       Kacey Cisyk - Biography
      Official Website
 



The
 World Famous Ford Commercial

       You're Winning the World Over; Have you driven a Ford lately?  (Video)
       You're Winning the World Over; Have you driven a Ford lately?  (Audio)
 
     Other Movie and Popular Songs:
       Circle of Two
       Come to Me
       The One and Only
      When You've Got What It Takes
       Woman in Love
 



Rock and Roll from the 60s

       End of Life
        Searching Time
 

 

 

Two very special albums:
Kvitka: Songs of Ukraine  and  Kvitka: Two Colors

 



 

 

Listen to this wonderful song:  The Nightengale

     If you wish to hear more of Kacey Cisyk's work please purchase legal copies from:

       

       

Kvitka: Songs of Ukraine

Kvitka: Two Colors


CD Baby   |   Amazon   |   iTunes

CD Baby   |   Amazon   |   iTunes
 

 

 

     
    




Kvitka
Songs of Ukraine

Album Notes: Kvitka is the most popular Ukrainian folk song singer of all time. Recently honored by Ukrainian Parliament, a day has been named for her honoring her contributions to music. She has had buildings and parks and boulevards in Ukraine named for her. Buy this recording and find out just how lovingly this American born singer captures and expresses the deep and true Spirit of Ukraine. Her gorgeous singing will bring a tear to your eye and strength to your heart. This is her first Ukrainian recording which bridges the boundaries of language.

 

   Album Contents:
       Ivanku
       Dearest Mother Of Mine
       Youth Does Not Return
       The Young Eagles
       Lullaby (For Lesha)
       River Song
       Grandmother Dearest
       Mother Mother
       The Mosquito And The Fly
       Starry Night
       Handzya
       Who Will Take Me Home?
       The Mists
       In The Carpathian Mountains
       Bandura
       Verkhovyno
 
 

       

     Kvitka - Two Colors

Album Notes: Kvitka (Kacey) Cisyk lived a life in New York City steeped in both a rich classical music tradition and a culture of deep Ukrainian heritage. In "Two Colors" are sensed a duality: the strength, purpose and expressiveness of the here-and-now and the exquisite pain and sadness of history. No other artist exemplifies this duality more than Kvitka; the sweet, sensitive coloratura soprano and the brave and free Ukrainian girl. Years of being the most in-demand studio singer in New York, persuaded Kvitka, through her artistry and culture, to present this collection of songs as a lasting inspiration to the Ukrainian People. She is known as the "Most Popular Ukrainian Singer of All Time." This production personifies all things cultured, all things studied, all things human and all things love.


 
   Album Contents:
       Where are You Now?
       Spring's Song
       A Dance
       The Cherry Orchard's Brook
       A Campfire At Dusk
       I Will Go to the Distant Hills
       Musicians Are Playing
       Two Colors
       Autumn Love
       I Sing to the Hills
       The Nightingale
       A Young Girl's Dream
       The Well
       A Song to the Moon
       The Cranes Are Flying