Poly Panou (Polytimi Koliopanou), one of the most loved interpreters of the Greek laika and rebetika genres, will be laid to rest today in Athens. She was 73.

It was Grigoris Bithikotsis (aka Sir of the laiko song) who would take her under his wing and give Panou her big break in the ’50s. From her hometown in Patra, a teenage Panou would set off for the “palka” (stage) across the country.

Throughout the years she managed to achieve acclaim thanks to hard work and an undying passion for music, retaining at the same time a rare among artists humility.

Among the most popular songs she interpreted are “Ti Sou Kana kai Pineis” (What did I do to make you drink), “Ena Sfalma Ekana” (I made a mistake), “Esena den Sou Axize Agapi” (You didn’t deserve love) and “Pare to Dachtylidi Mou” (Take my ring), which are to this day very much loved by the crowds of all ages.

Panou will not only be remembered for her distinct nasal bass voice, but primarily for her ethos and dedication to the laiko genre.

Here Panou interprets Manos Hadjidakis’ “Ta Paidia tou Pirea” (The Lads from Piraeus) . The song later won an Academy Award.

                                                                                   Photo credit: Attika Nea

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