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Biography

Βασίλης Τσιτσάνης (Vassilis Tsitsanis; 18th January 1915–18th January 1984) was a Greek singer, composer, and musician. He became one of the leading composers and singers of rembetika, banned in Greece during its early years, and in the later laika style.

Tsitsanis was born in Trikala. From a young age he was interested in music and learnt to play the mandolin, violin and the bouzouki that was the mainstay of so many of his songs. In 1936 he left for Athens to study Law, and by 1937, had made his first musical recording.

During the German occupation of Greece, Tsitsanis lived in Thessaloniki. There he wrote many of his best songs that were later recorded after the end of the World War II.

In 1946, Tsitsanis returned to Athens and began recording many of his own compositions that made famous many of the singers that worked with him, such as Sotiria Bellou (Σωτηρία Μπέλου), whom he had discovered, Marika Ninou (Μαρίκα Νίνου), and Prodromos Tsaousakis (Πρόδρομος Τσαουσάκης). From then on, Tsitsanis enjoyed wide acclaim throughout Greece.

Tsitsanis died in London on his sixty-ninth birthday. He was mourned across Greece, where his music is still enjoyed to this day.

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