Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Poetry in Motion

The Hunters, 1977 (a movie by Theo Angelopoulos, the song by Mikis Theodorakis)

Landscape in the Mist, 1988 (a movie by Theo Angelopoulos, music by Eleni Karaindrou)

The Weeping Meadow, 2003 (a movie by Theo Angelopoulos, music by Eleni Karaindrou)


Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Producer

Quincy Jones is not Greek of course but at least 3 times he has produced works of Greeks.

First collaboration was with famous Greek singer Nana Mouskouri.
Nana, born 1934 in Crete, Greece, has sold millions of records worldwide, hosted TV shows for BBC, toured, collaborated and recorded with famous artists in a career spanning over 5 decades.

In 1962 she met Quincy Jones and recorded with him the album The Girl from Greece Sings (the cd re-issue has a different title: Nana Mouskouri in New York and 3 bonus tracks).

The Touch of Your Lips from The Girl from Greece Sings (1962)

I Get a Kick Out of You from (only available as bonus on cd re-issue Nana Mouskouri in New York)

Second time he produced for a Greek artist was in 1965. He was the producer for Manos Hatzidakis’ masterpiece Gioconda’s Smile (see older post).

Third time it was for Vangelis composition State of Independence.
The song (music by Vangelis, lyrics by Jon Anderson) was first released as a single in 1981 by Jon and Vangelis and was included in their album The Friends of Mr. Cairo (1981).
This was produced by Vangelis.

One year later Donna Summer released the album Donna Summer which included a cover of State of Independence.
This one was produced by Quincy Jones and the choir featured Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Dionne Warwick and others.

Here's Donna Summer's cover produced by Quincy Jones

and here's Jon and Vangelis original composition from Friends of Mr. Cairo (1981)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


George Chakiris (or Kerris) born 1934, son of Greek immigrants has a long and successful career as a dancer and actor.
As a dancer he appeared in famous movies like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with Marilyn Monroe.
As an actor he starred with Charlton Heston and Gene Kelly among others.

But the milestone in his career is definitely his role in West Side Story (1961) which won him the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
In the 60s he also first appeared as a singer and released 3(?) LPs and several singles. In the 80s he made a French album (Rappelle Toi) singing compositions of Pierre Bachelet and others.

Moon River from album Memories are Made of These (1963)

Aristotelis “Telly” Savalas (1922 – 1994) is best known for his role as Kojak in the 70s crime TV series with same name.
His career as actor spans 4 decades and he was nominated for Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Birdman of Alcatraz (1962).

Telly as a singer collaborated with composer/producer John Cacavas during the 70s. In 1975 he scored a #1 hit in Europe with spoken word version of If.

Here's Without Her a cover of Nilsson's 1967 song from Telly (1974) album (with John Cacavas as an arranger)

Tassos Papastamatis (1938 – 2010) was the singer of Greek 60s group Forminx (Vangelis Papathanasiou was the keyboard player and composer).
His deep voice won him the title of the Greek Bing Crosby as it is often mentioned.
Tassos has not a lengthy discography outside the Forminx. A couple of singles, a full cover album and a contribution to George Mouzakis album is all that’s left from this great singer.

Here’s Stranger in the Night from a 1966 single (orchestra conducted by Stan Hopkins)

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