Manolis Rassoulis

The singer and songwriter Manolis Rassoulis, whose quirky songs influenced a generation of contemporary Greek musicians, was found dead at his home on13 March in the northern city of Thessaloniki. Police said he had been dead for about four days.

Rassoulis was born in Heraklion on the island of Crete on 28 September 1945, and sang in the city’s cathedral choir, but he had been living in Thessaloniki since the 1970s. A militant leftist in his youth, he became interested in oriental mysticism in later years. Rassoulis became widely known in the late 1970s when he collaborated with the composer Nikos Xydakis and various singers in a series of popular records that emphasised the oriental roots of contemporary Greek music.

In the 1960s and ’70s Rasoulis lived in London for six years, following persecution by the Greek junta, and joined the Trotskyists. Among other activities, hecollaborated with Vanessa Redgrave twice in performances to support political causes. He also wrote his first books in London and became coeditor of the newspaper Socialist Change.He returned to Athens in 1974 onthe orders of his political handlers, and almost immediately began his musical career.