Aris San’s career amounted to a story so far-fetched, it could only be true. A Greek singer who arrived in Israel in 1957 and within five years became a megastar, close friend of generals and politicians including Moshe Dayan. But his manicured guitar work and smooth vocal stylings incorporated Arab melodies into Israeli music fed suspicions that Aris, in addition to being a genius guitarist and playboy, was a spy. Aris left Israel to conquer America. He opened a night club, Cirocco in Manhattan where Hollywood stars, politicians, and Mafioso mingled. His friends included Anthony Quinn,Telly Savalas,Harry Belafonte, as well as the Gallo crime family. Aris thought that he had found the key to success, but at the end of his meteoric rise came his fall, drug addiction, jail and a mysterious disappearance in Budapest. His body has never been found. But his music lives on.
Here are some tracks from his album Bim Bam which has not been off our turntable this week, and the opening scene from Dani Dota’s sensational documentary, “The Mystery of Aris San.” A sweeter opening scene in a movie, you will not see.