Trio Bel Canto -- Photo Gallery The Trio Bel Canto

The 1960's Decade

The 1960's was the decade of the Trio Bel Canto's rise to fame in the United States. (In fact, they established permanent residency in the U.S. in 1966.) After their final performance at the Palia Athena club on January 1, 1961, the group toured Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem, and played at the Hawaii Club in Thessaloniki as part of the Thessaloniki Exhibition of that year. After a trip to Beirut in January of 1962 and a brief stint at the club Kastro in Athens, the Trio Bel Canto received a letter from the immortal Niko Gounaris, personally inviting them to come to the United States to entertain with him at the Monte Carlo Hotel and Nite Club in the Catskills of upstate New York. The well-known Monte Carlo in Monroe, New York was famous for hosting evenings of Greek music and dance. It was in the hotel's "Blue Room" that the Trio, along with the "troubador of Athens", Niko Gounaris, began performing sold out shows every night of the week to scores of anxious fans. After Gounaris's death in May of 1965, the Trio played at the Monte Carlo that summer for the last time. Playing and singing primarily in prominent night clubs (Athens Club, Chicago; Carson's Supper Club, Detroit; Salomé Night Club, Astoria, to name a few), theatres (Philarmonic Hall, Lincoln Center), and yes, even on American television on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" in May of 1963, Evangelos, John and Michael were rising stars in their own rite. Their melifluous voices and their unique interpretations of popular Greek songs were showcased at the mecca of the entertainment world, Carnegie Hall in New York City, in a concert on September 18, 1965. Appearing with such singers as Jim Apostolou and Eva Styl, and with the popular Greek orchestras of Gus Vali and George Stratis (with whom they ultimately collaborated on their LP recordings), the Trio made history by being the first Greek musical group to grace that stage and perform to the delight of the Greek-American audience. They made a second appearance at Carnegie during this decade, in December of 1967, in an evening of Greek music with the famous bouzouki player Harry Lemonopoulos. Because of the very limited availability of Greek music here in the States during that time, the Trio would receive reel-to-reel recordings and lyrics of popular songs from Evangelos Metaxas's brother, who lived in Greece, and the group would then learn the songs, set the music and appropriate harmonies, and then record them. This is why the Trio Bel Canto was so popular: they brought to the Greeks in America the music of their homeland, and they performed it with such style and precision that the Greek public was always thrilled to hear them sing. They continued to play throughout the decade in virtually every major night club in the country, as well as local dinner-dance events for the Greek churches and organizations. During the '60s, they recorded most of their albums which are still treasured to this day.(Click on a thumbnail to view the enlarged photo, then use the "Back" button of your browser to return to this gallery.)

Trio Bel Canto, circa early to mid 1960's1962 - at the Blue Room of the Monte Carlo Hotel, NY, 8/25/621962 -- rehearsing with the great Nico Gounaris, 8/26/62

1962 - performing with a full orchestra in Israel1962 - performing with a full orchestra in Israel1963 -- with the great Nico Gounaris1963 -- with the great Nico Gounaris

1963 -- in Toronto, Canada, March 11, 19631963 -- in Toronto, Canada, March 11, 19631963 -- in Toronto, Canada, March 11, 19631963 -- on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show

1963 -- with the great Nico Gounaris at Tavern on the Green, 5/23/631963 -- with the great Nico Gounaris at Tavern on the Green, 5/23/631963 -- with the great Nico Gounaris in the smoke-filled room of Tavern on the Green, 5/23/63

1963 -- with Nico "Santa Claus" Gounaris1965 -- performing at Carnegie Hall, New York CityFlyer/poster for the TBC Carnegie Hall appearance

Trio Bel Canto, circa 19651967 -- with the mayor of New York City, John Lindsay, 12/22/19circa 1969 -- Trio Bel Canto in one of their many shows

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