Trio Bel Canto -- Photo Gallery The Trio Bel Canto

The 1950's Decade

The original members of the Trio Bel Canto consisted of Evangelos Metaxas and Bobby Tsobanakis, friends and classmates since high school. They later found John Papamakariou to play guitar and, with many rehearsals of the songs of that time, they formed their trio group and began their musical journey. Originally called the Trio Coumbatsero from their start in 1948, they were "baptized" the Filoi tou Bel-canto -- "Friends of the Belcanto" -- in 1950 by maestro and pianist Vangelis Lykiardopoulos. As the Filoi tou Bel-canto, they recorded numerous 78 r.p.m. records with musicians Mimi Plessas and Giorgos Mouzakis. In 1952, however, in order to conform to the "trend" of many trio groups which were popular at the time, they began calling themselves the "Trio Bel Canto", which is the name that has been in use for the past 50 years. It was at that time that George Economidis, an entertainment promoter, brought them to the very popular Alsos Club and billed them as an up-and-coming amateur group destined to become famous. Economidis subsequently booked them at the Palia Athena, another club which was host to many famous musical talents of the era. There, along with the orchestra of Lykourgos Markeas, they played in the winters from October until April, gaining in popularity throughout the remainder of the '50s . With the help and backing of Giorgos Economidis, the journey of their musical progress became easier. In 1956, the Trio, along with the orchestra of Giorgos Mouzakis, made their first excursion to the United States aboard the ocean liner "Queen Frederica" on April 21, by invitation of the Greek-American organization Order of A.H.E.P.A. (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association). Shortly after their return to Greece, Bobby Tsobanakis left the group (June 1956), and was replaced by Michael Matheos. The Trio Bel Canto continued to entertain at the Palia Athena, as well as at other well-known clubs such as the Spylia Paraskeva and Treis Gefyres of Karystinos. In August of 1959, the Trio traveled to Cyprus where they played in several clubs there, and the following month they performed at the Exhibition in Thessaloniki at the club Luxemburg on September 20 of 1959. They completed this decade by participating in the 1st Festival of Music on October 3rd of that year, an event sponsored by the National Institute of Radiophony. All in all from 1950 until 1962, the group recorded records, appeared in numerous shows and events with all of the popular musicians and maestros of the time, and performed for many philanthropic causes. They were featured in Greek films, singing in their unique and perfect style and adding a touch of class to the musical soundtracks. Incidently, bel canto is an Italian phrase meaning "beautiful song". The pictures in this Gallery, taken with prominent Greek and American actors and musicians of that time, attest to the group's popularity. (Click on a thumbnail to view the enlarged photo, then use the "Back" button of your browser to return to this gallery.)

1953 -- John, Evangelos & Bobby, circa 1953-19541954 -- Trio B.C. circa 1954, before Michael Matheos1954 -- w/ Bianco, famous composer of Combarsita, Tango1954 -- w/ George Economidis

1954 -- w/ Zozo Sapountzaki, famous Greek singer & actress1955 -- Bobby Tsobanakis, Italian film star Silvana Pampanini, John P. and Ev. Metaxas1955 -- w/ Antigoni Valakou, famous Greek actress1955 -- w/ The Sisters Kalouta

1956 -- w/ Katie Belinda, Greek singer & actress1956 -- w/ Tony Marouthas1957 -- w/ Aristotle Onassis1957 -- w/ Maya Melagia, famous Greek singer & actress

1957 -- w/ Jayne Mansfield1958 -- w/ Los Panchos1958 -- w/ Tres Diamantes1958 -- w/ Robert Mitchum

1958 -- w/ Rena Vlahopoulou, famous singer/actress, and Tony Marouthas1959 -- w/ Sotos Panagopoulos, 10/14/19591959 -- w/ Primo Karnera1959 -- w/ Van Johnson, American TV star1960 -- with Anna Fonsou, 1/15/1960

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