Roukounas Kostas


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Born: 1903
Died: 11-03-1984
From: Greece, Karlovasi, Samos


Kostas Roukounas was a Greek singer. His repertoire included both "traditional" (δημοτικά) and "popular" songs (λαϊκά). Most notable is his contribution to the subgenre of rembetiko (ρεμπέτικο). Roukounas is generally known as a singer, however he was also a songwriter.
Kostas Roukounas came from a poor family and thus had to start working from the tender age of 8, initially at a cigarette manufacturing business and later as a carpenter. He began his artistic career in the mid-1920s as a singer at a taverna. Young Roukounas soon became famous among his fellow islanders of Samos for his fine voice, specialising in Smyrneika (songs originating from the nearby coast of Asia Minor). Shortly thereafter he moved to Athens (in 1927 or 1928). There he sang professionally on various festive occasions until he was discovered by Panagiotis Tountas, a leading composer and recording industry executive. Tountas got Roukounas to make his first recordings on 78 rpm records. With his versatile voice he excelled in virtually all subgenres of traditional and rembetic music.


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