Spyros Giatras, who passed away today Monday 35 April, has associated his name with the greatest folk singers since his decade '80 until today.
Artists who thanks to his lyrics were hugely successful and listeners who learned to overcome their joy and pain through his words.
“I have singled out Stratos and Mitropanos in my life, as and Karras with the successes of '90 s. Stratos is where he is rightly, he was, as I said, the 'castle' of folk song.
One of his closest professional but also personal relationship was the one he had with Stratos Dionysiou with which they created some of the historical Greek folk songs.
The acquaintance with Stratos
I met Stratos at a table in “Minos”. On one side was Mr. Matsas, next to him sat the great producer Achilleas Theofilou, in the other corner Alekos Chrysovergis, on the left sat Stratos and on the other side me.
Our first collaboration was this , that is, when we wrote him four songs for the album “Everything is on loan”, which even received the title from our song of the same name. This whole affair with Stratos Dionysiou had a prehistory, of course. When he came to “Minos”, he had started a new career.
The last songs he had done in Columbia had somehow gone silent, his reputation had not diminished however, but a change then would have benefited him . Because I believe that Stratos was the castle of Greek folk song. And I believe that a singer of the value of bard Stratos Dionysios, it will be very difficult for him to come out again. I think he was one of the biggest bards in the field of folk song.
The incredible sales
We had three titles in Stratos discography. “ Everything is on loan “, “ The Woman's Heart “and the” You think“. These albums of “Minos” and Dionysios were sold by the thousands in Greece, but also abroad, England, France, Ireland, Africa, America and Australia; everywhere, because Stratos was an idol!
He was also a singer who never changed his pattern and who never made a mistake, not a single note! He was infallible and majestic. Serious partner and really a big loss for the space. Dionysiou and I had written many songs, apart from the big album. We did more, at that time we wrote some that are timeless and we always had the first say when we wrote a song.
“A woman's heart is an abyss” , a song national anthem
Stratos as usual took the songs, got in the car and turned five – six hours alone , he studied them and when he went back to the studio, he sang the songs once and for all. He sang the songs straight, without making a single mistake. Of course, this song “The Woman's Heart” was a trademark of his great career, perhaps one of his greatest songs. You went even to the most remote part of the country and listened to Stratos Dionysiou! I remember, we had gone to a shop in Thessaloniki to eat something and the cars were playing Stratos, the souvlaki restaurants Stratos, the commercial shops Stratos, all Stratos!
Dionysiou, when he entered the studio, while he was singing it turned red like beetroot. We were scared. When it reached the chorus especially, it happened… you can not understand what happened! We were all looking at each other, he came out and was flushed. Then we realized that it was a station song, a song “national anthem”. It was a song that women did, let me tell you, it was a much bigger hit, because it really was a story that touched man, every man, because it touches reality. Of course, I told him for fun and he laughed: “ if you do not care Army where you go, you will never get lost ».
So I inspired the song outside my shop. I saw a man “crumbling”, he was about to fall. I went out and told him “ what happened?
“Do you think”, the record of great successes
This album had twelve songs of ours, all twelve of which became hits! They were heard in every nightclub in the country. As a presence we were always on the same wavelength. We wrote up-to-date songs, which they attributed to both the company and the artist. I know the history of the singers who belong to me and I belong to them, and they are Parios, Karras, Dionysiou, Sfakianakis, Ploutarchos, Adamantidis, that is, the singers who had a long history. And it is not accidental that they went up fast.
But the big issue with Dionysiou was different at that time. This was not the last record. He was the penultimate. The latter was with Mousafiris. So we were at the zenith then. Whoever did business with us was doing well and of course we were doing well with him. In the meantime, we did not make a fuss, we did not appear much on the radio or on television. We were low-key people. We did not want the advertisement, only our songs were enough. And the course we did was mythical. Our songs had a directness to the audience, expressed in simple words, placed correctly and with inspiring music. That is why they are sung even today. Everywhere and always!
In order to select the twelve of the album, we did not have to give anything extra. Mr. Matsas and Achilleas Theofilou are well aware of this. When we went to twelve songs, so many kept us going. This is because we had the power to judge whether these songs had potential. Whichever we went, we studied it very well and we were ready to give it our all. Now, out of those twelve my favorite, if I can say let's choose one of my “kids”, was Better with you and crazy. The image that the song brings out stood out in me.