Dimitris Poulis was born in 1925. He was a professional musician who played the oud and sang. His father’s name was Markelos and he played the santouri and the mandolin; later on, he also learnt to play the clarinet.
As well as playing music, Dimitris Poulis had several other jobs during the course of his working life. “I did my military service from ’47 to ’50. Then I went back to Athens and got a job, got married, had kids, and worked there. In the beginning I worked in a ceramics factory, then I went to Sigmanogleio Hospital. I worked at the factory for 7 years, another 7 at the hospital, as a cook […]. Then I started my own business, I opened a store in Chalandri, a supermarket by the standards of those days, 100 square metres, there wasn’t anything like that in Chalandri at the time. My kids grew up, got jobs of their own.”
From 1950 to the mid-60s, Dimitris Poulis played in a band in Amani, Volissos, whose members were: “[…] my brother, Panagiotis Poulis, clarinet, me on the oud, and a cousin, Dimitris Poulis, whose father was from around here, my uncle lived in Kourounia, violin. Giorgis Poupalos on the violin, and his brother Dimitris Poupalos, […] lute.” It is of note that the latter two were sons of Giannis Poupalos, who played the violin, and had often performed with Dimitris Poulis’ father, who played the clarinet.
In Chios, he most commonly performed in the villages on the northern part of the island: “We went as far as Chios [the island’s capital]. […] The villages over Kardamyla [northeast and north], Amades, then Spartounda, Fyta, Tsikoudies. We didn’t go to Lithi, there was a local band there. I went to Avgonyma two or three times, Volissos yes, Avgonyma, Karyes, Chios, Mesa several times, for weddings, Vrontados…” He also featured on recordings made by Simonas Karras, along with Ilias Latzourakis (oud) and Stelios Tsimilas (violin), and performed on television shows: “It must have been around 1951. We went to Karras’ studio and played. That’s when I played. Oud, lute, Poupalos’ brother, who’s dead now, played the violin. I’ve heard the record on the radio, several times. Karras has it. Look, in those days we made a record and there was one song on one side, and one on the other. On one side a tsifteteli, on the other “O angelos” [The angel]. The record we made with Karras, we made it in Athens. We went to a studio, down the road from me, Piperakis’, and then we gave it to Karras, he asked for it, and we gave it to him […]. I’ve done three or four shows on television, with Panagiotis Mylonas, who does the traditional music shows, with Moschos, and on Tiletora [the name of a show]. I’ve also been on a show on ERT 2, another time, with a band, and it’s usually me singing. With Stathis Koukoularis playing the violin.”
Speaking of island’s ties with the coast of Asia Minor, and the latter’s influence upon the local music scene, he said: “Refugees came to the villages, they came in the first few years and they were labourers […] and then they made money and built houses and all that, and they’re still around to this day, there are still some in Volissos. In Chora [Chios], there are musicians who were refugees. In the festivals at the villages, they used to come to the festivals in Volissos, and we used to go to Chora sometimes, to meet them.”