Stavros Kouyioumtzis

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Stavros Kouyioumtzis, also Kougioumtzis, Kouyoumtzis, or Koujioumtzis, (1932 – 12 March 2005) (Greek: Σταύρος Κουγιουμτζής [ˈstavro̞s kuʝumˈd͡zis]) is one of the most significant Greek music composers of the 20th century.

He was born in Thessaloniki in 1932, and his family was refugees from Asia Minor.[1] He wrote his first song in 1960. After that, he started composing many songs and advanced his co-operation with many new singers. In the late 1960s, he co-operated with the then 19-year-old George Dalaras. He wrote Dalaras' first songs and helped him to emerge as one of the most important and successful Greek singers.

Kouyioumtzis has to show various co-operations with some of the most important Greek singers, Anna Vissi, Haris Alexiou, Yiannis Parios, Eleftheria Arvanitaki and Giannis Kalatzis. He had, also, co-operated in many songs with the poet-lyricist Manos Eleftheriou.

Kouyioumtzis songs are regarded as top-quality music in Greece. Moreover, in many of his songs he himself wrote the lyrics. Every Kouyioumtzis' song contains a message; either of love, poverty or the agony of the poor to live with dignity. According to lyricist Lefteris Papadopoulos, Kouyioumtzis "followed the music spirit which was dominant in Greece during the last 25 years (from 1965 to 1990) through the music of Mikis Theodorakis and Manos Hadjidakis".

It is generally acceptable that Stavros Kouyioumtzis was a character of calm disposition and an excellent man in the field of Greek music. A bashful character himself, it is characteristic that Kouyioumtzis was not appearing in the media, except on special occasions. His last appearance on television was in the entertainment music show of Spyros Papadopoulos on NET TV. During the last few years he left Athens and moved back to his birthplace, Thessaloniki, where he continued working on music and songs until he died suddenly on 12 March 2005. His funeral took place at the Cathedral in the Municipality of Kalamaria and he was buried at the cemetery of Kalamaria, in East Thessaloniki.

Some of Stavros Kouyioumtzis' most famous songs are:

  • Pou'ne ta hronia (Where are the years gone by)
  • Mi mu thymonis matia mou (Don't be angry with me, my love)
  • Enas kompos i chara mou (One drop is all my joy)
  • Natane to 21 (If it was 1821)
  • To kokkino foustani (The red dress)
  • Kapou nichtoni (Somewhere the night is falling)
  • Sta hronia tis ypomonis (In the times of patience)
  • Kapios htypise tin porta (Someone knocked on the door)
  • Hronia san vrochi (Years like rain)
  • I eleftheri ke oreoi (Those free and beautiful)
  • Kapion allon filises (You kissed someone else)
  • Matia mou, Matia mou (Oh thou dear as my eyes)
  • Ta hrei tis kardias sou (Your heart's debts)
  • Ola Kala (Everything is all right)