Connecting Martha Frintzila with Nestorio ...

“Jack O’Hara”, the song by Giorgos Zampetas, which adapted and sensationally, interpreted Martha Frintzila, connects the famous singer with Nestorio. The lyrics of the song were written by the Nestorian journalist and poet Theodosis Athas, who died when he was only 37.
A tribute in honor and memory of three journalists and writers of the Diaspora was held in Astoria, New York, as part of the Celebration of Greek Letters.
Personal testimonies and presentations of selected texts and poems illustrated the life and the valuable work of Babis Malafouris (1902-1990), Theodosis Athas (1936-1973) and Regina Pagoulatou (1920-2007).
The Secretary-General of the Chian Federation of America, Nikos Papagiannakis spoke for the journalist and poet Theodosis Athas. In his speech for Th. Athas, he made ​​special reference to his radio broadcasts in New York, who were loved by the Diaspora, his “presence in the resistance” in the years of the junta, his “sensitive poetry” and his lyrics, a number of which were set to music by Giorgos Zampetas.
Mr. Papagiannakis, among others, spoke about the life of Theodosis Athas, who was born in Nestorio-Kastoria in 1936. After the Second World War he settled with his family in Kastoria, where he spent his childhood and his early teenage years. In 1954 –only some months after his graduation from the local High school– he immigrated to USA in Lynn, Massachusetts, where his father was, and studied at universities in Boston. In November 1958 he was invited to join the U.S. Army, where he served for two years in France and America. After 1960 he lived in New York. Alongside his work, he prepared an anthology of American poets of the 20th century, translated into Greek and then wrote poems and lyrics under his own name but also under the pseudonym Linaios. He was an associate of the Greek-American literary publication “Argonaut” and the Greek radio station in New York. He died of cancer in 1973.
The late Giorgos Zampetas once said about Theodosis Athas: “In September 1971, when I was in New York, he invited me to speak in his station, which was very popular and had a very wide audience. He was a 30-year lad and made shows for Greeks. I went to the station, we talked and after we finished he said “I have some lyrics, take a look at them and if you like them, keep them and turn them into songs.” So here comes Athas to my hotel and he gives me: “Death tell me what’s going on”, “what is wrong with the dead and they celebrate like Greeks”,” ‘the blonde lady is a story that will be forgotten’, ‘my dead friends came to get me’, ‘Jack O’Hara’, ‘Loukas’. All these wonderful, amazing songs were written by Theodosis Athas”.
During the event, an audio-material with Athas’s voice was presented from the archives of the Greek Cultural Centre (KEP).





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