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Γρηγόρης Μπιθικώτσης

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Γρηγόρης Μπιθικώτσης {Grigoris Bithikotsis} (1922-2005) was a popular Greek singer/songwriter with a career spanning five decades.

Bithikotis was born in Peristeri, Athens, on 11th December 1922, to a poor family. He became interested in music at an early age, and acquired a as soon as he was able. At first, he had to hide the instrument at a friend’s house and practise in secret, as his father disapproved of the new style which had captured his son’s interest.

He met composer Μίκης Θεοδωράκης (Mikis Theodorakis) in 1959, and the two collaborated. Bithikotsis composed over eighty songs. He possessed a rich singing voice with which he performed his own compositions and those of Theodorakis, who frequently chose his friend to perform his work. The two contributed greatly to the then-emerging 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, on 7th April 2005, following three months of hospitalisation. His funeral was attended by thousands, including representatives of all the Greek political parties.

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