Manolis Chiotis (March 21, 1921 - March 21, 1970) was a Greek composer, one of the most important of folk song, and a great master of bouzouki. He revolutionized folk song and Greek music in general, inventing the four-string variant of bouzouki, but also creating the first "cosmic center".


He was born on March 21, 1921 in Thessaloniki (according to other reports in Nafplio). His father was called Diamantis Chiotis, a barynga born in Piraeus. From a young age, he began to practice the folk instruments and began learning near a Thessaloniki music teacher, initially a guitar, a bouzouki and then oud. Thus, from the age of 15 when his family moved to Nafplio, Manolis Chiotis began to work professionally as a musician.

Around 1935, he went to Athens to study violin and was then introduced to Stratos Paioumtzis, who hired him to play beside the bouzouki in the "Botanical Forest" center. In 1937, following the rebetiko motif, Manolis Chiotis recorded his first song, "Money does not count", which became a success immediately. Until the war, and after that, he continued to write songs, but seeing that with the "classic" bouzouki could not perform faster in rhythmic musical performances, he proceeded with great innovation by adding another string to the instrument, thus creating "Four strings bouzouki". With the four-stringed bouzouki now, the horizon for speedy performances over the classic bouzouki opened.

At the same time in the 1950s, he first applied the amplifier to a folk instrument. Thus innovating, begins the period of the archontoremedicum where the bouzouki is now accepted by the so-called high society, for which he started choosing to write songs of Latin American character, mainly of the mambo. This second innovation has now established him as the leader of a particular music school and song from the audience of his time. At that time, the Athenian press called him a "bouzouki guide in the lounges".

The first entertainment center he created was, after the war, Pigal, which was also the first "secular center" of Athens. Since the late 1950s he has continued to present his program at the then known "Spilia" or "Paraskevas Cave" center in Piraeus, where the area before the ancient Tunnel was shaped, on which most of the shots were shot. its related cinematic holdings.

At the end of 1953, Manolis Chiotis visited Alexandria, Egypt with Zoe Nachi, the singer and guitarist George Gozadino, the accordionist Athos Karabella and the pianist Constantine Bogdanos. There, for more than 100 days it entertained the visitors of the Casino "EXCELOR". Then from 11/2/1954 to 14/3/1954, Manolis Chiotis visits Cairo where he plays in the "CIRO'S" shop to return to Alexandria, where he will continue playing in the "EXELSIOR" casino until on Sunday 18/4/1954. Then he returned to Athens.

In the 1960s, Manolis Chiotis was permanently included in a special panel of Greek artists of the Foreign Ministry's ceremonial service, for the proposed amusement of high country visitors. Manolis Chiotis had sung in front of many rulers and other heads of state, and was even invited to play at the White House on President Lyndon Johnson's birthday.

Manolis Chiotis is said to have written more than 1,500 songs. Despite this, however, he also regularly performed as a soloist on recordings with many other popular composers. It was characteristic that Mikis Theodorakis relied on the art of M. Chiotis during his first official discography with Giannis Ritsos's "Epitaph", a collaboration that continued in "Lipotachtes", "Archipelagos" etc. At the same time he also collaborated with Manos Hadjidakis.

His biggest successes were attributed to singer Mary Linda, who was his second wife for a decade, with which he also appeared in cinema. It is noted that Manolis Chiotis had been married three times. His first wife was Zoe Nachi, with whom they had two children. In 1958 he married his great partner, Mary Linda, a marriage full of success, but unexpectedly ended in 1967 - 1968. Then Manolis Chiotis married Beba Kyriakidou (1936-2019), with whom he spent the rest of his life.

Manolis Chiotis died of heart failure at Hippocrates Hospital in Athens on March 21, 1970. The announcement of his death moved the nation. All the state-owned radio and television stations (EIR and YENED) made special dedications at the time, while the Daily Press gave special praise to him.


Of the large number of songs she wrote, memorable works, especially with Mary Linda, were:

Passatebos (1946)

Taka Taka Butterflies (1952)

Me the rich kid (1952)

Tonight girlfriend with (1955)

Thessaloniki My Great Poor (1956)

Many times (1956)

Sunsets (1958)

After You Want It (1958)

Extinguish the Flame (1958)

My Past Lovers (1959)

You are the reason I suffer (1959)

Take My Tear (1960)

I don't want to go back anymore (1961)

The Squash (1962)

You look and look like a sea (1962)

Call me on the phone (1964) and more.

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