Grigoris Bithikotsis

Grigoris Bithikotsis (Greek Γρηγόρης Μπιθικώτσης, pronounced [ɣriˈɣoris biθiˈkot͜sis]; December 11, 1922 – April 7, 2005) was a Greek folk singer/songwriter with a career spanning five decades. He is considered one of the most important figures in Greek popular music.[1]

Biography

Bithikotsis was born in Peristeri, Athens, in 1922 to a poor family. He became interested in music at an early age, and acquired a bouzouki as soon as he was able. At first, he had to hide the instrument at a friend's house and practice in secret, as his father disapproved of the new rembetiko style that had captured his son's interest.

He met composer Mikis Theodorakis in 1959 and the two collaborated producing folk songs. Bithikotsis composed over 80 songs, including: Stu Belami to ouzeri and Tou Votanikou o magas. He possessed a rich singing voice with which he performed his own compositions and those of Theodorakis, who frequently chose his friend Grigoris to perform his masterpieces. The two contributed greatly to the then-emerging laika style of Greek music.

A leftist, he was exiled to the island of Makronisos in the 1950s during the reign of King Paul.

Throughout his life, Bithikotsis performed frequent concerts at numerous venues, including one in Athens upon the occasion of his eightieth birthday. He died in Athens, in 2005, following three months of hospitalization. His funeral was attended by thousands, including representatives of all the Greek political parties.

Discography

  • Epitafios [1960]
  • Politeia A [1961]
  • To tragoudi tou nekrou aderfou [1962]
  • Epifania [1962]
  • To Axion Esti [1964]
  • Politeia B [1964]
  • Romiosini [1966]
  • 14 Hryses Epityhies N1 (14 Greatest Hits Vol. 1) [1977]
  • 14 Hryses Epityhies N2 (14 Greatest Hits Vol. 2) [1977]
  • 1950-1962 Compilation
  • 1963-1971 Compilation
  • 36 Hronia (36 Years)
  • Apo tis 45 Strofes No. 4
  • Alpha – Omega [1971]
  • Chamenes Agapes (Lost Loves) [1977]
  • I Ellada tou Grigori (The Greece of Grigoris)
  • Episimi Agapimeni (Best Loved Songs)
  • Gia panta No. 1 (Forever #1)
  • Gia ton Grigori – I Synavlia to Stadio Erininis kai Filias (For Grigoris, in Peace and Friendship Stadium)
  • Mazi (with Stelios Kazantzidis)
  • Mazi me ton Grigori (Together with Grigoris)
  • Megaloprepeia
  • Mia gynaika fevgei (One Woman Leaves) [1969]
  • Oktovriou 1978/October 1978 - with Mikis Theodorakis [1978]
  • O Agnostos Theos (Strange God) [1970]
  • Oi Magalyteres Epityhies Tou (His Greatest Hits)
  • Ouranio Toxo (Rainbow)
  • Prasino fos (Green Light) [1973]
  • Sti Megali Leoforo (On the Broad Avenue)
  • Stratos Dionysiou/Ta zebekika tou Grigori kai tou Stratou (with Stratos Dionysiou)
  • Ta Afthentika No.2 [1984]
  • Apo tous thisayrous ton 45 Strofon (with Vicky Moscholiou)
  • Tragoudia apo tis 45 Srtrofes

References

  1. ^ Chrysopoulos, Philip (2018-04-07). "Popular Singer Grigoris Bithikotsis Remembered". Greek Reporter. Retrieved 2021-04-03. "The great writer and scriptwriter Dimitris Psathas dubbed Bithikotsis “Sir”, a nickname to honor his greatness and his royal-like presence in Greek popular music from 1960 and on. [...] 'Epitafios', 'To Tragoudi tou Nekrou Adelfou', 'Politeia A', 'Politeia B', 'Romiosini', 'To Axion Esti' include some of the greatest Greek music ever recorded."

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