Stratos Payioumtzis.

1902 - 1971

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While the Biographical information we have so far is somewhat piece-meal regarding Stratos Payoumtzis, we do know that he was recognized as one of the finest Rebetic vocalists from any period .  He was born in Asia Minor in 1902 and left for Greece around 1918, a few years before the Smyrnaic incident of 1922 .  He was a close friend of   Markos Vamvakaris and also a member of the famed  "Tetrtas" , which many afficionados recognize as the Prototype Rebetiko " Super Group"  that founded the " Piraeus School"  of Rebetiko .  Rebetiko composers loved his vocal style and enthusiastically went about composing for him . These included such luminaries as Batis, Delias, Tsitsanis, Papaioanou , Tountas and Papazoglou .  Like so many of his contemporaries , his later years have been euphemistically  characterized as somewhat "difficult".  When Stratos Payoumtzis died in 1971 while on stage during a working visit in New York City, a collection had to be initiated , in order to transport his body back to Greece .    

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