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Although Vassilis Tsitsanis cut his first record shortly before the onset of World War II, it is to the postwar period that he truly belongs, and to the Greek postwar mindset that he owes his strongest allegiances.
Tsitsanis was born the son of a craftsman who played bouzouki but forbade his son to touch the instrument. After his father's death, however, Tsitsanis was unable to resist and rapidly became a skilled performer. Although he intended to pursue a career in law, he was unwittingly drawn into a musical lifestyle. Unlike earlier rembetika performers, however, he did not sing tales of debauched hashish consumption, but instead melancholy songs of love. His first recording, in 1937, was entitled "This is Why I Wander the Streets of Athens," and his compositions during the occupation of Greece were widely acknowledged, although they were not recorded until after the War. At that time, Tsitsanis enjoyed fruitful collaborations with female singers Sotiria Bellou and Marika 'Ninou' Nikolaidou and recorded until the 1970s.