General News: Songwriter Rasoulis dead at 66

Greek songwriter, singer and journalist Manolis Rasoulis was found dead in his home, at the age of 66, on Sunday by friends, while initial coronary findings indicate that the artist died four days earlier.

Rasoulis was born in Iraklion, Crete in September 1945, and as a child sang in the church choir of the town's patron Saint Minas, before leaving for Athens to study cinematography. He started his artistic career as a singer in the Plaka district in Athens, while at the same time writing for the Left-wing newspaper Dimokratiki Allagi “Democratic Change”.

During the military dictatorship he went to London, where he stayed for six years and joined the Trotsky movement, where he first met Vanessa Redgrave with whom he collaborated twice in political performances.

In May 1968 he took part in the students' uprising in Paris and returned to Athens shortly after the Polytechnic students' uprising that paved the way for the collapse of the junta.

He resumed his singing career shortly after his return to Greece, in collaboration with composer Manos Loizos, but his later collaboration with Nikos Xydakis made his name a household word in Greece. Other collaborations included composers Stavros Kouyoumtzis, Socrates Malamas, Nicos Papazoglou and Christos Nikolopoulos, who put his lyrics to music.

Rasoulis frequently voiced his opposition to the so-called "musical establishment" and with recording companies, and was often called a "heretic" and "eccentric", and in recent years had withdrawn almost completely from the artistic scene.

His songs were popular in Israel, Turkey and Serbia, and even in far-away Japan.


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