Minos Matsas

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Minos Matsas (left) with Stelios Kazantzidis and Marinella in 1963

Minos Matsas (1903 - 1970) was a Greek Rebetiko lyricist, composer and recording industry executive.

He was born in Preveza, Epirus, Greece in 1903, into a Romaniote Jewish family that hailed from Ioannina. In his early years, Minos Matsas wrote lyrics and music to rebetika songs, often under the pseudonym "Tsamas", reversing the syllables of his name, with relatively minor succsess. Some of his most well known lyrics are : To Minore tis Avgis (Το Μινόρε της Αυγής), O Andonis o Varkaris (Ο Αντώνης ο Βαρκάρης, O Zorikos (Ο Ζόρικος). His success came later in life as an executive of Odeon-Parlophon where he had much success discovering and signing up new talent.

Being Jewish, Minos Matsas spent the war and German occupation years hiding in the house of fellow rebetika composer Yiannis Papaioannou.

In 1960, he founded his own recording company "Minos Matsas and Son" (Μίνως Μάτσας και Υιός), the "son" being Makis Matsas who followed in his father's footsteps. Makis Matsas is currently the president of Minos-Emi Greece.

Matsas died on September 25, 1970.

Minos Matsas -the grandson of the Rebetiko lyricist- is a film composer living in Los Angeles.