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Title:GREEK SONG: Danae (Δανάη) / Londra-Parisi-Athina (Λόντρα-Παρίσι) / Parlophone / 1946

“Artist, intellectual, poet, translator, muse, professor of folklore and fighter” is how one obituary described Danae (Danai) Stratigopoulou (Δανάη Στρατηγοπούλου) upon her death in 2009. Born in Athens in 1913, her family lived in Marseilles and Paris before returning to Greece in 1923 when Danae’s sister Mirka was born. Danae studied voice and political science and became a journalist; her father was an engineer and journalist, and her grandfather was a playwright. (1) As a professional journalist in the early 1930s Danae shared a desk with the journalist, cartoonist, composer and guitarist, Kostas Bezos (Κώστας Μπέζος). He encouraged her to explore music further, and at some point they both became members of “Attik’s Garden” (Μάντρα Του Αττίκ), a musical theater group founded by Attik (Κλέων Τριανταφύλλου) a successful composer of song who had returned to Greece after a 20-year stay in Paris. (2) The creative and multi-talented Bezos was soon leading his own group “The White Birds” (Τα άσπρα πουλιά), with Danae singing and playing guitar. She recorded with this fascinating ensemble built around Bezos’ Hawaiian steel guitar on a handful of sides made in 1934. (Her voice can be easily heard on Sweet Stamboul [Γλυκειά Σταμπούλ].) Maniatis’ discography lists about 150 songs recorded by Danae between 1936 and 1952, both solo and duetting with both male and female partners. (3) She continued recording through the ‘50’s, ‘60s and ‘70s. During the time of the military junta in Greece (1967-1974) she traveled to Chile, where her sister Mirka lived and worked. There she met the poet Pablo Neruda and translated his ‘Canto General’ into Greek, while teaching voice and Greek folklore at the university. (1) She passed away January 18, 2009 at the age of 95. (1) (2) notes to Mississippi Records: (3) Maniatis: [Londra-Parisi-Athina [Λόντρα-Παρίσι], Danae Stratigopoul (Δανάη Στρατηγοπούλου), Parlophone DP 122 (B-74068), recorded 1946, matrix GO-3654] The flip side of this disk is Lighes Cardies Agapoun [Λίγες καρδιές αγαπούνε]: My Greek Playlist:


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