Orphaned at a young age, Tsaousakis started working early in life and became a professional wrestler. In World War II, he served in the Greek army as a sergeant (çavuş in Turkish) and became known with the nickname "Tsaousakis".
During the German occupation, he started singing and was soon discovered by rebetika composer Vasilis Tsitsanis who brought him to Athens. There, he started his professional career in the early post-war years. Besides Tsitsanis, he also sang songs by Yiannis Papaioannou, Giorgos Mitsakis, Apostolos Kaldaras, Babis Bakalis, etc.
Tsaousakis was the original singer of "Συννεφιασμένη Κυριακή" - "Cloudy Sunday" - a classic in Greek music. He is said to have been the inspiration and role model of Stelios Kazantzidis.