On a rainy night: This may have been his greatest hit but the career of singer Nikos Gounaris (1915-1965) was brilliant. 2015 marks 100 years since the singer’s birth and half a century since his death. King of the Elafro Tragoudi (Greek Light Song, easy-listening bouzouki with western style and Latin tunes) during the 40s and 50s, Gounaris composed 400 songs (you tube) and was extremely popular and loved among the Greek expatriates in America, for whom he performed on many occasions, including that night to remember at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 1949.
That performance was filled with such tension and emotion that prompted an American journalist to write on the following day about the night "when Carnegie Hall turned Greek." Holywood star musician Xavier Cugat appreciated his talent and often invited Gounaris to appear with him on stage. Italian singer Luciano Tajioli called Gounaris the ‘pride of Greece’ and often said that Nikos ‘was a trully great artist’. Gounaris passed away in May 1965. Months before his death, he had a premonition and returned to Greece from a US tour. He wanted to leave in sping and fate arranged it so that his wish be met.