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History of the band -- 2 -- The fruitful alliance

Kócbabák (Shaggy Dolls) vocal trio was founded in 1972. The original cast comprised of Marcella Babics, born 1953, Éva Fábián, born 1954, and Éva Csepregi, born 1956. They went to participate in "Ki mit tud?" talent show that helped many newcomers rise to fame. They were backed by a Budapest band named Stereo where Éva Csepregi was a singer since 1969. Shortly after that Marcella Babics left the band, going on an international tour with Apostol pop band, and Éva Pál, born 1952, took her place. The girls managed to stand out despite their not-so-great performance on "Ki mit tud?" and in Spring 1973 Hungarian Television invited them to participate in an upcoming music show commissioned by Sweden.

In Summer 1973 László Pásztor of Neoton proposed them to enter a "Tessék választani!" talent show with a joint performance. They performed "Miért vitted el álmaimat" together, which led to a subsequent collaboration. Neoton & Kócbabák's lineup was as follows: László Pásztor (guitar, vocals; born 1945), Lajos Galácz (bass guitar, vocals; born 1945), György Jakab (keyboards, vocals; born 1950), Zoltán Ambrus (drums), Éva Fábián (vocals; born 1954), Éva Pál (vocals; born 1952), and Éva Csepregi (vocals; born 1956). This team actively participated in various TV shows and contests and played live in the years that followed. Neoton & Kócbabák toured Eastern Europe in 1974, visiting USSR and East Germany, and went to Italy for a joint tour with a famous Italian Eritrean singer Lara Saint Paul. Their Italian tour lasted two and a half months but had to be cut short in Milano due to unexpected death of a person managing the tour. As for the compositions, they have recorded a number of noteworthy songs during 1975-1976, including "Miért nem beszélsz" ("Why Won't You Speak?"; lead vocals by Lajos Galácz ), "Túl okos vagy" ("Wise Guy"; lead vocals by Éva Fábián), "Élni kell" ("Have to Be"; lead vocals by György Jakab), "Te vagy a minden" ("You Were Everything"; lead vocals by László Pásztor), "Lehet-e nélküled élni" ("Can You Live Without Him"; lead vocals by Éva Pál), "Évszakok" ("Seasons"; lead vocals by Éva Fábián), "Párbeszéd" ("Dialogue"; lead vocals by Éva Fábián and László Pásztor), "Kérlek, gyere velem" ("Please Come With Me"; lead vocals by Lajos Galácz), "Piros léggömb" ("Red Balloon"; lead vocals by Éva Fábián), "Áramszünet" ("Power Failure"; lead vocals by György Jakab). Song lyrics were composed by László Pásztor's wife, Emese Hatvani. Some songs were published as singles and some were included in popular Hungarian compilation albums. The band entered "Tessék választani!" talent show with "Te vagy a minden" in 1975 and the next year went to participate in "Made in Hungary" music festival with "Kell, hogy valaki várjon" ("You Must Wait For Me").

Being on the wave of creative verve the band recorded a debut album titled "Menedékház" ("Shelter") in February 1976. This album contained twelve new songs, cheerful "Sose add fel a reményed" ("Never Lose Hope"; lead vocals by Éva Pál) and "A Várunk rád" ("We Are Waiting"; lead vocals by Éva Csepregi), lyrical "Szeretem azt" ("I Love the One Who..."; lead vocals by Éva Pál) and "Vallomás" ("Confession"), groovy "Mondj egy jó szót" ("Say a Kind Word"), and funky "Maradj még egy percet" ("Stay for a Moment"; lead vocals by Éva Pál) and "Hozzánk mindig hazaérkezel" ("Always Coming Home") among them. These were the times when production cycle of a vinyl record took about half a year, so "Menedékház" hit the shelves at the year's closure and became a Christmas sensation. Yet the pinnacle of Neoton & Kócbabák's music was a song titled "Vándorének" ("Singing Wanderer") which became a winning entry at July 1976 "Tessék választani!" talent show. Later the band did English ("Needing Someone") and German ("Komm Liebe Komm") versions of this song, German version being released by East German AMIGA label three times, on a compilation album titled "Rhythmus" in 1977 , on an EP titled "Komm Liebe Komm" in 1983, and on a compilation album titled "Ihre Größten Erfolge" in 1985. Hungarian version was included in a "Vándorének"/ "Tegnap még azt hittem" ("Yesterday I Was Thinking This") single released in 1976. 

In February 1977 Neoton & Kócbabák once again went to participate in "Tessék választani!" talent show with a new song titled "Ha zene szól" (or "Gyere, táncolj velem"; lead vocals by Éva Pál). At that time they were noticed by Péter Erdős, head of Pepita music label managing all Hungarian pop music, as he was recruiting artists for Hungarian record company MVH. Erdős decided that Neoton & Kócbabák had fairly good potential and he made an arrangement with them so he'd be officially supervising the band's affairs. The band successfully applied for government grant, getting access to Hungary's finest recording studios. Some time later Neoton & Kócbabák was renamed to Neoton Família (Newton Family) at Péter Erdős's suggestion. 

By Mikhail Badanin and Kirill Babanin
Translated into English by Andrey Sinelnikov