15 years ago, one of the greatest Turkish singers of all time passed away at the age of 56. I am talking about Barış Manço. His name Barış (Barish) means “peace” and is considered to be the first name given to a child in Turkish history as a celebration at the end of II World War. By the way his elder brother’s name is Savaş which means “war”. Manço is pronounced as Mancho.
His high school days were full of music, he formed his first band “Kafadarlar” (Buddies) in Galatasaray High School where he got French education (then English at Şişli Terakki High School). In 1963, with his later band “Harmoniler” (Harmonies) made covers of popular American swing songs and adapted some of the Turkish folk songs in rock’n’roll genre which opened the way of Anatolian Rock. After high school, he went to Europe and started some bands with local musicians. He gave concerts with his band Les Mistigris in French, English, as well as Turkish. In 1967, he was injured in a serious car accident and started to grow moustache to hide his scar.
In 1970, his score “Dağlar Dağlar” made a significant debut and sold more than 700,000 copies. He formed a band with Kurtalan Ekspres and their collaboration continued till the very end. 1980’s went fruitful for Manço that many of his albums became hit. And he made a different move into television and became the producer and the front man of two programmes. 7’den 77’ye was a travel programme but my favorite was Adam Olacak Çocuk which is similar to French “L’École des fans” show. The kids attend and show talents like singing.
There are many reasons why I love Barış Manço but the most important thing is he had a great heart. Every year in February, people commemorate in different ways and miss him a lot. There is Barış Manço museum in Kadıköy where you can see his antique collections, big rings, costumes, drawings, and music instruments. I picked one of his enjoyable songs called “Halhal” which means ankle ring. The woman in the song is attractive yet very coy and always wears a silver halhal.
Rest in Peace Barış Abi