‘Lonely cowboy’ crooner Loukianos Kilaidonis dies


Loukianos Kilaidonis, known for the almost naive and upbeat sentiment of his songs, has died, his family announced on Tuesday.

The 74-year-old singer, songwriter and composer passed away in an Athens hospital in the early hours of Tuesday from heart disease.

Kilaidonis was born in the Athens district of Kypseli on July 15, 1943, and was married to actress Anna Vagena, with whom he had two daughters.

A graduate of Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University and the National Technical University of Athens, Kilaidonis gave up architecture to pursue his passion for music in the 1970s, writing songs for the theater, film and television, and working with popular and acclaimed singers.

His recording career comprised more than 20 albums and dozens of hit songs, including “I’m a Poor and Lonely Cowboy,” “A Day of a Mary,” and “The Hymn of Black Dogs,” while he was also renowned for launching the beach party culture in Greece in the 1980s, organizing huge bashes in Vouliagmeni and other parts of the capital’s southern coast.

His candid sentimentality, his sense of humor and humanity, and his no-frills style that tapped into the country's folk music traditions helped him build a cross-generational affinity with the Greek public that only a handful of local artists have enjoyed.

Kilaidonis wrote music for almost every major theater company in Greece, including Xenia Kalogeropoulou’s successful productions for children, and also penned tunes for renowned filmmakers such as Theo Angelopoulos, Pantelis Voulgaris and Vassilis Alexakis.

In 1999, he and Vagena founded the Metaxourgeio music venue, where Kilaidonis made regular appearances.
A memorial service was held yesterday for close friends and family. His body will be cremated outside Greece.

In the announcement of his death, his family asked for donations to be made in Kilaidonis’s memory to a poor family he had taken under his wing, to National Bank account number GR8501101130000011395450502.