Markos Vamvakaris was a rebetiko musician. He is universally referred to by rebetiko writers and fans simply by his first name, Markos.
He was born on May 10, 1905 in Ano Chora, Syros, Greece. His family belonged to the sizeable Roman Catholic community of the island, the Frankosyrians, a name deriving from the common Greek reference to West Europeans collectively as "Franks".
At the age of 12, believing he was wanted by the police, Vamvakaris left Syros and went to Piraeus. He worked as a stevedore, employee at a pit-coal mine, polisher, paperman, butcher and other jobs. He heard a bouzouki player playing, and swore that if he did not learn to play the instrument in six months he would cut off his hand with a cleaver (he was working in the Athens slaughterhouse at the time). He learned bouzouki, becoming an innovative virtuoso player, and began to compose music, and write songs. At first he often played in hashish smoking establishments known as Tekes, later he and his band, which included Giorgos Batis, Anestis Delias and Stratos Pagioumtzis played in more legitimate clubs. They were extremely popular, and Markos made many recordings.
Vamvakaris recorded his first rebetiko disc, Na 'Rchosouna Re Magka Mou' in 1932. Among other songs in that period, he wrote the classic love song "Frangkosyriani" .
After the liberation of Greece from the occupation of Nazi Germany, difficult times arrived, since his kind of music was no longer fashionable. He also suffered badly with arthritis in his hands. The slump in his fortunes lasted until the early 1960s, when after initiatives by Vassilis Tsitsanis, many of his old songs were revived, sung by modern singers including Grigoris Bithikotsis, and Stratos Dionysiou.
Vamvakaris died on February 8, 1972 at the age of 66. (wikipedia)
1. Markos Vamvakaris - Megaloi Sunthetes Tou Laikou Tragoudiou
01. Markos Vamvakaris - Maura Matia-Maura Frudia
02. Markos Vamvakaris - An M' Axiosei O Theos
03. Markos Vamvakaris - Antilaloun Oi Fulakes
04. Markos Vamvakaris, Apostolos Hatzihristos - O Antonis O Varkaris
05. Virginia Magkidou - Rixe Tsiggana Ta Hartia
06. Markos Vamvakaris - Alana Peiraiotissa
07. Markos Vamvakaris - Otan Me Vlepeis Kai Perno
08. Markos Vamvakaris, Rita Ampatzi - San Eisai Magkas Kai Ntais
09. Markos Vamvakaris - Kapote Imouna Kai 'go
10. Markos Vamvakaris - Hthes To Vradu Sto Skotadi
11. Markos Vamvakaris - Wres Me Threfei O Loulas
12. Mpampis Tsertos - Pali Methusmenos Eisai (Live)
13. Markos Vamvakaris - Prepei Na Xereis Mihani
14. Markos Vamvakaris - O Isovitis
15. Markos Vamvakaris - Efoumernam' Ena Vradu
16. Dimitris Eustathiou - Harmanis
17. Markos Vamvakaris - Otan Pino Toumpekaki
18. Markos Vamvakaris - Nostimo Trelo Mikro Mou
Label: FM Records
2. Markos Vamvakaris - Mia Fountosi Mia Floga
01. Markos Vamvakaris, Elli Petridou - Tha 'rtho Na Se Xupniso
02. Markos Vamvakaris - Fragkosuriani
03. Markos Vamvakaris - Hthes To Vradu Sto Skotadi
04. Prodromos Tsaousakis - Rixe Tsiggana Ta Hartia
05. Markos Vamvakaris - Nostimo Trelo Mikro Mou
06. Markos Vamvakaris, Stratos Pagioumtzis - Ta Karavotsakismata
07. Markos Vamvakaris - O Markos Ypourgos
08. Markos Vamvakaris - Ta Mple Parathura Sou
09. Viku Mosholiou - Alexandriani
10. Giorgos Zampetas - Na M' Axiosei O Theos
11. Grigoris Mpithikotsis, Antzela Gkreka - Maura Matia-Maura Frudia
12. Markos Vamvakaris – Gaitanofrudousa