Author Annie Proulx, said, “You know, one of the tragedies of real life is that there is no background music.”
Think about it? Doesn’t the background music add to the movies you watch? When the hero dies, the music is somber and sad and brings you down. When the killer is about to strike, the music plays those haunting notes that makes the hair on your neck stand up. Don’t you just sometimes wish that there was some background music when something happens in real life? Even a drum rim-shot when you say a funny, corny joke?
But live musical bands do add the background music to life. Whether you’re dancing your first dance as husband and wife at your wedding or meeting the love of your life at a Greek dance, you’ll always remember the song the band was playing. For 30 years one band has provided the background music to your life… Atlantis of Philadelphia. Formed in 1985, Atlantis is celebrating a milestone in 2015… 30 years as the country’s premier Greek-American band.
It was 1985. Back to the Future and St. Elmo’s Fire were released and Amadeus wins the Oscar for Best Picture. Ronald Reagan is sworn in as the 40th US President and unemployment is 7.2%. Kansas City Royals win the World Series, Edmonton Oilers win the Stanley Cup, and the San Francisco 49ers win the Super Bowl. Madonna launches her first road show, the Virgin Tour, and the Grammy for Best Song is Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It.” Cost of gas is $1.20/gallon, a dozen eggs are .80 cents, and a 1st class stamp is .22 cents.
In that same year, three musicians/friends decide to form a new Greek-American band, one that would be different. Not only would they perform Greek music, but also American music, which the Greek bands over time were slowly avoiding. Keyboardist, Nick Koutrotsios, drummer, Mike Fanourgakis, and bouzouki player, Harry Karapalides, make the decision and called bassist, George Livanos, and guitarist, Ted Karapalides, to join, and Atlantis was formed – the search was over.
In 2015, Atlantis is celebrating its 30th anniversary of making music and they are still providing the background music to your life, with vocalists, Yianni Parios and Popi Karapalides, and the rest of the gang, Mike, Ted, George, and Harry.
From Atlantic City to Las Vegas, from New York City to Detroit City, from Virginia Beach to Miami Beach and everywhere in between, Atlantis has performed at thousands of weddings, festivals, dances, baptisms, casino affairs, congressional and presidential campaign fund raisers, Greek nights, charitable fund raisers, radio station performances, and all types of national conventions.
They have been back-up for many of Greece’s most famous singers, and they have released three CD recordings and a multitude of single recordings, with cover songs and originals, including their original hit song, “Yia Sou, Baby!” which was heard on Antenna Radio, Thessaloniki, and TopFM Radio, Patras, Greece, and the hundreds of nightclubs throughout the islands and mainland of Greece. Atlantis is the only Greek-American band to have written and recorded an American/Greek song and one of the first either in America or Greece to have successfully combined both styles of music.
Many of Atlantis’ fans were not even born when they formed. Others have grown up listening and dancing to Atlantis. Atlantis is now performing at weddings for the children whose parents had Atlantis perform at their weddings in the 80s and 90s. In 1985 Facebook did not exist, but today, the photos and videos of performances from Atlantis’ 30 year history can be seen on the internet. One fan commented, “No other Greek band can do this…no other Greek band has the history Atlantis has and can show the world what they have done for three decades.”
In those 30 years, many other bands have come and gone, except, of course, the Rolling Stones, and Greek music has gone through a transformation, but Atlantis has ridden the wave of change over the decades and transformed with the times. Thousands and thousands of fans have listened and danced to their music, especially at weddings and dances/festivals. Many times when getting ready to go to an affair, the question is asked, “Who’s playing?” The reply is, “Atlantis.” And the comment back is simply, “Good.” That is what Atlantis brings to your affair. “Professionalism, Integrity, and Service,” their motto, sums up why thousands of people have hired Atlantis and thousands more are fans.
Atlantis is always the leader of the pack – ahead of its time. Who knows what else is ahead for the members of Atlantis and their fantastic sound, but on April 13, 2015, Atlantis is slotted to perform at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia for Greek Heritage Night at the Philadelphia 76ers vs. Milwaukee Bucks basketball game, with Popi singing the National Anthem. Another first for a Greek-American band.
After 15 years away from the studio, the members of the band are currently back in the studio recording new cover songs in addition to originals written by Harry Karapalides (music) and Ioanna Serekidou (lyrics), to be released on iTunes, which are destined to become classics.
If you ask any of the members why they continue to play, the answer is always the same, “We enjoy the music and we enjoy the people dancing to our music.” Atlantis. Providing the background music to your life.
This article is sponsored by Atlantis of Philadelphia. From contemporary to classic, their talents have captivated generations of Greek music lovers. Whether it's a wedding, dance or festival, your special affair deserve the best, Atlantis of Philadelphia. For more info please visit atlantisofpa.com or call 856-418-0404.